[PC-BSD Testing] PC-BSD current CD

Jesse Smith jessefrgsmith at yahoo.ca
Mon Mar 14 08:33:01 PDT 2011

On 03/12/11 10:05, Jesse Smith wrote:
> Hello fellow PC-BSDers,
> This weekend I took the PC-BSD -current CD for a spin. I'd like to share
> a few impressions of my experience thus far....
> First up, as I said, I'm using the CD rather than the DVD and I suspect
> some of the points I'm about to bring up are because I wasn't using the
> DVD image. For example, the CD doesn't appear to feature a live
> environment, just the installer. I'm assuming that's by design. Likewise
> I noticed during the install process the installer skips from the Users
> screen straight ahead to the Summary screen (skipping Desktop and
> Applications). I'm guessing those screens are only used on the DVD?
> Regarding the installer, I think it's top notch. Very intuitive and easy
> to get through. I like how the options are laid out, especially things
> like file system selection, partitioning and user accounts.

This is correct, the CD is an install-only media, with LXDE as the 
default desktop. I can't fit the other desktops on there, but it is 
possible to install them via the net after installation.

> One thing I think would be helpful for new users is something on the
> disk partitioning screen telling them the minimum space requirements
> for / and /usr. Maybe this could be put in the Help text. Speaking of
> which, I notice the help text right now just says, "Simple help text for
> screen #" on each of the installer screens. I'll assume that will be
> changed pre-release.

I agree, we will have to put that in the help text for sure. Right now 
there is a help button on each page, but we've not finished writing any 
text for them yet.

> The install finished without any problems or errors.
> Post-install I rebooted, let the system take the menu defaults and, just
> after the loader screen I got a message saying (I think) "WITNESS option
> enabled, expect reduced performance" and then the system hung for about
> a minute before continuing the boot process. I'm guessing Witness is
> some sort of debug tool?

Yea, witness is a FreeBSD debug tool, it'll be disabled for release of 

> The system  locked up before it got to the login screen. The last line
> of text I saw during the boot process was
> "--- syscall (6, FreeBSD ELF32, close), eip = 0x283b8d43,
> esp=0xbfbfe98x, ebp-0xbfbf39a8 ---"
> This happens right after a text login prompt appears, but before
> switching over to graphical mode.

> Humm, so you weren't able to get to the display wizard screen? What 
> graphics card is this again? What happens if you enable the option to 
> run in VESA mode at bootup?

I'm running the PC-BSD beta in a VirtualBox environment. The underlying
system has an Intel on board video card. I've been running PC-BSD 8.0
and 8.1 in this manner without any problems.

You're right, I do not get as far as the display wizard screen. I tried
your suggestion of enabling VESA at the boot menu and had the same
result. Also this time around I discovered the system isn't actually
frozen. I can use the ALT+function keys to switch TTYs and login via
those consoles, it's just the graphical login screen that doesn't come

- Jesse

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