[PC-BSD Testing] Status Update and Future Plans

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.org
Wed Feb 20 07:06:05 PST 2013

On 02/16/2013 12:54, Ira Taylor wrote:
> On Monday, February 04, 2013 03:01:20 PM Kris Moore wrote:
>> Developers & Testers,
>> If you've been following the trac commit list with any regularity,
>> you've seen a lot of commits go by in the past months, all having to do
>> with pkgng, and a lot of internal churn to how we do our updates and
>> such. I've written an article for the upcoming BSD Magazine detailing
>> some of the reasons for this, and the "new direction" we are taking with
>> regard to PC-BSD releases, but I also want to post here to give
>> everybody a heads up.
>> 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.
>> So what benefits will this change bring? Well, for starters, we will now
>> be able to quickly get new features and bugfixes in our core utilities
>> out to PC-BSD & TrueOS users. Instead of having to wait for the next
>> point release, or some specific targeted bugfix, we can get you running
>> new features in a timely manner. In addition to the PC-BSD utilities, we
>> will also be able to keep your system packages (I.E. any FreeBSD binary
>> package) updated and in sync with the ports tree. This means when the
>> next KDE release hits, or NVIDIA driver, apache, etc, we can now make 
> it
>> available to you within a matter of a few days.
>> To facilitate all this new rolling-release-goodness, I've been neck-deep
>> in converting our build framework into heavily using pkgng. Even all of
>> our PC-BSD utilities and system-modifications will now be distributed as
>> a pkgng package. What this means is not only do you get access to 
> quick
>> updates, but it'll be possible for the first time to take a vanilla
>> FreeBSD system, switch to our pkgng repo, and turn your system into a
>> PC-BSD or TrueOS box. And this will not be some partial repository, the
>> plan is to offer a *complete* binary package repository, so if you now
>> want to install package X,Y, or Z you can do so without ever having to
>> touch the ports tree or compile by hand. PBI's will not be affected, so
>> you can run either depending upon personal preference. Plus this keeps
>> us independent from whats happening upstream with FreeBSD 
> packages.
>> As for the base system, I am also looking to set us up running our own
>> "freebsd-update" server. This will allow us to create and run two
>> additional "branches" of PC-BSD, based upon FreeBSD -STABLE and
>> -CURRENT. This is a bit farther out, but I'm already moving bits and
>> pieces around to make this happen. This means when you go to the PC-
>> website, you will now be able to download from three sets of images,
>> -RELEASE, -STABLE, -CURRENT, and these ISO's will be frequently 
> updated
>> with new installer fa features and packages.
>> So what if you want to run the same set of packages for a long period of
>> time? Well, the good news is that we aren't going to force this on you.
>> So if you want to grab an ISO, and run a particular desktop environment
>> version forever, then you can do so. The PBI system will still operate
>> independently, so you can keep running those releases without touching
>> your base system packages.
>> With all this said, what's the timeframe? I'm hoping to get the first
>> testing ISO out in the next several weeks, so we can begin beating up
>> the new updating system. I'll also make available an online update for
>> existing 9.1 users to switch to pkgng and jump on the new repository.
>> Thanks for reading, and looking forward to an exciting 2013 for PC-BSD!
> I installed the new 9.1 RELEASE and it installed really fast.  I updated all 
> packages.  The only problem I have found so far is that appcafe crashes 
> with a Segmentation Fault.
> Ira Taylor
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Thanks for the heads up guys, I'll be pushing a pkg update out to the
mirrors later today with a fix :)

Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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