Installing Applications and Keeping PC‑BSD® Updated/9.2

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In PC-BSD, software is divided into PBIs, meta-packages, and package sets:

  • PBIs are single applications, such as web browsers or multimedia utilities. PBIs are installed and managed using AppCafe® and Update Manager will automatically notify you when newer versions of installed PBIs become available.
  • Meta-packages are installable software collections and can be considered as system components. Meta-packages are selected during installation and include supported and unsupported desktops, development utilities, hardware drivers, and miscellaneous applications such as MythTV or XBMC. After installation, your initial meta-packages choices can be modified using System Manager. Warden® also supports meta-packages, allowing you to install system components into a jail.
  • Package sets include the default packages that get installed with any PC-BSD system, plus the meta-packages which are selected for installation by the user. The list of packages which are installed during a 9.1 PC-BSD installation are listed here. CHANGE URL WHEN 9.1 IS RELEASED You can also view the package list for each meta-package here. Update Manager will automatically notify you when a new package set is ready--typically this occurs every week or two, making it easy to keep the software that came with the operating system up-to-date.

NOTE: users are highly discouraged from using FreeBSD packages or ports or upgrade tools such as portupgrade or portversion from the PC-BSD command line as Update Manager will remove your manual software installations and upgrades. If you wish to practice using these tools, instead use Warden® to create a ports jail. If you think an application belongs in the base system (e.g. an add-on to a desktop meta-package), suggest that it be added using one of the resources in the Finding Help section.

Since meta-packages and package sets are considered part of the base operating system, you

There are several methods of managing software on a PC-BSD system:

1. PBIs and AppCafe®, the easy PC-BSD way (recommended).

2. Binary packages, the quick FreeBSD way.

3. The ports collection, the slow FreeBSD way.

AppCafe® provides an intuitive, graphical method for managing software. Binary packages and ports use command-line tools and require previous knowledge or some time to learn how to use these tools. If you are unfamiliar with how to use FreeBSD packages or ports, it is recommended that you practice first Using Ports Jail before trying to install software directly onto your PC-BSD system. Advanced FreeBSD users can continue to use ports and packages as they would on a FreeBSD system.

This section demonstrates the following PC-BSD tools for managing software on your PC-BSD system:

  • AppCafe® to install PBI software from a graphical application
  • PBI Manager to manage PBI software from the command line
  • Update Manager to manage operating system and software updates from a graphical application
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