Making computing easier: PC-BSD 9.1

pc-bsd logo 100x100Distrowatch has favourable review of recently released PC-BSD 9.1:

…”Nothing is perfect and PC-BSD does have an Achilles’ heel, specifically hardware compatibility. As much as I enjoyed the polish and the features and the wonderful ease of use, I suspect hardware support will be the make or break issue for most people. On my desktop machine I could get PC-BSD working, but only with reduced resolution and video performance. On my laptop things basically worked well, but it took a little tinkering to get my wireless card up and running. When running the operating system in a virtual machine I installed the VirtualBox guest additions, but couldn’t get PC-BSD to display its desktop at full resolution. Luckily hardware support with PC-BSD is not a trial and error process, the hardware compatibility tool takes the surprises out of testing the distribution, even when running from the plain installation media.

I definitely recommend trying PC-BSD. This new release has really taken a step forward in usability and features compared to where the project was even a year ago. I would say 9.1 brings to the table a level of ease of use and trouble-free administration only found in a few of the top ranking Linux distributions. It is well worth the time to test drive this latest release.”

You can read the review in its entirety here: Making computing easier: PC-BSD 9.1.

If you’re not going to install PC-BSD 9.1 but are curious what it looks like, have a look at the screenshots on Chris Haney’s website.

Arch GNU/Linux Ported to run on the FreeBSD kernel

The Arch Linux distribution has been modified to run off the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel as an alternative to using Linux. The developer of ArchBSD explained his reasoning as enjoying FreeBSD while also liking the Arch Linux philosophy of a ‘fast, lightweight, optimized distro’.

After Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and Gentoo/FreeBSD we have a third Linux-FreeBSD hybrid.

Read the full article on Phoronix: Arch BSD: Arch Linux Atop The FreeBSD Kernel or follow some of the discussions here.


FreeNAS: Flexible, fast storage, and the price is right

NetworkWorld has published a very positive review of FreeNAS:

“It takes something different to stand out in the crowded network-attached storage market. How does free, as in free beer and free speech, sound? Overall, FreeNAS offers a very positive story, with flexibility, ease of management, good performance – and a price that can’t be beat.”

FreeNAS: Flexible, fast storage, and the price is right


FreeNAS 8.3.1-BETA2 available

Josh Paetzel from iXsystems has announced the availability of the FreeNAS 8.3.1-BETA2 images over the weekend.

At this point things are looking to be in good shape, I’m calling this a BETA because I’m very conservative, and because encryption can go wrong in such grand fashion.  I’d rather this image wasn’t used for critical or production use. Make sure to have backups!

Happy 2013 and miscelaneous news

Happy 2013 to all regular readers and the occasional visitor. It’s been a while since this site was updated, but this was due to work and holidays.

Hopefully we’ll see FreeBSD 10 released this year and the use of FreeBSD increased.

Followers of the FreeBSD Central Google+ page will have had regular updates over the last few weeks. Please subscribe to that page and stay even more up-to-date with all that’s happening the FreeBSD Community.

In case you missed it, there have been some releases and the FreeBSD Foundation successfully completed its fund raising drive.

  • FreeBSD releases 9.1 and blows through fundraising target [The H]
  • FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE Announcement [FreeBSD]
  • The PC-BSD Team announces the availablilty of PC-BSD 9.1 [PC-BSD Blog]
  • EuroBSDCon 2012 presentations available online [Youtube]
  •  FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE now available on all VPS and Dedicated Server packages [RootBSD]

Configure Highly Available STorage (HAST) on FreeNAS

FreeNAS (+FreeNAS) is excellent but it lacks the HAST (Highly Available STorage) feature, However, TrueNAS has this feature integrated. FreeNAS is a FreeBSD-based (nanobsd) open source Network Attached Storage Platform developed by iXsystems, that supports file sharing across Windows, Apple, and UNIX-like systems.

Since FreeBSD has already integrated the HAST in base system, this feature can be added to FreeNAS manually.

Follow these steps to setup a HAST in FreeNAS: Configure Highly Available STorage on FreeNAS.

GhostBSD 3.0 RC3 available for testing

Eric Turgeon has announced the availability of the third release candidate for GhostBSD 3.0. GhostBSD is a FreeBSD derivative that aims to make FreeBSD easier and bring GNOME to BSD users, although LXDE and OpenBox are also available. The third and last release candidate for upcoming 3.0 was recently released for final testing.

The third release candidate of GhostBSD 3.0 is now supporting Gnome 2, LXDE and Openbox Desktop and it is now available for testing. This is the last development release. While this is a release candidate, it might contain some bugs and other problems, which have not been discovered during beta tests so we still only encourage you to run it only on non-critical systems. Openbox is now part of GhostBSD development.


PC-BSD 9.1 RC3 available for testing

According to a PC-BSD blog post, RC3 images for the upcoming PC-BSD 9.1 are now available for i386 and amd64 architectures.

Notable changes since the previous release candidate:

  • PC-BSD handbook has been updated for 9.1
  • Fixed bug where some keyboard layouts were not being displayed
  • Multiple functionality and stability improvements for EasyPBI
  • Multiple functionality and stability improvements for TrueOS
  • New functionality improvements including better detection added to the mount-tray
  • Fixed bug where default mount points were not being set correctly using ZFS mirror/raidz mode
  • Fixed bug where update manager was not displaying the proper error text when failing
  • Added new ability to create ZFS datasets for jail environments
  • Added UK wireless channel 12 support
  • Fixed bug where Linux jails were not importing properly
  • Mirrors are now auto detected and set based upon location
  • Automatic ZFS 4K blocksize enabled by default
  • System manager should now show the correct dialog for “default”
    auto-detected mirrors.

If you come across any issues or bugs, please let the team know via the testing mailinglist.