PC-BSD Releases Lumina Desktop 0.8.2

The developers of PC-BSD have updated their Lumina desktop environment to version 0.8.2.

The next version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released! Version 0.8.2 is mainly a “spit-and-polish” release: focusing on bugfixes, overall appearances, and interface layout/design. The FreeBSD port has already been updated to the new version, and the PC-BSD “Edge” repository will be making the new version available within the next day or two (packages building now). If you are creating/distributing your own packages, you can find the source code for this release in the “qt5/0.8.2? branch in the Lumina repository on GitHub.

The major difference that people will notice is that the themes/colors distributed with the desktop have been greatly improved, and I have included a few examples below. The full details about the changes in this release are listed at the bottom of the announcement.

Reminder: The Lumina desktop environment is still considered to be “beta-quality”, so if you find things that either don’t work or don’t work well, please report them on the PC-BSD bug tracker so that they can get fixed as soon as possible.

View the full list of changes here: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2015/02/lumina-desktop-0-8-2-released/

A Prediction: 2020 the year of PC-BSD on the desktop

kde_logo_3d_by_ilnannyLuke Wolf, a developer of KDE, foreshadows the future of PC-BSD as being a dominant open-source platform within 5 years. He mentions its offerings as a desktop system, compared with the Linux desktop share.
pcbsd-logo

I am going to make a prediction right now that FreeBSD is going to take off in a big way on or before 2020, perhaps even to the point where it threatens Linux Desktop share.
This is of course a bold claim, however before you automatically dismiss me, consider this: where was LLVM/CLang 5 years ago? Now today it’s almost a foregone conclusion that it’s the future, to the point where RMS thinks there’s a conspiracy against GNU by the LLVM folks.

Alright so change happens and those we might consider untouchable can in fact be dethroned. Hasn’t FreeBSD had more than enough chance that it’s unlikely for the status quo to be disrupted though? I would agree, but for two things: PC-BSD, and the KMS linux-shim.

First off what is this KMS shim? It’s an adapter between a BSD kernel and the linux Kernel Mode Setting drivers, this is important because instead of having to port the Intel and AMD drivers over to how a BSD thinks they should be written, they will be able to just take the drivers as they are, thus reducing maintenance burden and allowing BSDs to have up to date graphics drivers (as opposed to the current state of being at ~ Linux 3.8 equivalence). As someone who uses all-AMD hardware this is kind of important, but this will more or less permanently solve the graphics hardware compatibility issue.

Now with the hardware compatibility issues out of the way, what is so special about PC-BSD?

The answer is that unlike Linux distributions, it’s not stagnant, and it’s truly focused on being a desktop offering. Consider this: In the past 10 years has the distribution you run changed significantly in what it offers over other distributions? I think you’ll find the answer is largely no. I do have to give a shout out to openSUSE for the OBS, but otherwise I’ve used my desktop in the same exact way that I have always used it within the continuity of distribution X,Y, or Z since I started using them. Distributions simply aren’t focused on desktop features, they’re leaving it up to the DEs to do so.

PC-BSD on the other hand in fitting with the BSD mindset of holistic solutions is focused on developing desktop features and is moving rapidly to implement them. Check out http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/PC-BSD%C2%AE_Roadmap for a feel of their direction.

Already PC-BSD sets itself apart with power-user features like being able to easily install a package with it’s dependencies into a jail, integration with FreeNAS using ZFS as a backup solution, and 100% OS encryption, as well as niceties such as utilizing a Solaris idea called Bootable Environments where updates don’t touch the running system instead it creates a new snapshot and installs the updates there, and you boot into this new snapshot the next time you reboot, with capability to go back to an older snapshot in case an update borked your system but also preventing say KDE Applications from stopping running after you ran an update that touched the KDE version number (In theory openSUSE should be able to modify Snapper to do something similar as an option). Quite frankly, to me this is a breath of fresh air.

PC-BSD’s offering is only going to become stronger as time goes on, while I fear Linux desktop distros in 5 years will be much the same as they are now. The development of Really Neat Features ™ on top of the advantages that FreeBSD itself provides (better documentation, source and binaries as first class citizens, etc…) has convinced me that I should switch to it when my hardware is finally adequately supported (FreeBSD 11?), but what about other people? The FreeBSD and PC-BSD crowds are actually working on that problem, raising awareness at conventions and on the internet, thus doing the much needed footwork to effect a change.

With a large enough desktop feature gap, and appropriate marketing I have a strong feeling that PC-BSD will pose a serious threat to Linux desktop distributions within the next 5 years, what happens then? Who knows?

if you want to try out PC-BSD it’s available here http://www.pcbsd.org/ In my opinion they’re still in a relatively rough state right now, and here there be dragons and all that, but with enough polish it’s going to become a real gem.

Original post: http://lukewolf.blogspot.com/2015/02/a-prediction-2020-year-of-pc-bsd-on.html

Getting to know the pkg audit command on PC-BSD and FreeBSD

This guide by linuxbsdos will help you get familiar with the pkg audit command available on PC-BSD and FreeBSD.

pkg auditIf you’re new to FreeBSD and PC-BSD, you might not yet be aware of all their package manager’s many commands. Nobody expects you to, at least not initially.

Pkg is that package manager and one of the its many commands I think you should get to know asap is the audit command. It’s used to audit installed packages against known vulnerabilities. I could be wrong, but I don’t think your favorite Linux distribution’s package manager has an equivalent command.

The command is very simple. Just pass the -F flag to pkg audit and it will output installed packages with outstanding vulnerabilities. By running pkg audit -F on a fresh installation of PC-BSD 10.1 KDE, for example, it reported the following vulnerable packages.

Full article: http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2015/02/08/getting-to-know-the-pkg-audit-command-on-pc-bsd-and-freebsd/

Fed up with systemd and Linux? Why not try PC-BSD?

The folks at iTWire spoke to PC-BSD developer Kris Moore about his project and what Linux users can expect from it.

With the growing adoption of systemd, dissatisfaction with Linux has reached proportions not seen in recent years, to the extent that people have started talking of switching to FreeBSD.

Talk is all very well as a means of making a threat, but how difficult is it to actually make the move? Has Linux moved so far ahead that switching systems will mean one has to do without many applications that one has gotten used to?

iTWire spoke to Kris Moore, one of those deeply involved with the PC-BSD project. Moore also works with iXsystems, a company that sells hardware loaded with FreeBSD and PC-BSD.

Moore said initially there should be an understanding of what PC-BSD actually was. “First of all, I’m going to reference PC-BSD a lot here, but you need to understand that PC-BSD isn’t a fork per se, it’s just vanilla FreeBSD kernel/world with some unique installation options and a slew of graphical or command-line utilities to make FreeBSD on the desktop ‘easy’,” he said.

Full article: http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/open-source/66900-fed-up-with-systemd-and-linux

PC-BSD 10.1.1-RELEASE available

pc-bsd_logoThe Moore brothers are proud to announce PC-BSD 10.1.1-RELEASE.

PC-BSD 10.1.1 notable Changes
———————————————

* Brand new system updater which supports automatic background updating of the system
* Many improvements to boot-environments and GRUB support for a wider
variety of setups
* Support for installation to a specific GPT partition and GPT
dual-booting improvements
* Conversion to Qt5 for all desktop utilities
* Fixes to using dtrace when booted from GRUB
* Re-write of Mount Tray utility, improves mounting of external media
* Support for full-disk encryption (without an unencrypted /boot) using
GELI v7
* More packages available for installation from DVD/USB/CD images via
“PC-BSD roles“
* New OVA files for virtual machines
* Misc bugfixes and improvements to utilities
* GNOME 3.14.1
* Cinnamon 2.4.2
* Lumina desktop 0.8.1
* Chromium 39.0.2171.95
* Firefox 35.0
* NVIDIA Driver 340.65
* Pkg 1.4.4

Download ISO/image: http://www.pcbsd.org/en/download.html

Announcement: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2015/02/1810/

PC-BSD 10.1.1-RC2 Now Available

The Moore brothers have made available PC-BSD 10.1.1-RC2. pc-bsd_logo

The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of RC2 images for the upcoming quarterly 10.1.1 release.
Please test these images out and report any issues found on our bug tracker.

Changes since RC1

* Disabled some diskid / gptid labels from installer
* Updated HandBook with additions for 10.1.1
* Fixes to Lumina desktop default settings
* Disabled the lock functionality in AppCafe
* Fixed an issue with VirtualBox modules not being loaded after install
* Updated some man pages for pbi_* commands
* Fixes to how ISO / memory disks are mounted via Mount Tray
* Fixes to Mount Tray for mounting exFAT partitions with write access
* Fixed an issue with UEFI USB media not loading GRUB correctly
* Removed pc-soundmixer utility, functionality has been merged into tray app

Getting media

10.1.1-RC2 DVD/USB media can be downloaded from here via HTTP or Torrent.

For the full list of changes: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2015/01/pc-bsd-10-1-1-rc2-now-available/

 

pfSense 2.2-RELEASE Now Available

The developers of pfSense have released the long awaited 2.2!

pfsense-logo-150x150I’m happy to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.2! This release brings improvements in performance and hardware support from the FreeBSD 10.1 base, as well as enhancements we’ve added such as AES-GCM with AES-NI acceleration, among a number of other new features and bug fixes. Jim Thompson posted an overview of the significant changes previously.

In the process of reaching release, we’ve closed out 392 total tickets (this number includes 55 features or tasks), fixed 135 bugs affecting 2.1.5 and prior versions, fixed another 202 bugs introduced in 2.2 by advancing the base OS version from FreeBSD 8.3 to 10.1, changing IPsec keying daemons from racoon to strongSwan, upgrading the PHP backend to version 5.5 and switching it from FastCGI to PHP-FPM, and adding the Unbound DNS Resolver, and many smaller changes.

Downloads for New Installs

Downloads to Upgrade Existing Systems – note it’s usually easier to just use the auto-update functionality, in which case you don’t need to download anything from here. Check the Firmware Updates page for details.

Official announcement: https://blog.pfsense.org/?p=1546

Baseline Mac OS X Support #1113

User landonf wrote this patchset to allow baseline Mac OS X support.

Howdy,

The patches here add support for building on Mac OS X; with these changes, all included tests (executed via `make check’) pass on both Mac OS X and FreeBSD.

I don’t anticipate an immediate merge, but I wanted to go ahead and open this to allow for comment.

This patchset primarily consists of:

  • Adding compatibility shims for BSD-specific or later POSIX functionality that Mac OS X doesn’t support (see compat/)
  • Adding pkg_macho.c with support for Mach-O binary analysis.

For pkg_macho.c, I used BSD-licensed Mach-O parsing code written for MacPorts‘ shared library/executable analysis (external/libmachista).

The primarily outstanding issues I have yet to tackle:

  • Making sure I didn’t miss any style(9) bugs.
  • Finishing shared library analysis handling (marked with MACTODO in pkg_macho.c):
    • Universal binary handling. I’m currently stuffing the architecture(s) supported by libraries into their library paths, as a file suffix. This is not the final solution, but I haven’t decided how to tackle this yet.
    • dyld specific features:
      • Required/compatibility version fields that must match between the linking image and linked library.
      • Relative library path handling via dyld‘s @loader_path, @executable_path, etc.

Cheers!

Check out the patch from GitHub here: https://github.com/freebsd/pkg/pull/1113

The Most Popular BSD Stories Of 2014

Michael Larabel of Phoronix.com has published an article rounding up the most popular BSD stories in 2014. Grab a cup of coffee and reflect on one of BSD’s biggest years:

Over the past week or so I’ve shared many top ten / year-end lists of our most popular open-source content on Phoronix. Most of the focus has been on our majority Linux focus while in this article is a look at the top ten BSD articles on Phoronix from 2014.

In 2014 saw the forking of OpenSSL to LibreSSL, the release of FreeBSD 10.0 and 10.1, KMS/DRM graphics driver improvements for BSD, the continued progress of PC-BSD in being an easy FreeBSD desktop platform, and many other advancements. Here’s the ten most viewed BSD articles on Phoronix for 2014:

The 10 Best Features Of FreeBSD 10.0
With a bit of luck FreeBSD 10.0 will be released in the next few days so here’s a look at the arguably ten best features of this next major BSD operating system release.

My 10 Minute Experience With PC-BSD 10.0
With FreeBSD 10.0 having been released and the final release of the PC-BSD 10.0 coming this week, I decided to try out the PC-BSD 10.0-RC5 ahead of the final release. While I intended to run some benchmarks of FreeBSD/PC-BSD 10.0 against its predecessor and compared to Linux distributions, this initial PC-BSD 10.0 encounter was cut short after about ten minutes.

PC-BSD Is Developing Its Own Desktop Environment
The PC-BSD project is developing its own desktop environment from scratch! The ultimate plan is for Lumina to become a full-featured, open-source desktop environment that may ultimately replace KDE as its default desktop environment.

OpenBSD Foundation At Risk Of Shutting Down
The OpenBSD Foundation is running into a situation of lack of funding to the point that they can’t even cover their electricity costs and may be forced to suspend or reduce their operations without additional help.

FreeBSD 10.0 Has Finally Been Released
It’s been delayed by many months but the official release of FreeBSD 10.0 has shipped today!

FreeBSD Receives A Million Dollar Donation
The FreeBSD has received their largest ever single donation: $1,000,000 USD.

KMS Drivers Break The Console In FreeBSD 10
While FreeBSD 10.0 is exciting for finally having an AMD Radeon DRM/KMS driver as one of the major features of the new OS, the quality isn’t yet on par with the open-source graphics support found on Linux from where the code was originally ported.

OpenBSD Drops Support For Loadable Kernel Modules
Interestingly the OpenBSD developers have decided to remove support for loadable kernel modules from the BSD distribution’s next release.

Radeon Now Work Well On PC-BSD, But USB Mouse Support Is Iffy
Since last month’s release of FreeBSD 10.0 and PC-BSD 10.0 that followed, many Phoronix readers have been asking about benchmarks of this major BSD operating system update that’s home to many new features. Here’s an update on my FreeBSD/PC-BSD 10.0 testing thus far.

OpenSSL Forked By OpenBSD Into LibreSSL
Following the fallout from the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug, OpenBSD developers have decided to fork the OpenSSL code-base to create LibreSSL.

Original post: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTg3NzQ