Convert a FreeBSD System to PC-BSD®/9.2

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Beginning in February, 2013, the PC-BSD® utilities dealing with software installation and upgrades were converted to pkgng, FreeBSD's Next Generation package management tool. Part of this change included the creation of a custom PC-BSD® package repository which contains all of the packages that can be built using pkgng. Since the FreeBSD project does not yet have an official pkgng repository, FreeBSD users who wish to use pkgng are welcome to use the PC-BSD® package repository.

This package repository also contains a custom package which can be used to easily convert an existing FreeBSD installation into either a PC-BSD® desktop or a TrueOS® server. The converted desktop will contain all of the graphical utilities that come with PC-BSD® and the converted server will contain all of their command line equivalents.

This section describes how to:

  • Configure a FreeBSD or PC-BSD® system to use the pkgng repository.
  • Convert a FreeBSD system to a PC-BSD® desktop.
  • Convert a FreeBSD system to a TrueOS® server.

Switching to our PKGNG repo

On your FreeBSD system, jail, etc, you will first need to install the latest pkgng binaries, located in the ports tree under ports-mgmt/pkg

After installing PKGNG, you'll probably want to run the command "pkg2ng" to import your existing packages.

Next, you will need to setup access to the PC-BSD repository. Start by creating the file /usr/local/etc/pkg.conf to look like example below:

packagesite: ftp://ftp.pcbsd.org/pub/mirror/packages/9.1-RELEASE/amd64/

PUBKEY: /usr/local/etc/pkg-pubkey.cert

PKG_CACHEDIR: /usr/local/tmp

You will want to change the packagesite: variable to a particular PC-BSD mirror close to your location, and in addition change the 9.1-RELEASE / amd64 to the release / architecture you want to use. Click here to get a list of mirrors & package sets available.

Next you will need to download our repo's public key cert file, and copy it to /usr/local/etc/pkg-pubkey.cert.

With this in place, you will probably want to start by updating your packages to the latest versions from the repo. You may do so by running the following command:

# pkg upgrade -fy


You should perhaps first resolve some issues, before this command finish successfully.


When that command finishes, you should be good to go! You may now use the pkg command normally to install / remove / upgrade packages from our repo.

Converting to PC-BSD

With your initial repo setup complete, it is now easy to convert your system into a PC-BSD desktop using the following commands:

# pkg install -fy pcbsd-base

# rehash # pbreg set /PC-BSD/SysType PCBSD # pc-extractoverlay desktop

# pc-extractoverlay ports

With these commands finished, you can now reboot and the GDM login manager will be started automatically bringing you to your desktop. If you want to run the PC-BSD display wizard / first boot wizards you can also trigger that before rebooting:

# touch /var/.runxsetup

# touch /var/.pcbsd-firstboot

# touch /var/.pcbsd-firstgui

If you are trying to convert a pre-release FreeBSD, such as 10-CURRENT, you may need to specify the PBI version of what to pull from.

To do so, edit /usr/local/etc/pbi.conf and add this line:

PBI_FBSDMAJOR: 9

TIP!

If you are using NVIDIA video hardware you may want to load their driver before rebooting into the display wizard:

# pc-metapkgmanager add NVIDIA

Converting to TrueOS

If you wish to convert your server into TrueOS you can quickly do so using the following commands:

# pkg install -fy trueos-base

# rehash # pbreg set /PC-BSD/SysType TRUEOS # pc-extractoverlay server

# pc-extractoverlay ports