Installing Applications and Keeping Up-to-Date/10.1

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Both PC-BSD® and TrueOS® provide tools to make it easy to manage software and to keep both the operating system and installed software up-to-date. PC-BSD® provides the graphical AppCafe® and Update Manager utilities for managing and upgrading software. Since TrueOS® is a command-line only install and some users prefer to use command-line utilities, both PC-BSD® and TrueOS® provide the PBI Manager suite of command line utilities and pkgng to manage software and pc-updatemanager to manage updates. If you install software using any of the tools described in this chapter, you will automatically be notified whenever a newer version of software is available.

In PC-BSD®, software is available in three different formats:

  • PBIs: 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. 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,. 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.
  • Meta-packages: installable software collections similar to system components. Meta-packages can be selected during installation and include desktops and hardware drivers.
  • Packages: dditional software which includes the default software that is installed with the PC-BSD® operating system. Packages provide a mechanism for quickly installing open source software that has been specifically ported to FreeBSD. Currently, over 23,000 packages are available for installation.

The rest of this chapter demonstrates how to use the built-in graphical and command-line tools for managing software and upgrades.


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