Installing a Unix-like Desktop Operating System ‘PC-BSD 10.1.1′

This tutorial by user Babin Lonston shows us how to install the latest PC-BSD 10.1.1.

Original post: http://www.tecmint.com/pc-bsd-10-1-1-installation-guide/

pcbsd-logoPC-BSD is a open source Unix-like desktop operating system created upon the most recent release version of FreeBSD. PC-BSD purpose is to make the experience of FreeBSD easy and obtainable for the regular computer user by providing KDE, XFCE, LXDE and Mate as the graphical user interface. By default PC-BSD comes with KDE Plasma as its default desktop environment, but you can have the option to select your choice of desktop environment during installation.

PS-BSD comes with per-built support for Wine (running Windows software’s), nVidia and Inter drivers for hardware acceleration and also an optional 3D desktop interface via Kwin (KDE X Window Manager) and also it has it own package management model that enables users to install software packages offline or online from PC-BSD repository, which is different and unique for BSD operating systems.

Recently, PC-BSD project has announced the availability of PC-BSD 10.1.1. This new release comes with number of new improved features, better GPT support and number of desktop utilities have been ported to Qt 5.

This article describes the basic instructions on installing PC-BSD 10.1.1 using the graphical installer using DVD / USB method.

Installation of PC-BSD 10.1.1

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5 Fun Things to Do with FreeNAS

FreeNAS_Icon_263x254pxFreeNAS user Annie Zhang wrote about 5 fun things you can do with your FreeNAS device. From serving media to hosting your own personal cloud, the FreeBSD based storage software has a variety of uses.

Original post: http://www.freenas.org/whats-new/2015/03/5-fun-things-to-do-with-freenas.html/trackback

If I asked the average user how they use FreeNAS, they’d probably answer “back up and store files”. While that’s both practical and important, it’s also a bit boring. The software is designed for small and home offices but if you’ve got a system at home, you’re probably wondering what kind of fun you can have with it.

To that end, we’ve rounded up five of the more interesting ways you can use FreeNAS. Some of the tutorials I’ll link to make the assumption you’ve already built and set up your system. If you need some help with that, check out our official FreeNAS guide to hardware design and the FreeNAS YouTube channel.

Many of these projects make extensive use of the plugins system. An overview of plugins and a full list of the ones available can be found in the FreeNAS documentation. The guides range from a simple plugin installation to some command line hacking so make sure you’re comfortable with the difficulty level before attempting any tutorial.

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GhostBSD 10.1 Alpha 1 now available

The developers of GhostBSD have released the first Alpha for 10.1, based on FreeBSD.

GhostBSD 10.1 Alpha 1 now available

http://ghostbsd.org/sites/default/files/ghostbsd_2.png

I am pleased to announce the availability the fist ALPHA build of the 10.1-RELEASE Release cycle which is available on SourceForge for the amd64 and i386 architectures.

Changes and fix between 4.0-RELEASE and 10.1-ALPHA1 include:

  • GDM as been replaced by PCDM
  • Wifimgr is now fully replaced by Networkmgr
  • A beta version of Update Station is now in GhostBSD whish update FreeBSD base system and software
  • The installer partition editor got a lot of improment
  • The installer use the latest pc-sysinstall from PCBSD GitHup
  • GhostBSD is now following the same release number then FreeBSD and PCBSD

Where to download:

The image checksums, ISO images and USB images are available here:

http://www.ghostbsd.org/download-10.1

Original post: http://ghostbsd.org/10.1-alpha1

A look at the upcoming features for 10.1.2

pcbsd-logoSeveral upcoming features have been announced for PC-BSD 10.1.2. They are Personacrypt, Tor , stealth mode, LibreSSL, and encrypted backups. Read ahead for a detailed explanation for each.

Original post: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2015/03/a-look-at-the-upcoming-features-for-10-1-2/

If you’ve been an EDGE user in the past few weeks, or following our Roadmap items for the upcoming 10.1.2 release, you may have noticed a number of new security and privacy related items. I wanted to take a moment to clarify what some of these new features are and what they will do.

– PersonaCrypt –

The first of the new features is a new CLI utility called personacrypt. This command will allow the creation and usage of a GELI backed encrypted external media for your users $HOME directory. We are using it internally to keep our user profiles on USB 3.0 — 256GB hybrid SSD / flash memory stick (Coarsair flash Voyager GTX specifically). This is tied into the PCDM login manager, and user manager, so when you create a new user account, you can opt to keep all your personal data on any external device. The device is formatted with GPT / GELI / ZFS, and is decrypted at login via the GUI, after entering your encryption key, along with the normal user password.

Additionally, the personacrypt command uses GELI’s ability to split the key into two parts. One being your passphrase, and the other being a key stored on disk. Without both of these parts, the media cannot be decrypted. This means if somebody steals the key and manages to get your password, it is still worthless without the system it was “paired” with. PersonaCrypt will also allow exporting / importing this key data, so you can “pair” the key with other systems.

– Tor Mode –

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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