[PC-BSD Testing] PCBSD9 first impressions

Jeff dejamuse at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 8 02:13:31 PST 2012

I finally got around to upgrading 8.1 to 9 and here are my observations:

System is Asus P6T, 6GB RAM, Radeon HD 4850 -- installed amd64 version of PCBSD with KDE only.

 would highly recommend figuring out some way of making an interactive 
script to assist in re-installing apps using saved config files from the
 previous OS version.  It's just too much work otherwise.  I've got 
dozens of apps installed and it's a manual update for most of them 
because it's never clear just exactly what config files need to be 
copied over, especially if the new PBI isn't the same version.  I saved 
my home directory so I could retrieve all the config stuff but it's just
 not that
 easy.  The biggest issue is with Firefox as I have dozens of extensions
 installed.  I can't test restoring FF yet because the PBI failed - 
refuses to start, says it's already running. Rinse, reboot, repeat - no 
deal - doesn't show up in the
 system monitor.

I like how the PBI installer operates automatically, but there's no 
option to not install desktop icons, and there's no indication of 
download speed which I use to judge whether a particular mirror is good 
or not.  Also does not tell you where in the KDE menu it gets put.  Why 
did these apps end up in "Lost and Found" and what is that menu section 
for anyway?

	* Easy PBI
	* Fish Shell
	* Grtshell
	* K3B
	* Launchy
	* Lucky Backup
	* MySQL Workbench
	* PGCalc
	* Ted
	* VLC
	* Warden
	* Xarchiver
	* Gruler
	* Gu Character MapI noticed K3B is also shown in the System and Multimedia menus using a different icon.

System could not auto detect my monitor size (generic digital Samsung 1600X900).

 presented with several video card drivers for my Radeon card - how to 
choose?  Took the default (3D) and it seems to work but without doing a 
lot of research I have no idea if it's optimum, especially if I care 
about speed and not 3D rendering abilities.  I did notice one 
interesting change - before, I had all sorts of anomalies with misformed
 text characters, screen rewriting errors when scrolling, and other 
weird video crap that all went away with the upgrade.  I had been 
blaming the video card because it seemed like it came out of the blue 
and was getting worse with time, behavior not characteristic of software

Many apps in the app cafe are tagged for the Gnome desktop but it's not clear if they will also work on KDE.
Tried Gruler.  Freezes in vertical mode. Not in the KDE menu that I could 
find - would be nice if there was a native search facility to find apps 
in the menu. Tried Launchy - works well enough.

It's getting difficult to find apps because there are too many categories, 
e.g. Biology - should be consolidated under Science, or build a 
hierarchical browser.  Some apps are in strange places like code editors not under Development, but under Editors.  The whole thing needs to be 
restructured, IMHO.

Some apps I use a lot are missing: Yakuake, Webmin, KOffice, 

KBackup is STILL on a very old version.  I prodded the maintainer to update the port but it never happened.

One App, Duplicity, is marked as "Development/unstable version". Should not be an available PBI. Not sure why sketchy apps like that make it yet 
PhpMySQL Admin hasn't (I requested it eons ago).

I tried Fish in lieu of Yakuake but it wouldn't respond to the keyboard.  The website referrence in the App Cafe for the Fish shell is incorrect - should be www.fishshell.com not .org

I tried Marble Globe but it
 wouldn't display - blank window, possibly a video card/driver issue.

 noticed with Opera that it recognized the OS and prompted to upgrade to
 11.61 which has a built-in auto update feature obviating the need to 
manually update in the future - how does that play with the PBI?

 Chromium browser is unstable - many sites never load completely and 
then that tab hangs - got popup box saying page is unresponsive - have to kill the tab and open another. Same page 
loads fine in Opera. I had problems with Chromium stability on 8.1 too - crashed a lot in Gmail.

Tried importing a Warden jail. Got a pop up 
box with the warning that the jail was created on 8.1 and "may" not 
work.  Would be nice to have a link to a handbook page discussing this 
further, like what exactly might not work and why you might want to 
rebuild the jail.  Anticipating this I saved the jails as .wdn files and
 tarred the jail as well so I could easily extract files should the .wdn
 import fail.  Should also provide a file progress bar as well during 
import of .wdn.  I
 was successful in importing my jails.

All in all though, a very impressive upgrade and for some unknown reason, 
many times faster than 8.1 - any ideas why?  Loading apps used to take 
forever but now is lickety split. The search function in Dolphin now 
works too. Awesome.

Just an aside, I used to use Filezilla for maintaining a remote server but 
now just use Dolphin configured to use SSH with public/private keys - 
much better experience.  I wonder how many people are aware of this 
capability.  Would make a nice how-to in the manual somewhere.  Same 
with PuTTY - just use Yaquake or whatever terminal program and SSH in 
with private/public keys.  Much better.

I had to send this email from my Kubuntu laptop because I have no stable browser yet. Yahoo mail hangs in Chromium every time.  When Chromium hangs it's usually because it's waiting for some 3rd party web service that never happens. This occurrs on 50% of the sites I regularly visited in the past without such problems, using Firefox. Also Chromium is still freezing with Gmail randomly.

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