Difference between revisions of "AppCafe®/10.1"

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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. [[File:Appcafe1g.png|thumb|'''Figure 7.1a: Browsing for Software Using AppCafe®''']]
 
 
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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.
 
  
 
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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.
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AppCafe® provides an intuitive, graphical method for installing, managing, and upgrading PBIs and packages. 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, it 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 manage software.
 
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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.  
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If you prefer to install PBIs from the command line, see the section on using '''{{local|link=PBI Manager|anchor=pbi add(1)|pbi_add}}'''.
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If you prefer to manage PBIs from the command line, see the section on using the {{local|link=PBI Manager}} suite of command line utilities. Refer to [[AppCafe®/10.1#Using_the_CLI_pkg_Utilities|Using the CLI '''pkg''' Utilities]] for instructions on managing packages from the command line.
  
=== Installing and Managing Software === <!--T:7-->
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=== Finding and Installing and Software === <!--T:7-->
  
 
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To install a PBI, start AppCafe® by double-clicking its icon on the Desktop, going to {{traverse|Control Panel|AppCafe®|here=AppCafe®}}, 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, 453 PBIs are currently available. The names and versions of the PBIs which were added or updated in the last 10 days are listed in the “View Recent Additions” pane.
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To manage software, start AppCafe® by double-clicking its icon on the Desktop, going to {{traverse|Control Panel|AppCafe®|here=AppCafe®}}, or by typing '''pc-su pc-softwaremanager''' from a command prompt. When prompted, input your password. As seen in Figure 7.1a, AppCafe® will open into the “Browse for Apps” tab.
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In the example shown in Figure 7.1a, 2,172 PBIs and 23,343 packages are currently available. This tab provides several buttons and panes:
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[[File:Appcafe1j.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1a: Browsing Software Using AppCafe®''']]
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* '''Back button:''' click the drop-down menu to return to a previous search or category.
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* '''Home button:''' click this button to return back to this initial screen.
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* '''Browse Categories button:''' click this button to access a list of software categories. Click on the name of a software category to browse for its available software.
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* '''Search bar/button:''' if you know the name of the application you would like to install, type its name into the “Search Here” bar and either press enter or click the search (binoculars) button.
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* '''Application Spotlight pane:''' software the PC-BSD® team recommends as being notable for their software category.
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* '''PC-BSD Recommendations pane:''' a list of essential applications for new users.
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* '''New pane:''' software which has been recently added to the AppCafe®.
  
 
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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.
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In the example shown in Figure 7.1b, the user searched for the “gimp” application, then clicked the search result.
[[File:Appcafe3f.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1b: Browsing the Information Available for a PBI''']]
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[[File:Appcafe3j.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1b: Browsing the Information Available for a PBI''']]
 +
[[File:Installed2b.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1c: Viewing the Information for an Installed Application''']]
  
 
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In Figure 7.1c, the user has clicked on the "gimp" PBI and can now view the following information:
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The following information is available for each application. Note that the rating and tips information is interactive, allowing users to share their tips with other PC-BSD® users. In order to do so, first create a wiki account at the {{citelink|url=http://wiki.pcbsd.org|txt=PC-BSD® wiki}}, click on the activation email for the account, and login.
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* The software category for the application. In this case, “Gimp” is in the “Graphics” category.
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* Name and icon of the application.
 
* Name and icon of the application.
  
 
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* A hyperlink to the application's website. In this example, clicking "GIMP Team" will open gimp.org in the user's default web browser.
 
* A hyperlink to the application's website. In this example, clicking "GIMP Team" will open gimp.org in the user's default web browser.
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* A rating of up to five stars. Click the stars to open the PC-BSD® wiki page for the application. If you login to the wiki and hover the mouse over the number of stars to select, it will add your ranking and increment the vote number. If you make a mistake in your vote, refresh the browser, click the “remove” button, and re-select the desired number of stars.
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* A “User Tips” link. Click the link to open the PC-BSD® wiki page for the application. If you login to the wiki, you can add your own usage tips for the application.
  
 
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* 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).
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* 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 previous version is available).
  
 
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* 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.  
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* The application's version and platform (32-bit or 64-bit). 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.
  
 
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* A description of the application.
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The following tabs are also available. If a tab is greyed out, it means that that information is not currently available for this particular application.
  
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* If applicable, a list of similar applications.
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* '''Description:''' of the software.
  
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[[File:Appcafe6b.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1c: Details for a Selected PBI''']]
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* '''Screenshots:''' click the “View Full Size” button under the screenshot to view the full screen version of the screenshot.
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* '''Plugins:''' provides an installable list of associated plugins. For an example, search for “firefox” and open its “Plugins” tab.
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* '''Similar:''' provides an installable list of applications that provide similar functionality.
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* '''Build Options:''' shows the values of the make options that the PBI or package was built with.
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 +
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[[File:Appcafe41.png|left|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1d: Viewing the List of Installed Software in AppCafe®''']]
  
 
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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.
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Once you find a PBI that you would like to install, click on its “Install Now!” icon. A yellow status bar at the bottom of the screen will show the download and installation status. Once the installation is complete, some of the contents of this screen will change, as seen in the example in Figure 7.1c.
  
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<div style="overflow: hidden">[[File:Appcafe4f.png|left|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1d: Viewing an Installed PBI in AppCafe®''']]</div>
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The “Install Now!” button will change to “Installed” and the following buttons are now available:
[[File:Pbiupdate1b.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1e: Using the Installed Tab to Upgrade Installed PBIs''']]
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If you highlight an installed PBI and click the “Actions”button,  the following actions become available:
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* '''Launch:''' provides a drop-down menu for starting the application from its available start modes. Some applications start in graphical mode, some in command-line mode, and some offer both modes.
  
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* '''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.
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* '''Contact Maintainer:''' if this button is clicked, a pop-up message offers to launch the default email client, if one has been configured. It also indicates the email address of the FreeBSD port maintainer for that application in case one prefers to manually open their email client. If a default email client is configured, it will automatically fill in this email address as well as the important information regarding the PBI such as the build date, architecture, FreeBSD version, and version number. This allows you to send an error report or a patch to the maintainer.
  
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* '''Desktop Icons:''' used to add or remove a shortcut to the application on any installed and supported desktop (KDE4, LXDE, MATE, and XFCE4).
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* '''Shortcuts:''' click this button to add or remove a desktop shortcut to the application.
  
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=== Managing Installed Software === <!--T:95-->
* '''Menu Icons:''' used to add or remove an entry for the application to the menu of any installed and supported desktop (KDE4, LXDE, MATE, and XFCE4). 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.
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* '''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.  
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To manage software that is currently installed, use the “Installed” tab. Figure 7.1d shows a screenshot of this tab after “gimp” is successfully installed.
  
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* '''File Associations:''' installs any xdg-mime type file associations from the PBI. For example,*.odt files are associated with OpenOffice and LibreOffice.
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[[File:Pbiupdate1c.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1e: Upgrading Installed PBIs''']]
  
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* '''Uninstall:''' will uninstall the PBI. Once the PBI removal is complete, it will be removed from the Installed list.
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The list of installed applications can be sorted by “Program name”, “Version”, “Status” (of any running/pending “Actions”), “Size”, “Installed” (date of installation), and “Architecture”. Click the name of the desired column to change the sorting.
  
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* '''Cancel Actions:''' cancels any currently pending or running PBI operations such as uninstallation, updating, or installation.
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If you check the box for at least one installed application and click the “Actions” button,  the following actions become available:
  
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The buttons in the “Application Details” can be used to:
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* '''Desktop Icons:''' used to add or remove a shortcut to the application on any installed desktop that supports icons.
  
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* 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
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* '''Version Lock:''' used to “Lock Current Version” so that it will not be updated until “Unlock Application” is selected. An application that is locked will have a lock icon next to its “Version”. Locking an application can be appropriate if there is a known issue in a more recent version of the application.
  
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* uninstall the application
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* '''Uninstall:''' will uninstall the checked applications. Once the removal is complete, that software will be removed from the “Installed” list.
  
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* open the application's website in the default web browser
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* '''Cancel Actions:''' cancels any currently pending or running operations such as uninstallation, updating, or installation.
  
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* 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.
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If you click the “Application Details” button, it will display the details for the application, as seen in the example shown in Figure 7.1c.
  
=== Updating Installed PBIs === <!--T:30-->
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=== Updating Installed Software === <!--T:30-->
  
 
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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 system that has a newer PBI version available.
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As seen in the previous screenshots, AppCafe® will indicate if “Application updates are available!”. This message will automatically appear when any installed software has a newer version available. To start an update, click the “Start Updates” button. This will open the screen shown in Figure 7.1e.
 
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In this example, a newer version is available for LibreOffice. Check the box for each PBI that you wish to update then click Actions ➜ Update. If any of the selected PBIs require administrative access, AppCafe® will prompt for your password before starting the upgrade.  
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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.
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In this example, the “Show Details” button was clicked in order to view the list of outdated software. The listing will show the current version as well as the newer version for the software as well as any affected dependencies and will end with the size for the amount of new software to be downloaded. Click “Yes” to start the upgrade or “No” to cancel the upgrade request.
  
=== Importing and Exporting PBI Lists=== <!--T:73-->
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As seen in Figure 7.1f, pnce the upgrade is started, a status bar will indicate the progress of the download and upgrade process in an “Overview” tab. To see more detailed messages, click the “Update Details” tab. The upgrade process will save all of the current version's settings. For example, when Firefox is upgraded, it will keep all of your bookmarks, history, and cache.
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[[File:Upgrading.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1f Watching the Upgrade Progress''']]
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This screen will indicate when the upgrade is finished and will offer to reboot the system if the upgrade requires a reboot. If a reboot is needed and you cancel it, finish saving your work then reboot the system manually.
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=== File Menu=== <!--T:73-->
  
 
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PC-BSD® has 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:
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The “File” menu provides the following options:
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* '''Vulnerability Info:''' if you click this menu option, the FreshPorts VuXML page will open in the default web browser. This contains a list of all known vulnerabilities to software which has been ported to FreeBSD, and is thus available for installation in PC-BSD®. By default, the most recent vulnerabilities are shown first. There is a link on that web page to order the list of vulnerabilities by package name.
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* '''Import PBI List:''' if you click this option, it will ask you to browse to the location of an existing PBI list, an ASCII text file ending with a .pbilist extension that contains the names of PBIs (without a version number), one per line. An example is seen in Example 7.1a. If you import a PBI list into AppCafe®, it will add those applications to the installation queue so that they can be installed. AppCafe® will ignore any invalid lines and PBIs which are already installed.
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* '''Export PBI List:''' if you click this option on a system that already has PBIs installed, you can then import that list into another PC-BSD® system. By default, the exported list will be saved as exportfile.pbilist.
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* '''Quit:''' click this option to close AppCafe®.
  
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'''Example 7.1a: Sample PBI List'''
 
{{txtbox|box=apacheopenoffice{{nbsp|64}}
 
{{txtbox|box=apacheopenoffice{{nbsp|64}}
 
thunderbird
 
thunderbird
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openjdk7}}
 
openjdk7}}
  
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=== Configure Menu === <!--T:34-->
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 <span class=traverse>''File''{{rarr}}''Import PBI List''</span> and browse to the location of the list. A pop-up menu will ask if you would like to install the applications in the list. AppCafe® will ignore any invalid lines and PBIs which are already installed.
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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 <span class=traverse>''File''{{rarr}}''Export PBI''</span> List and save the file to the desired location. By default, it will be saved as ''exportfile.pbilist''.
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The "Configure" menu contains the following options:
  
=== Configuring AppCafe®=== <!--T:34-->
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* '''Repository Settings:''' as seen in Figure 7.1g, this option is used to select the package set. "Production" is the default and recommended setting for most users. Software updates are provided every three months, which gives sufficient time for new software versions to be tested. "Edge" is meant for users who wish to assist with software testing or who can tolerate the occasional breakage caused by installing new software versions. Software updates are provided approximately every two weeks. "Custom" is for administrators who have {{local|link=Create_Your_Own_PBI_Repository|created their own PBI repository}}; click the “+” button to browse to the location of the custom ''.rpo'' file. To allow switching between custom repositories, multiple custom repositories can be listed, but only the one marked as active will be used.
  
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Figure 7.1f shows the screen that opens when you click <span class=traverse>Configure{{rarr}}AppCafe Settings</span>.
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* '''Refresh PBI Index:''' click this option to get the latest copy of the list of available PBIs and packages. Otherwise, this list is automatically refreshed each time AppCafe® is started.
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* '''Developer Mode:''' check this box to add a pane of debugging messages to the bottom of AppCafe®. This can be useful to help determine the problem if there is an error in installing or upgrading software.
  
 
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'''Figure 7.1f: AppCafe® Settings Menu'''
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[[File:Appcafe7b.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1g: AppCafe® Repository Settings Menu''']]
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=== Install View Menu === <!--T:113-->
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The default AppCafe® view only provides information about PBIs but does not provide information about packages. This means that the “Installed” tab will only show installed PBIs and the “Browse for Apps” tab and search function will only display available PBIs. This default can be changed using the options in the “Install View” menu, which changes the appearance of the "Install" tab, and “Browser View” menu, which changes the appearance of the "Browse for Apps" tab.
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The “Install View” menu contains the following options:
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* '''Show Raw Packages:''' when this box is checked, it adds the list of installed packages to the list of installed PBIs. An example is seen in Figure 7.1h.
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* '''Show Orphan Packages:''' when this box is checked, the contents of the “Installed” tab change to the list of installed software which are not dependencies of any other installed application. An example is shown in Figure 7.1i. The list will either be PBIs or PBIs and packages, depending upon whether or not “Show Raw Packages” is also checked.
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* '''Show Base Packages:''' when this box is checked, the contents of the “Installed” tab change to the list of installed base system packages, or the packages which get installed with the operating system. If “Show Raw Packages” is also checked, the listing will include every installed package rather than just the name of the system component. An example is seen in Figure 7.1j.
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[[File:View2b.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1h: List of Raw Packages''']]
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[[File:View1b.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1i: List of Orphan Packages''']]
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[[File:View3b.png|thumb|393px|'''Figure 7.1j: List of Base Packages''']]
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By default, AppCafe® displays software information for the computer running PC-BSD®. It can also be used to manage the software running in a jail, as long as at least one jail [[Warden®/10.1|has been created]] and is running. To manage a jail, click the “Jail” button and select the name of the jail in the drop-down menu. If this button and menu are greyed out, it means that no jails are running. Start the desired jail in Warden® and click the “Jail Check” button to tell AppCafe® to look for the running jail.
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=== Browser View Menu === <!--T:125-->
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The “Browser View” menu determines which software appears in the “Browse for Apps” tab and the results of a software search. By default, the following options are checked: “Graphical Apps” (white window with blue stripe icon), “Text Apps” (black terminal icon), and “Server Apps” (blue globe icon).
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To also view packages, check the box for “Raw Packages” (brown box icon). It may take a minute or two for the list of available packages to populate.
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Any combination of checked boxes is supported, making it easier to zero in on the types of applications one is interested in finding.
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===Using the CLI pkg Utilities=== <!--T:129-->
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For managing packages from the command line, PC-BSD® uses pkgng, the next generation package management system for FreeBSD. To manage PBIs from the command line, refer to [[PBI_Manager/10.1|PBI Manager]].
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If you are used to using the traditional FreeBSD package system, take note that the commands used to install and manage software differ slightly. For example, instead of using '''pkg_add''' to install a package from a remote repository, use '''pkg install''' or '''pc-pkg install''' (notice there is now a space instead of an underscore). 
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The {{citelink|fbsdh|url=pkgng-intro.html|txt=FreeBSD Handbook}} provides an introduction to using pkgng. Section 5.4.1 is not needed on a PC-BSD® or TrueOS® system as the operating system installation does this for you. The various pkgng commands have associated man pages. Type '''man pkg''' for an overview of general usage; the names of the associated man pages will be found towards the bottom of this man page. Once you know the name of a command, you can also use the built-in help system to get more information about that command. For example, to learn more about '''pkg install''', type '''pkg help install'''.
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====Upgrading Packages==== <!--T:133-->
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In addition to the '''pkg upgrade''' command provided by pkgng, PC-BSD® provides the '''pc-updatemanager''' command for upgrading packages.
  
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<!--T:135-->
[[File:Appcafe7a.png]]
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To determine if newer versions of packages are available using this command, type the following as the superuser:
  
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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.
+
{{txtbox|box='''sudo pc-updatemanager pkgcheck'''{{nbsp|55}}
 +
{{nbsp}} Updating repository catalogue
 +
{{nbsp}} Upgrades have been requested for the following 253 packages:
 +
{{nbsp}} list of packages snipped
 +
{{nbsp}} The upgrade will require 70 MB more space
 +
{{nbsp}} 439 MB to be downloaded
 +
{{nbsp}} To start the upgrade run "/usr/local/bin/pc-updatemanager pkgupdate"}}
  
<!--T:68-->
+
<!--T:137-->
Figure 7.1g shows the "Repositories" tab.
+
In this example, newer versions are available for 253 packages. The list of package names was snipped from the sample output. If no updates were available, the output would have instead said "All packages are up to date!".
  
<!--T:69-->
+
<!--T:138-->
'''Figure 7.1g: Repositories Tab'''
+
If updates are available, you can install them with this command:
  
<!--T:70-->
+
<!--T:139-->
[[File:Appcafe8a.png]]
+
{{txtbox|box='''sudo pc-updatemanager pkgupdate'''{{nbsp|54}}
 +
{{nbsp}} Updating repository catalogue
 +
{{nbsp}} snip downloading and reinstalling output
 +
{{nbsp}} [253/253] Upgrading pcbsd-base from 1374071964 to 1378408836... done
 +
{{nbsp}} Extracting desktop overlay data...DONE}}
  
<!--T:71-->
+
<!--T:140-->
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.
+
While the output has been snipped from this example, the update process will download the latest versions of the packages which need updating, displaying the download progress for each file. Once the downloads are complete, it will display the reinstallation process for each file. The last step of the update process is to extract the desktop (or server) overlay and then to return the prompt.
  
<!--T:72-->
+
<!--T:141-->
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.
+
How long the package upgrade takes depends upon the number of packages and the speed of the Internet connection. If you run this command on a desktop, you should log out and log in again so that you load the latest version of the desktop and its applications. If you run this command on a server while running the tcsh shell, type '''rehash''' in order to tell the shell that new applications have been installed.
+
If you have {{local|link=Create_Your_Own_PBI_Repository|created your own PBI repository}}, click the “+” button next to "PCBSDCDN" to browse to the location of your ''.rpo'' file.  
+
  
 
<!--T:59-->
 
<!--T:59-->
 
<noinclude>
 
<noinclude>
 +
{{Refheading}}
 
[[category:Using AppCafe®]]
 
[[category:Using AppCafe®]]
 
[[category:Maintaining and Extending PC-BSD®]]
 
[[category:Maintaining and Extending PC-BSD®]]

Latest revision as of 11:39, 18 June 2014


Contents


AppCafe® provides an intuitive, graphical method for installing, managing, and upgrading PBIs and packages. 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, it 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 manage software.

If you prefer to manage PBIs from the command line, see the section on using the PBI Manager suite of command line utilities. Refer to Using the CLI pkg Utilities for instructions on managing packages from the command line.

[edit] Finding and Installing and Software

To manage software, start AppCafe® by double-clicking its icon on the Desktop, going to Control Panel → AppCafe®, or by typing pc-su pc-softwaremanager from a command prompt. When prompted, input your password. As seen in Figure 7.1a, AppCafe® will open into the “Browse for Apps” tab.

In the example shown in Figure 7.1a, 2,172 PBIs and 23,343 packages are currently available. This tab provides several buttons and panes:

Figure 7.1a: Browsing Software Using AppCafe®
  • Back button: click the drop-down menu to return to a previous search or category.
  • Home button: click this button to return back to this initial screen.
  • Browse Categories button: click this button to access a list of software categories. Click on the name of a software category to browse for its available software.
  • Search bar/button: if you know the name of the application you would like to install, type its name into the “Search Here” bar and either press enter or click the search (binoculars) button.
  • Application Spotlight pane: software the PC-BSD® team recommends as being notable for their software category.
  • PC-BSD Recommendations pane: a list of essential applications for new users.
  • New pane: software which has been recently added to the AppCafe®.

In the example shown in Figure 7.1b, the user searched for the “gimp” application, then clicked the search result.

Figure 7.1b: Browsing the Information Available for a PBI
Figure 7.1c: Viewing the Information for an Installed Application

The following information is available for each application. Note that the rating and tips information is interactive, allowing users to share their tips with other PC-BSD® users. In order to do so, first create a wiki account at the PC-BSD® wiki[1], click on the activation email for the account, and login.


  • The software category for the application. In this case, “Gimp” is in the “Graphics” category.
  • Name and icon of the application.
  • A hyperlink to the application's website. In this example, clicking "GIMP Team" will open gimp.org in the user's default web browser.
  • A rating of up to five stars. Click the stars to open the PC-BSD® wiki page for the application. If you login to the wiki and hover the mouse over the number of stars to select, it will add your ranking and increment the vote number. If you make a mistake in your vote, refresh the browser, click the “remove” button, and re-select the desired number of stars.
  • A “User Tips” link. Click the link to open the PC-BSD® wiki page for the application. If you login to the wiki, you can add your own usage tips for the application.
  • 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 previous version is available).
  • The version of the application.
  • The download size.
  • The application's version and platform (32-bit or 64-bit). 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).

The following tabs are also available. If a tab is greyed out, it means that that information is not currently available for this particular application.

  • Description: of the software.
  • Screenshots: click the “View Full Size” button under the screenshot to view the full screen version of the screenshot.
  • Plugins: provides an installable list of associated plugins. For an example, search for “firefox” and open its “Plugins” tab.
  • Similar: provides an installable list of applications that provide similar functionality.
  • Build Options: shows the values of the make options that the PBI or package was built with.
Figure 7.1d: Viewing the List of Installed Software in AppCafe®

Once you find a PBI that you would like to install, click on its “Install Now!” icon. A yellow status bar at the bottom of the screen will show the download and installation status. Once the installation is complete, some of the contents of this screen will change, as seen in the example in Figure 7.1c.

The “Install Now!” button will change to “Installed” and the following buttons are now available:

  • Launch: provides a drop-down menu for starting the application from its available start modes. Some applications start in graphical mode, some in command-line mode, and some offer both modes.
  • Contact Maintainer: if this button is clicked, a pop-up message offers to launch the default email client, if one has been configured. It also indicates the email address of the FreeBSD port maintainer for that application in case one prefers to manually open their email client. If a default email client is configured, it will automatically fill in this email address as well as the important information regarding the PBI such as the build date, architecture, FreeBSD version, and version number. This allows you to send an error report or a patch to the maintainer.
  • Shortcuts: click this button to add or remove a desktop shortcut to the application.

[edit] Managing Installed Software

To manage software that is currently installed, use the “Installed” tab. Figure 7.1d shows a screenshot of this tab after “gimp” is successfully installed.

Figure 7.1e: Upgrading Installed PBIs

The list of installed applications can be sorted by “Program name”, “Version”, “Status” (of any running/pending “Actions”), “Size”, “Installed” (date of installation), and “Architecture”. Click the name of the desired column to change the sorting.

If you check the box for at least one installed application and click the “Actions” button, the following actions become available:

  • Desktop Icons: used to add or remove a shortcut to the application on any installed desktop that supports icons.
  • Version Lock: used to “Lock Current Version” so that it will not be updated until “Unlock Application” is selected. An application that is locked will have a lock icon next to its “Version”. Locking an application can be appropriate if there is a known issue in a more recent version of the application.
  • Uninstall: will uninstall the checked applications. Once the removal is complete, that software will be removed from the “Installed” list.
  • Cancel Actions: cancels any currently pending or running operations such as uninstallation, updating, or installation.

If you click the “Application Details” button, it will display the details for the application, as seen in the example shown in Figure 7.1c.

[edit] Updating Installed Software

As seen in the previous screenshots, AppCafe® will indicate if “Application updates are available!”. This message will automatically appear when any installed software has a newer version available. To start an update, click the “Start Updates” button. This will open the screen shown in Figure 7.1e.

In this example, the “Show Details” button was clicked in order to view the list of outdated software. The listing will show the current version as well as the newer version for the software as well as any affected dependencies and will end with the size for the amount of new software to be downloaded. Click “Yes” to start the upgrade or “No” to cancel the upgrade request.

As seen in Figure 7.1f, pnce the upgrade is started, a status bar will indicate the progress of the download and upgrade process in an “Overview” tab. To see more detailed messages, click the “Update Details” tab. The upgrade process will save all of the current version's settings. For example, when Firefox is upgraded, it will keep all of your bookmarks, history, and cache.

Figure 7.1f Watching the Upgrade Progress

This screen will indicate when the upgrade is finished and will offer to reboot the system if the upgrade requires a reboot. If a reboot is needed and you cancel it, finish saving your work then reboot the system manually.

[edit] File Menu

The “File” menu provides the following options:

  • Vulnerability Info: if you click this menu option, the FreshPorts VuXML page will open in the default web browser. This contains a list of all known vulnerabilities to software which has been ported to FreeBSD, and is thus available for installation in PC-BSD®. By default, the most recent vulnerabilities are shown first. There is a link on that web page to order the list of vulnerabilities by package name.
  • Import PBI List: if you click this option, it will ask you to browse to the location of an existing PBI list, an ASCII text file ending with a .pbilist extension that contains the names of PBIs (without a version number), one per line. An example is seen in Example 7.1a. If you import a PBI list into AppCafe®, it will add those applications to the installation queue so that they can be installed. AppCafe® will ignore any invalid lines and PBIs which are already installed.


  • Export PBI List: if you click this option on a system that already has PBIs installed, you can then import that list into another PC-BSD® system. By default, the exported list will be saved as exportfile.pbilist.
  • Quit: click this option to close AppCafe®.

Example 7.1a: Sample PBI List

apacheopenoffice                                                                

thunderbird firefox qtcreator scite gimp pithos quassel ksnapshot

openjdk7

[edit] Configure Menu

The "Configure" menu contains the following options:

  • Repository Settings: as seen in Figure 7.1g, this option is used to select the package set. "Production" is the default and recommended setting for most users. Software updates are provided every three months, which gives sufficient time for new software versions to be tested. "Edge" is meant for users who wish to assist with software testing or who can tolerate the occasional breakage caused by installing new software versions. Software updates are provided approximately every two weeks. "Custom" is for administrators who have created their own PBI repository; click the “+” button to browse to the location of the custom .rpo file. To allow switching between custom repositories, multiple custom repositories can be listed, but only the one marked as active will be used.
  • Refresh PBI Index: click this option to get the latest copy of the list of available PBIs and packages. Otherwise, this list is automatically refreshed each time AppCafe® is started.
  • Developer Mode: check this box to add a pane of debugging messages to the bottom of AppCafe®. This can be useful to help determine the problem if there is an error in installing or upgrading software.
Figure 7.1g: AppCafe® Repository Settings Menu

[edit] Install View Menu

The default AppCafe® view only provides information about PBIs but does not provide information about packages. This means that the “Installed” tab will only show installed PBIs and the “Browse for Apps” tab and search function will only display available PBIs. This default can be changed using the options in the “Install View” menu, which changes the appearance of the "Install" tab, and “Browser View” menu, which changes the appearance of the "Browse for Apps" tab.

The “Install View” menu contains the following options:

  • Show Raw Packages: when this box is checked, it adds the list of installed packages to the list of installed PBIs. An example is seen in Figure 7.1h.
  • Show Orphan Packages: when this box is checked, the contents of the “Installed” tab change to the list of installed software which are not dependencies of any other installed application. An example is shown in Figure 7.1i. The list will either be PBIs or PBIs and packages, depending upon whether or not “Show Raw Packages” is also checked.
  • Show Base Packages: when this box is checked, the contents of the “Installed” tab change to the list of installed base system packages, or the packages which get installed with the operating system. If “Show Raw Packages” is also checked, the listing will include every installed package rather than just the name of the system component. An example is seen in Figure 7.1j.
Figure 7.1h: List of Raw Packages
Figure 7.1i: List of Orphan Packages
Figure 7.1j: List of Base Packages

By default, AppCafe® displays software information for the computer running PC-BSD®. It can also be used to manage the software running in a jail, as long as at least one jail has been created and is running. To manage a jail, click the “Jail” button and select the name of the jail in the drop-down menu. If this button and menu are greyed out, it means that no jails are running. Start the desired jail in Warden® and click the “Jail Check” button to tell AppCafe® to look for the running jail.

[edit] Browser View Menu

The “Browser View” menu determines which software appears in the “Browse for Apps” tab and the results of a software search. By default, the following options are checked: “Graphical Apps” (white window with blue stripe icon), “Text Apps” (black terminal icon), and “Server Apps” (blue globe icon).

To also view packages, check the box for “Raw Packages” (brown box icon). It may take a minute or two for the list of available packages to populate.

Any combination of checked boxes is supported, making it easier to zero in on the types of applications one is interested in finding.

[edit] Using the CLI pkg Utilities

For managing packages from the command line, PC-BSD® uses pkgng, the next generation package management system for FreeBSD. To manage PBIs from the command line, refer to PBI Manager.

If you are used to using the traditional FreeBSD package system, take note that the commands used to install and manage software differ slightly. For example, instead of using pkg_add to install a package from a remote repository, use pkg install or pc-pkg install (notice there is now a space instead of an underscore).

The FreeBSD Handbook[2] provides an introduction to using pkgng. Section 5.4.1 is not needed on a PC-BSD® or TrueOS® system as the operating system installation does this for you. The various pkgng commands have associated man pages. Type man pkg for an overview of general usage; the names of the associated man pages will be found towards the bottom of this man page. Once you know the name of a command, you can also use the built-in help system to get more information about that command. For example, to learn more about pkg install, type pkg help install.

[edit] Upgrading Packages

In addition to the pkg upgrade command provided by pkgng, PC-BSD® provides the pc-updatemanager command for upgrading packages.

To determine if newer versions of packages are available using this command, type the following as the superuser:

sudo pc-updatemanager pkgcheck                                                       

  Updating repository catalogue   Upgrades have been requested for the following 253 packages:   list of packages snipped   The upgrade will require 70 MB more space   439 MB to be downloaded

  To start the upgrade run "/usr/local/bin/pc-updatemanager pkgupdate"

In this example, newer versions are available for 253 packages. The list of package names was snipped from the sample output. If no updates were available, the output would have instead said "All packages are up to date!".

If updates are available, you can install them with this command:

sudo pc-updatemanager pkgupdate                                                      

  Updating repository catalogue   snip downloading and reinstalling output   [253/253] Upgrading pcbsd-base from 1374071964 to 1378408836... done

  Extracting desktop overlay data...DONE

While the output has been snipped from this example, the update process will download the latest versions of the packages which need updating, displaying the download progress for each file. Once the downloads are complete, it will display the reinstallation process for each file. The last step of the update process is to extract the desktop (or server) overlay and then to return the prompt.

How long the package upgrade takes depends upon the number of packages and the speed of the Internet connection. If you run this command on a desktop, you should log out and log in again so that you load the latest version of the desktop and its applications. If you run this command on a server while running the tcsh shell, type rehash in order to tell the shell that new applications have been installed.


References


  1. http://wiki.pcbsd.org
  2. http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/books/handbook/pkgng-intro.html
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