PC-BSD is a community project and relies on involvement from its users and supporters. This section lists some ideas for becoming involved.
In order to make PC-BSD better with each release we appreciate your feedback and help. You are welcome to post ideas and to report any bugs/problems that you encounter when using PC-BSD.
Submit PBI Requests
Is an application that you need not currently available as a PBI? Making a PBI request is an excellent way to let PBI developers know which applications are most useful to PC-BSD users. Before requesting a PBI, please do the following:
- check in Software Manager to see if a PBI already exists. If one does but you want to request a more recent version, please say so in your request.
- search at Freshports to see if there is an existing FreeBSD package as it is much easier and quicker to make a PBI from an existing package. If a package does not already exist, please say so in your request.
- check to see if a request has already been made in the PBI Requests Forum or PBI-dev Mailing list.
You can make your request one of two ways:
Whatever method you choose, include the name of the PBI you are requesting in the thread name or email subject line. That way it is easy for PBI developers and other PC-BSD users to know which applications have been requested.
People who create PBIs are subscribed to both the PBI Requests forum and the PBI-dev mailing list. Usually, someone will respond to a request within a few days either indicating that they are working on creating the PBI or with an explanation if creating a PBI will be problematic. The PBI process is as follows:
1. a user requests a PBI
2. someone responds to the request and creates a PBI module
3. the PBI module is sent to the pbi-dev mailing list so it can be added to the PBI build server
4. the PBI module is built on the PBI build server
5. once the PBI is built, PBI testers test for basic functionality such as verifying that the application starts and its menus appear to be present and working
6. once the PBI is tested, the PBI is uploaded to PBIDir so it can be available in Software Manager
7. once the PBI is uploaded, the PBI request is moved from the PBI Requests Forum to the Finished PBIs forum
Please note that it takes at least 2-7 days for a new PBI to go from step 3 to step 7 as it needs to be fully tested. If there is a delay, that means a problem was found in the PBI and that the testers are trying to resolve the problem.
If you wish to be notified whenever a new PBI is added or an existing one is upgraded to a newer version, subscribe to the Latest PBI RSS feed.
The previous section indicated that new PBI modules are uploaded to the PBI build server. There are actually several build locations, according to PC-BSD version and architecture:
- PC-BSD 7.x - i386
- PC-BSD 7.x - amd64
- PC-BSD 8.x - i386
- PC-BSD 8.x - amd64
- PC-BSD 9.x - i386
- PC-BSD 9.x - amd64
Figure X-XX shows a sample from the PC-BSD 8.x 32 bit location:
There are two ways you can assist in testing PBIs.
First, if you wish to help test a PBI before it has been approved, go to the build location for your version and architecture. Find the name of the PBI you wish to test in the Module column and click its hyperlink. You can then download the file with the .pbi extension. If you double-click the downloaded PBI in Dolphin, it will install the PBI for you. If you find any problems with the PBI, send an email to the PBI-dev mailing list describing the problem.
Second, you can try to resolve PBI modules that have a Build Status of FAILED. If you click on the name of a failed module, you can download the build.log.bz2 for that module. To access this file, you can either:
bunzip2 build.log.bz2 to unzip the file so you can send it to a text processor to read it.
bzcat build.log.bz2 to read the file without unzipping it. It will scroll down to the end, where the error occurred. Use bzcat build.log.bz2 | more if you prefer to scroll through the file.
If you think you know the cause of the problem after reading the error messages, you will need the module itself to try to resolve the problem. Modules are located in the PC-BSD subversion repository. To download the module, you can use the svn command. To give an example, the math/scilab PBI was flagged as FAILED in Figure X-XX. To download that module, cd to a suitable directory and issue the command:
Note that the command uses the svn:// URI and does not include the /browser/ section in the URL.
This command will create a directory called scilab and place the module's files in that directory. If you make changes to these files to correct the problem, create a tar.gz of the directory and send the tarball to the PBI-dev mailing list so the changes can be uploaded to the build server.
If you wish to create a PBI for PC-BSD versions 7.x or 8.x, refer to the instructions in the The PBI Module Builder Guide.
The PBI format for 9.x is different and the PBI Format for 9.0 and Beyond describes the changes. Documentation will be added to the PC-BSD 9 Handbook describing how to build PBI modules in the new format.
To help the PC-BSD project financially, why not consider making a donation if you're happy with our product? Alternatively you can buy your PC-BSD installation CD/DVD and cool stuff from FreeBSD Mall, PC-BSD's sister company. Companies may consider buying professional support from iXsystems.
Host a Mirror
We are always interested in more download mirrors. If you have spare web space and bandwidth on your server, PC-BSD will be greatly helped if you would be willing to donate this to us. More mirrors means higher download speeds and more (local) servers for users to download from. PC-BSD is also distributed as torrent and you can help us with seeding, especially the first two weeks after a new release.
Mirrors are the lifeblood of any project such as PC-BSD. If you have a system with a high-speed connection, 150-200GB of space, and the ability to "rsync" with a host, then we need you!
To mirror the PC-BSD ISO / PBI collection, you may use "rsync".
NOTE: Once you've begin the rsync process, please send an email letting us know of the Mirror URL, so we can get you listed on pcbsd.org / pbidir.com.
- rsync -vaz --delete isc.pcbsd.org::ftp .
(Mirror the entire ISO / PBIdir collection) Recommended Frequency: Daily
Become an Advocate
So you love PC-BSD? Why not tell the world about it? Your family, your friends, fellow students and colleagues? You won't be the only one that likes a free, virus-free, spyware-free and adware-free operating system. You can burn a couple of DVDs and pass them out.
Webmasters and bloggers can put a Spread PC-BSD button on their site.