PC-BSD Archive

Looking at Lumina Desktop 2.0

TrueOS, formerly PC-BSD, has a desktop environment called Lumina. It's getting a big overhaul for Lumina 2.0, and this short interview gives some more details about what's coming.

With Lumina Desktop 2.0 we will finally achieve our long-term goal of turning Lumina into a complete, end-to-end management system for the graphical session and removing all the current runtime dependencies from Lumina 1.x (Fluxbox, xscreensaver, compton/xcompmgr). The functionality from those utilities is now provided by Lumina Desktop itself.

The entire graphical interface has been written in QML in order to fully-utilize hardware-based GPU acceleration with OpenGL while the backend logic and management systems are still written entirely in C++. This results in blazing fast performance on the backend systems (myriad multi-threaded C++ objects) as well as a smooth and responsive graphical interface with all the bells and whistles (drag and drop, compositing, shading, etc).

PC-BSD evolves into TrueOS

We are proud to announce that the PC-BSD project has evolved into TrueOS: a modern, cutting-edge distribution of FreeBSD focused on security, simplicity, and stability for desktops, servers, and beyond! TrueOS harnesses the best elements of PC-BSD, combines it with security technologies from OpenBSD, and layers it on top of FreeBSD to provide a complete system for modern machines.

I'm a little confused - while there is mention of TrueOS on the PC-BSD homepage (it's their server offering), there's no mention of TrueOS being the successor or something along those lines to PC-BSD at all. Weird.

Fixing PC-BSD upgrade issues

A few weeks ago the PC-BSD project released version 10.1 of its FreeBSD-based operating system. While it was expected that existing users would be able to upgrade smoothly from PC-BSD 10.0 to 10.1, some community members reported problems with the project's upgrade process. The PC-BSD team has acknowledged the problem and is working on a fix.

We are working on a new upgrade patch that will hopefully solve the upgrade problem for some of you who have still not been able to successfully upgrade to 10.1. What we are planning on doing is incorporating just freebsd-update to handle this upgrade for the kernel and let the packages be installed seperately after the kernel has been upgraded.

Going forward we have some ideas on how we can improve the updating process to give a better end user experience for PC-BSD. Just one idea we’ve been thinking about is giving ourselves a little more time before letting RELEASE updates become available to the public. During the extra time period we can ask some of our more advanced users to go ahead and install the “beta” updates and provide us with feedback if issues come up that we were not able to find during our initial testing of the update.

The project hopes to implement a simplified upgrade experience and more tests to insure smoother upgrades to future releases.

PC-BSD and TrueOS version 10.1 released

The PC-BSD project, a derivative of the FreeBSD operating system, has launched their 10.1 release. The new version supplies booting from UEFI support, full disk encrpytion, automated install-time ZFS tuning, a new package manager front-end that works on both Desktop and Server editions and a Linux emulation layer that works with CentOS 6.6. The PC-BSD project is available in several flavours, including a full Desktop edition, a CD-sized Server edition (called TrueOS) and there are a number of ready-made virtual machine images.

The PC-BSD operating system ships with several friendly front-ends for dealing with FreeBSD technologies, such as ZFS snapshots, backups, boot environments, package management and configuring the X display server.

PC-BSD introduces roles

The PC-BSD project has announced a new plan to introduce desktop and server roles into the installation process. A role is essentially a group of pre-defined packages which will be included in a new installation of the operating system.

Roles would be a installation experience for PC-BSD that would allow more flexibility and a more focused package installation based on what you need or want for your role. If you are a web developer maybe you need an IDE or packages specifically focused on that. If you are wanting the best desktop workstation experience maybe you would get an installation with LibreOffice and some other productivity apps.

Roles are not just for desktop users, server administrators will be able to select roles too, enabling web server and ownCloud confiigurations out of the box. People who have suggestions for pre-defined roles or who would like to ask questions about th new feature can join the discussion on the PC-BSD forums.

PC-BSD is developing its own desktop environment

The PC-BSD project is developing its own desktop environment from scratch! The ultimate plan is for Lumina to become a full-featured, open-source desktop environment that may ultimately replace KDE as its default desktop environment.

A Phoronix reader, Ryan Bram, wrote in to share word on this new desktop environment being developed by the PC-BSD crew, the popular desktop-focused derivative of FreeBSD. This new desktop is called Lumina and is being developed as a home-grown desktop environment catered toward this BSD operating system.

While it's obviously cool, I wonder if it's a wise idea to undertake such a huge endeavour. I honestly doubt PC-BSD has the developers, testers, and users required for creating, maintaining, and improving an entire desktop environment.

PC-BSD 9.1 released

PC-BSD 9.1 has been released. "The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce that version 9.1 is now available! This release includes many exciting new features and enhancements, such as a vastly improved system installer, ZFS 'Boot Environment' support, TrueOS (a FreeBSD based server with additional power-user utilities), and much more!" PC-BSD 9.1 is based on the soon-to-be released FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE with several enhancements, including an updated installer, better ZFS support during installation, bug fixes and new GUI configuration/administrative utilities.

PC-BSD 9.0 Follows FreeBSD Release Cycle, Releases Beta

Some highlights: PC-BSD 9 supports multiple DEs (GNOME2/XFCE4/LXDE) instead of being KDE4 only desktop, new revised PBI system that allows sharing of files and libraries between applications for reduced disk space, new AppCafe to allow easy browsing, installing and managing applications in PC-BSD system. Also the PC-BSD Control Panel has and one-stop access to a variety of system-configuration options.

PC-BSD 8.0-BETA Released

The PC-BSD team has released the first beta release of PC-BSD 8.0. "The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 8.0-BETA (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE, and KDE 4.3.4. Version 8.0 contains a number of enhancements and improvements."

PC-BSD 7.1 ‘Galileo’ Released

PC-BSD, the desktop-oriented FreeBSD variant, has released version 7.1, dubbed Galileo. In case you don't know, PC-BSD is a FreeBSD distribution with lots of customisations focussed on the desktop user. Its most defining features is the Push Button Installer, a self-contained package format with handy installers/uninstallers. PC-BSD 7.1 comes loaded with changes and updates.

Review: PC-BSD 7

Recently the PC-BSD team released their latest stable version (PC-BSD 7) code-named Fibonacci Edition. Some of major changes from the previous version include a newer kernel, an experimental ZFS module, and a KDE 4 for desktop environment. Being a Linux junkie, I thought of this as a perfect opportunity to venture into the BSD arena.

PC-BSD 7 Released

This release marks a milestone for PC-BSD, by moving to the latest FreeBSD 7-Stable and also incorporating the KDE 4.1.1 desktop. Users will immediately notice the improved visual interface that KDE 4.1.1 offers, as well as a large improvement in hardware support and speed from the update to FreeBSD 7-Stable. PC-BSD 7 also offers a large and growing library of self-contained PBI files available for installation, and improvments for other locales on our PBI Directory website. This release also offers new methods of installation, including a DVD, USB and Internet/network install. Note: Here is an interview with the lead developer of PC-BSD.

PC-BSD 1.5 Released

PC-BSD 1.5 has been released. "System Updater tool: keeps system & PBIs up to date; sound detection program! Uses XML backend to identify and load modules; amd64 build of 1.5, including PBIs that are on our auto-build server; PBI icon preview library, now a PBI file shows the embedded icon on your desktop, not the generic 'PBI' format icon; Xorg 7.3; KDE 3.5.8; FreeBSD 6.3 Release."

Fry’s Electronics To Carry PC-BSD 1.4

"iXsystems announced today a distribution agreement with Fry's Electronics whereby all Fry's stores nationwide will carry PC-BSD Version 1.4, Da Vinci Edition. The agreement marks the first time that the PC-BSD operating system is made available for purchase at Fry's Electronics. PC-BSD is a fully functional desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 6.2-STABLE. FreeBSD is one of the most used UNIX-like operating systems in the world. It is widely renowned as the most stable and secure server operating system."

Thirty Days of PC-BSD

Jan Stedehouder has used PC-BSD for thirty days to see what living with it is like. On day thirty, he concludes: "Does PC-BSD have the potential to be a serious contender for the open source desktop? I answered that question with a yes, because the potential is there. The solid FreeBSD roots, the very strong and very accessible information, the friendly and mature community and the PBI system provide the foundations for that potential. I don't think it is ready now and I couldn't recommend it yet to someone in the early stages of moving away from Windows to an open source desktop. But I do think that the PC-BSD team has the right target audience in mind and is building an system and a support system that addresses it's needs."