Difference between revisions of "AppCafe®/9.2"

From PC-BSD Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Importing and Exporting PBI Lists)
Line 61: Line 61:
AppCafe® will also suggest other applications which may meet the user's needs.
AppCafe® will also suggest similar applications which may meet the user's needs.

Revision as of 07:40, 20 September 2013

(Sorry for the inconvenience)

PC-BSD® provides a unique file format known as a PBI (push button installer). PBI files end with the .pbi extension and are self-contained installation programs. When a PBI is installed using AppCafe®, even novice users are protected from the risk of inadvertently overwriting or deleting files needed by the operating system or other applications.
Figure 7.1a: Browsing for Software Using AppCafe®

A PBI file includes all the runtime and library dependencies required by the application. This means that the initial download of a PBI is a large file; but this does not necessarily mean that same amount of space will be used. During installation, the PBI system compares the currently installed libraries and files with the ones contained within the PBI file and only installs the ones that are not already installed on the system. A hash database is used to eliminate dependency problems while allowing the computer to share libraries between different programs. Subsequent downloads to upgrade a PBI are significantly smaller as only what has changed in the new version will be downloaded.

AppCafe® provides an intuitive, graphical method for installing and managing PBI software. AppCafe® does not require the root password to install software. This means that you do not have to give out the root password on multi-user systems. However, server applications, such as web servers or databases, will prompt for the user's password and will fail if that user is not a member of the wheel group. This allows you to control which users are able to install server software.

After a regular user installs an application, they have the option to install menu icons for all users, meaning that an application only needs to be installed once on a multi-user system.

If you prefer to install PBIs from the command line, see the section on using pbi_add.


Installing and Managing Software

To install a PBI, start AppCafe® by double-clicking its icon on the Desktop, going to Control PanelAppCafe®, or by typing appcafe from a command prompt. The "Browse for Apps" tab in AppCafe® can be used to browse for available software, as seen in Figure 7.1a. In the example shown in Figure 7.1a, 1153 PBIs are currently available. The most recently added PBIs and their versions are listed in the “View Recent Additions” pane.

If you know the name of the application you would like to install, type its name into the "Search Here" bar. Alternately, you can click on a software category (for example, "Archivers") to browse for available software. Use the home icon to return to the main screen. In the example shown in Figure 7.1b, the user searched for the "gimp" application. The search has found that PBI as well as two others that may match the search term.

Figure 7.1b: Browsing the Information Available for a PBI

In Figure 7.1c, the user has clicked on the "gimp" PBI and can now view the following information:

  • Name and icon of the application.
  • A hyperlink to the application's website. In this example, clicking "The GIMP Team" will open gimp.org in the user's default web browser.
  • An "Install Now!" icon. If the application is already installed, this will either be an "Upgrade" icon (if a newer version is available) or a "Downgrade" button (if the latest version is already installed).
  • The version of the application.
  • The size of the initial download of the PBI.
  • The platform (i386 for 32-bit applications and amd64 for 64-bit applications). If the application only provides a 32-bit version, AppCafe® will install the 32-bit application and PC-BSD® will still be able to run the program.
  • The license used by the software.
  • The type will indicate whether the application is graphical or text (command line).
  • A description of the application.

AppCafe® will also suggest similar applications which may meet the user's needs.

Figure 7.1c: Details for a Selected PBI

Once you find a PBI that you would like to install, click on its “Install Now!” icon. AppCafe® will switch focus to the "Installed" tab so that you can watch the status of the download and installation. Figure 7.1d shows a screenshot of this tab after “gimp” is successfully installed.

Figure 7.1d: Viewing an Installed PBI in AppCafe®
Figure 7.1e: Using the Installed Tab to Upgrade Installed PBIs

If you highlight an installed PBI and click the “Actions”button, the following actions become available:

  • Update: if the “Status” column indicates that a newer version is available, click this action to upgrade to the newer version. Once clicked, it will change to a cancel button should you decide to cancel the operation while the new version is still being downloaded.
  • Desktop Icons: used to add or remove a shortcut to the application on the user's desktop.
  • Menu Icons: used to add or remove an entry for the application to the supported desktop's application menu. Menu icons can be for that user only or for all users. Adding for all users requires you to be in the wheel group and to input your password.
  • Path Links: used to add or remove the command's location to your $PATH or to the $PATH of all users. Adding for all users requires you to be in the wheel group and to input your password. This option is useful if users will be starting the application from the command line.
  • File Associations:
  • Uninstall: will uninstall the PBI. Once the PBI removal is complete, it will be removed from the Installed list.
  • Cancel Actions:

The buttons in the “Application Details” can be used to:

  • start the application; if the application has multiple start modes, such as graphical or command-line, a drop-down menu will provide the available ways to start the application
  • uninstall the application
  • open the application's website in the default web browser
  • have the application automatically update itself when a newer version is available. By default, this option is unchecked, meaning that AppCafe® will indicate when a new version is available in the "Status" column, but will wait for you to start the update.

Updating Installed PBIs

The "Status" column of the "Installed" tab will indicate if there are any newer versions available for the PBIs that you have installed. PBIs are created from the original FreeBSD package and automatically become available as an upgrade whenever the underlying package version changes. Figure 7.1e provides an example of a PBI that has a newer version available:

In this example, the currently installed version of Firefox is 16.0.1_1 and version 16.0.2 is available. To upgrade this PBI, highlight its entry and click the "Update" button. Alternately, if updates are available for multiple PBIs and you wish to upgrade them all, click the "Update All" button. If the PBI "Requires Root", it will prompt for your password before starting the upgrade.

A status bar will indicate the progress of the download and upgrade process. When the upgrade is complete, the entry will be updated to show the new version. The upgrade process will save all of the current version's settings. For example, when you upgrade Firefox, it will keep all of your bookmarks, history, and cache.

Importing and Exporting PBI Lists

PC-BSD® 9.2 introduced the ability to import and export PBI lists. A PBI list is an ASCII text file that contains the names of PBIs (without a version number), one per line. An example is as follows:


If you import a PBI list into AppCafe®, it will add those applications to the installation queue so that they can be installed. To do so, create the list and save it with a .pbilist extension. Then, go to File ➜ Import PBI List and browse to the location of the list. A pop-up menu will ask if you would like to iinstall the applications in the list. AppCafe® will ignore any invalid lines and PBIs which are already installed.

Alternately, if you export a PBI list on a system that already has PBIs installed, you can then import that list into another PC-BSD® system. To do so, click File ➜ Export PBI List and save the file to the desired location. By default, it will be saved as exportfile.pbilist.

Configuring AppCafe®

The File menu contains the following options:

  • Import PBI List:
  • Export PBI List:
  • Quit: close AppCafe®.

Figure 7.1f shows the screen that opens when you click Configure ➜ AppCafe Settings.

Figure 7.1f: AppCafe® Settings Menu


The settings in the "Configuration" tab apply to all PBIs, whereas the settings in a highlighted application's "Actions" button only apply to that PBI. This tab adds an extra option to store a copy of the downloaded PBI. If you check this box, it will expand to let you select the directory to store the downloaded .pbi files. If you change a setting in the "Configuration" tab, it will not affect PBIs which are already installed.

Figure 7.1g shows the "Repositories" tab.

Figure 7.1g: Repositories Tab


By default, AppCafe® is configured to connect to the official PC-BSD® PBI repository which uses a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to provide the fastest possible download, regardless of geographic location.

If you have access to a custom PBI repository, click the “+” button next to "001 - Official PC-BSD Repository" to add the URL of the repository.

If you have created your own PBI repository, click the “+” button next to "PCBSDCDN" to browse to the location of your .rpo file.

Other languages:German 24% • ‎English 100% • ‎French 47%
Personal tools