[PC-BSD Testing] PC-BSD Status Update

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.org
Thu Jun 20 07:24:32 PDT 2013

I wanted to take this time to give you a status update on PC-BSD /
TrueOS, and the direction going forward. As many of you know, we've been
doing builds of 9.1-RELEASE and 9-STABLE as a "Rolling-Release". Our new
plan is to issue system and package updates on the following schedule:

- Update PKGNG repo on or about the 1st and 15th of the month.

- Update the PKGNG repo on or about the 5th and 20th of the month
- Issue a new "freebsd-update" patch on the 1st, which includes the
latest -STABLE version

In addition to the rolling release, we also have some other cool new
projects in the works. The first among these is our work to make ZFS the
cornerstone of the PC-BSD/TrueOS experience. This will bring features
such as ZFS "Boot-Environments", including the ability to boot directly
from them at the boot-loader. If you've not run boot-environments
before, you will wonder how you survived without them. To accomplish
this, we are going to be moving to the GRUB boot-loader, which now has
ZFS support. The pbi-manager and Warden already have extensive ZFS
support, and we will be enhancing our other utilities, such as
"Life-Preserver" with ZFS features as well.

In addition to re-focusing on solely on ZFS as our default file-system,
we have had to take a look at the feasibility of continuing with the
i386 builds. As many of you know, ZFS is a 21st century operating system
and doesn't play nicely with the legacy i386 kernel / versions of
FreeBSD. In addition over the past couple years, more and more of
time-consuming issues we've encountered have been only on i386, partly
due to the fact that most FreeBSD devs have already moved on to 64bit
and also due to the quickly shrinking number of users / systems that
still run i386. In order to make PC-BSD / TrueOS, secure, stable and
timely, we've decided to drop the i386 builds going forward, and instead
focus on a single 64bit architecture. This means the next editions of
rolling-release and 9.2 onward will be 64bit only. If you are already on
64bit, then you won't need to worry about anything. However if you are
running i386 on your box you will need to consider moving it to the
64bit versions in the near future. If your hardware is less than 10
years old then most likely you will be able to do this without any

For those helping us test the rolling-release now, I hope to have a new
ISO + package set available in the next week or so, which includes the
new GRUB boot-loader for Boot-Environments. I will post back details on
how to manually setup / test this feature in the near future. Once these
new features have stabilized a bit further, we will begin to issue
general updates for users of the old 9.1-RELEASE from January to upgrade
to 9.1 Rolling Release.

Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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