FreeBSD and PC-BSD are known to be quite particular with regards to hardware support, but now you can check or buy via the PC-BSD store hardware that is known to be working on PC-BSD, and therefore also on FreeBSD. Obviously you can always check the FreeBSD Hardware Notes that come out with each release, e.g. FreeBSD 10 Current, 9.0, 9.1 or 8.3.
Previous interviews with Kris Moore can be found here:
IT World has identified 7 open source projects that are friendly to the first-time contributor to get their teeth in.
Apart from LibreOffice, PostgreSQL and Ubuntu, IT World also shortlists PC-BSD:
“If Ubuntu sounds interesting, but you want something a little off the beaten path, Dru Lavigne, Director of Community Development at iXsystems, recommends PC-BSD. Based on FreeBSD (which is based on BSD UNIX), PC-BSD is a relatively young desktop operating system funded by iXsystems.
Lavigne says that the PC-BSD Users Handbook makes it easy to get up to speed.
“A whole chapter of the User Handbook is dedicated to the various ways one can get started contributing to the project,”
she says. If documentation is your thing, simply create a wiki account, and get started.
“Editors review and discuss changes to help the writer clearly explain the concepts they are writing about,”
If you’re not ready to dive right in to PC-BSD yet, the forums and IRC channel can help you get familiar with the project community.
“The project and its regular contributors work hard to keep the atmosphere friendly, nip inappropriate behaviour in the bud, and provide an area where users are comfortable helping each other,”
It’s great to see PC-BSD shortlisted. Read the whole article here:
“This package repository is frequently updated, usually bi-weekly, with the latest and greatest from the FreeBSD ports tree. We will be using this repository for the PC-BSD rolling release edition, but it can also be used anywhere else you need packages on a PC-BSD or FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE system. This can include FreeBSD, TrueOS, PC-BSD, Jails and more. Getting setup to use this new repository is easy, and only requires minimal configuration.
For detailed instructions, take a look at the step-by-step directions on the PC-BSD wiki.” (pcbsd blog)
Kris, lead developer of the PC-BSD project, mentioned a couple of weeks ago (http://goo.gl/Atzu5) that he was planning a rolling release for PC-BSD. Generally this was well received within the PC-BSD community.
Kris has now uploaded a first ISO to test the rolling release with feedback from those interested to try this. In his announcement he mentions that PC-BSD is now kept up-to-date with PKGNG and that it is now also possible to convert a FreeBSD server to PC-BSD or TrueOS:
“As a few of you have already noticed, we have some new ISOs now up on the mirrors:
These are the first images built of PC-BSD Rolling Release, based upon FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE, which use PKGNG as the backend for keeping your desktop and base-system packages up to date. You are welcome to download and give them a spin if you want to help us beta-test them.
They include updated packages from about 2 weeks ago, which includes KDE 4.9.5 among others. Our build server is still finishing up building the entire package repository and I hope to have all ~20k pkgng packages online in another week or so, with weekly updates after that. The weekly updates will include all the latest PC-BSD / TrueOS utilities, so you can expect to see much more frequent bug fixes & enhancements.
For users running on the original PC-BSD / TrueOS 9.1 release, I also have an online system update in the works. This update will convert your existing install to PKGNG and allow you to start tracking the rolling release, the same as if you installed a fresh copy from our new ISOs. Once I’ve finished a bit more testing & bugfixing with it, I will post back with details on how to try it out. I’m hopeful it will be sometime next week.
Lastly, I also wanted to let you know that with this change, it will be possible convert an existing “FreeBSD” 9.1-Release into a PC-BSD or TrueOS system. I’ve started writing instructions on the PC-BSD wiki page with details:
Last but not least, we have some new hardware coming in soon which I will quickly get working on building a PC-BSD -STABLE release, and then -CURRENT. More details as they arrive :)
Happy testing, and please post your feedback to the list so we can get to work quashing bugs.”
Great job, Kris. Will need to give this a whirl.
First of all, I want to let you know, that I’ve personally not been satisfied with the frequency of PC-BSD releases and updates. With us tracking the upstream FreeBSD releases, it has really tied our hands getting new releases out to the public. The past couple of releases had a delay of almost a year between them, which is WAY too long in my opinion. To further compound the problem, our build system wasn’t designed to do frequent updates of packages and our utilities, which made getting updates out to the community a long and tedious process. This is all going to change. What we are looking at going to now is more of a “Rolling-Release” model, first for our utilities & system packages, and eventually for the FreeBSD base itself.
Read the whole post: Status update and future plans
Distrowatch 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.
Ken Moore has announced the availability of EasyPBI2.
This is a complete re-write of the original program code. It has a more streamlined process for working with PBI modules, as well as a brand new interface and many new features/abilities.