While professional PC-BSD support is available from iXsystems, most users turn to the Internet for help. We are doing our best to make PC-BSD as easy as possible for newcomers. Should you need help, there are plenty of ways to get in touch with the PC-BSD community.
The PC-BSD Forums contain a wealth of information, tips and solutions which you can access from a web browser. There are many active members and you will find that many questions are replied to quickly. Anyone can read through and search the forums, however you have to create a login account and be logged in if you want to ask a question.
You can ask a question by clicking on the "New Thread" button in the forum category that most closely matches your question. For example, if you are having problems with your video settings, you should create a new thread in the Graphics Card forum. If you don't see a category that matches your question, try the General Support category.
Before creating a new thread, please do the following:
- Use the Search function to see if a similar question already exists.
- If you find a similar question, use the "Post Reply" button instead so that your question will be related to the information known so far.
- If you start a new thread, use a descriptive Title. For example, "Problems with NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT" is much more useful than "HELP!!!!".
- Try to be as clear as possible and include what version of PC-BSD you are using, any details your PC's hardware and what error messages you are seeing.
Most of the discussions on the forum are in English, but there are a few non-English forums:
An FAQ is a Frequently Asked Question. For that reason, you should always check the FAQS before asking a question, just in case it has been answered many times before.
You can find the most current version of the PC-BSD FAQS here. The FAQs are currently a work in progress as we migrate the older FAQS and ensure that their answers work on current versions of PC-BSD. You can suggest an FAQ that you would like to see answered here.
Like many open source projects, PC-BSD has an IRC channel to connect supporters and users. To get connected, use the following information in your IRC client:
Server name: irc.freenode.net
Channel name: #pcbsd
IRC is a great way to chat with other users and get answers to your questions. A few things to keep in mind if you ask a question on IRC:
- Most of the regular users are always logged in, even when they're away from their computer or are busy doing other computing tasks. If you don't get an answer right away, don't get mad, leave the channel and never come back again. Stick around for a while to see if anyone responds.
- IRC users represent many different time zones. It is quite possible that it is late at night or very early in the morning for some users when you ask a question.
- Don't post error messages in the channel as the IRC software will probably kick you out. Instead, use a pasting service such as pastebin and refer to the URL on channel.
- Be polite and don't demand that others answer your question.
- It is considered rude to DM (direct message) someone who does not know you. If noone answers your question, don't start DMing people you don't know.
- The first time you join a channel, it is okay to say hi and introduce yourself.
Mailing lists are a handy way to discuss problems, solutions, and requested features as they create a searchable archive of discussions. The PC-BSD Project offers the following mailing lists to cover a wide variety of discussion topics:
- Announcements: a read-only, low frequency list used by the PC-BSD team to make announcements to the community.
- Commits: lists SVN commits as PC-BSD code is added or modified by developers.
- Dev: for discussion related to PC-BSD technical development.
- Docs: for communications between those involved, or interested in contributing to, the PC-BSD documentation effort.
- Install-frontend: for discussion related to the frontend to the pc-sysinstall utility.
- Installer: for discussions about the backend to the pc-sysinstall utility.
- PBI-bugs: for users to report and discuss bugs found in PBI applications.
- PBI-dev: for discussions between PBI developers and users concerning PBI construction and maintenance.
- PBIbuild: lists SVN commits as PBIs are added or modified by PBI developers.
- PCBSD-Malaysia: general discussion list for Malaysian users in their native language.
- PCBSD-warden: the place to discuss The Warden software for PC-BSD.
- Public: general public list for discussion not related to the other mailing lists.
- Support: if you have a problem, you should report your issue or error messages on this list.
- Testing: for those wishing to participate in PC-BSD beta testing and feedback.
- Trac-bugs: lists notifications about changes to PC-BSD bug reports in Trac database.
- Translations: for those involved in translating for PC-BSD.
Each mailing list includes a description of topics suitable for discussion on that list and indicates if it is read only or available for user discussion. Anyone can read the archives for a list. If you wish to send an email to a list, subscribe to it and confirm your subscription first.
Apart from these official mailing lists, there's also a number of non-official mailing lists set up by PC-BSD users. Many of these lists are designed for discussion in other languages. A list of alternative PC-BSD mailing lists can be found here.
FreeBSD Handbook and FAQ
PC-BSD has FreeBSD as it's underlying operating system, so everthing in the FreeBSD Handbook and FreeBSD FAQ applies to PC-BSD as well. Both are very comprehensive and cover nearly every task you can accomplish on a FreeBSD system. They are also an excellent resource for learning how things work "under the hood" of your PC-BSD system.
PC-BSD is part of the BSD family of operating systems based on Unix, and is specifically based on FreeBSD. Since PC-BSD has a fully functional FreeBSD system included, most adjustments that you do for FreeBSD also work for PC-BSD. As a result, the majority of FreeBSD material will be useful for you as an advanced user. Here is a non-exhaustive list of other resources on FreeBSD:
- FreeBSD Forums
- BSD Nexus
- BSD Foren (German)
- BSD Guru PC-BSD Forum (Polish)
- Usenet channel - comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc
- FreeBSD News
- BSD News Network
- About BSD
- BSD Guides
- O'Reilly's BSD Devcenter
- Slashdot BSD
- The FreeBSD Diary
- A Year in the Life of a BSD Guru
- BSD Guru (Polish)
- Ilmu BSD (Indonesian)
- Mfaridi.com (Farsi)
- BSD Youtube channel
- PC-BSD Youtube channel
- PC-BSD Videos
- BSD Talk
- The BSD Show
- BSD Magazine
- BSD Hacks (book)
- Definitive Guide to PC-BSD (book)
- PC-BSD Section at Polish Linux (in English)
- PC-BSD Section at Jaki Linux (Polish)
- Screaming Electron's tutorials
- FreeBSD How-Tos for the Lazy and Hopeless
- KDE Documentation