[PC-BSD Testing] 9 Current Snapshot Available

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.org
Thu Nov 4 09:23:02 PDT 2010

I'm pleased to make available our first 9-Current alpha snapshot for you
to begin playing with. This testing snapshot contains MANY new features 
and improvements that we plan on including in the eventual release
of 9.0. However, by no means is this snapshot "feature complete" or
to be considered stable. Expect to find bugs and things to change 
over the coming months as we refine features. Consider yourself warned!

With that being said, here's a short list of some of the major changes
from the 8.x series:

 * Ability to select system "meta-pkgs" at install / post-install time

This is a huge departure from previous PC-BSD releases. Now you will be
able to customize your installed desktop easily, with various window managers
such as KDE4, Gnome2, XFCE4, and LXDE. After installation, you can
easily add / remove components of these meta-pkgs via the System Manager.

 * New PC-BSD Control Panel

Due to the new multiple desktop environment support, we have
consolidated PC-BSD specific tools and utlities into a central location which
can provide a consistent experience across window managers. When you first
boot up, you will notice a new "Control Panel" icon on your desktop, which
is your gateway to utilities such as Software Management, Network Config,
Firewall settings and more. 

 * PBI format has been completely overhauled and reimplemented as CLI

Our servers are busy cranking out new 9 PBIs for testing, so you will not
be able to download them via the Software Manager at the moment. However,
you can download 9.0 PBIs which have successfully built directly from the build
servers at the URLs listed below:

64 bit: http://pbibuild64.pcbsd.org/index.php?ver=9
32 bit: http://pbibuild.pcbsd.org/index.php?ver=9
Installing a 9.x PBI is easy: simply double-click the .pbi file from your
particular file-manager, or if that fails, use the "runpbi <pbifile>" command
as your regular user account. If you wish to delve deeper, take a look at the /usr/local/sbin/pbi_* scripts. All the new pbi_* commands have associated man-pages, which should get you started exploring the new features. 

Some of the new PBI9 features are digital signing, the ability to share identical 
libraries between applications, binary patch files, and more.

 * Code tree cleanup 

Along with the new features mentioned, our code tree has been cleaned up,
making it much easier to rebuild for testing and development. If you've
installed the base-devel and kde-sdk meta-pkgs, you'll have all the tools
necessary to checkout the source, and do a rebuild of our PC-BSD specific tools
using the instructions below:

# svn co svn://svn.pcbsd.org/pcbsd/current pcbsd-current
# cd pcbsd-current

Rebuilding the QT4 based gui tools can be done with this command:
# cd src-qt4 ; qmake-qt4 *.pro ; make install

Rebuilding the shell-based toolchain can be done with this command:
# cd src-sh ; make install

Known Issues

There are a couple of known issues with this snapshot. First, the networking
utilities may not save your configuration to /etc/rc.conf properly. Checking
out the source as described above and rebuilding the src-qt4 tools should
fix this issue. 

Also, the nvidia drivers included in this snapshot are currently from the 8.x series
and will probably not function. We will be updating them in a future
snapshot; in the meantime, please use the "nv" or "vesa' drivers. 

Reporting and Fixing Bugs

This snapshot is based upon FreeBSD 9-Current, and testers who find
bugs in the base-system can help the FreeBSD team by reporting
the issues using FreeBSD's Gnats PR system:


Issues found with the meta-pkg configuration, or from tools within the
new PC-BSD control panel, may be reported via the testing mailing list
or the PC-BSD forums at the URLs below:


Of course, detailed error reports are appreciated, and any patches to correct
the target bug. 

Download the Snapshots

The snapshots are currently available for download from our FTP site:


Kris Moore
PC-BSD / iXsystems

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