System Manager/9.2

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(Sorry for the inconvenience)

This section describes the various tasks that can be performed using System Manager.


Generating a Diagnostic Report

System Manager, shown in Figure 7.3a, is launched by clicking Control Panel -> System Manager. You will have to input the administrative password to allow the System Manager window to open.

Figure 7.3a: General Tab of System Manager Utility


The General tab displays the following system information:

  • the version of PC-BSD
  • the version of the underlying FreeBSD base
  • the CPU type and speed
  • the amount of physical memory

The Generate button can be used to create a report that includes the following items:

  • the output of the dmesg command, which shows messages from the kernel
  • the last few lines of the /var/log/messages log file
  • the output of the pciconf -lv command, which lists all the devices that were found when the system booted
  • your X configuration file, which shows your display settings
  • your /etc/rc.conf file, which shows your startup settings
  • your /boot/loader.conf file, which shows which drivers are loaded at boot time
  • the output of the command df -m, which shows your amount of free disk space
  • a listing from the top command, which shows the currently running processes

When you click the Generate button, you will be prompted to input the name and location of the text file that will be created. Since it is a text file, you can view its contents in any text editor. When troubleshooting your system, this file is handy to include in your forum post or mailing list message.

Setting an Update Mirror

The Mirrors tab of System Manager, seen in Figure 7.3b, allows you to configure which PC-BSD mirror is used in order to check for and install updates to the operating system or installed PBIs. The default selection is to use the closest geographic mirror. Occasionally, this mirror is busy or may not contain the PBI or update that you wish to install. To change the default mirror, click the "Select Mirror from list" button and select a mirror from the drop-down list.

Figure 7.3b: Mirrors Tab of the System Manager Utility


If your company maintains its own repository of PBIs or updates, you can select the "Specify a custom mirror" button and input the IP address of the company's server.

Install/Uninstall Desktops and System Components

During the installation of PC-BSD you had an opportunity to install desktops and system components. Should you wish to review these components, install missing components, or remove installed components, you can do so in Control Panel -> System Manager. After inputting the superuser password, click on the System Packages tab, shown in Figure 7.3c:

Figure 7.3c: Available Components in System Manager


Check the boxes for the components that you wish to install, uncheck the boxes for the components that you wish to remove, then click the Apply Changes button to perform the requested operations.

Install FreeBSD Source and Ports

During the installation of PC-BSD you had an opportunity to install FreeBSD source and ports. If you did not and wish to do so after installation, use the Tasks tab of System Manager, shown in Figure 7.3d:

Figure 7.3d: Tasks Tab of the System Manager Utility


This tab is divided into two sections:

Ports Console: this section contains one option, to "Fetch Ports Tree". This will install the FreeBSD ports collection into the Ports Jail.

System Tasks - Advanced Users Only: this section contains two options, to "Fetch System Source" and to "Fetch System Ports Tree". These options will install source or the ports tree into ///usr/. If you are not familiar with how to build FreeBSD kernels, world, or ports, you should not perform these tasks on your primary desktop. Instead, practice inside a virtual machine or on a test system.

If you click the "Fetch System Source" button, you will see the screen shown in Figure 7.3e:

Figure 7.3e: Downloading System Source Using System Manager


The first time you access this screen, the Selected CVSup server will show as UNSET, meaning you will get an error if you click the Start button until you select a server to download source from. To select the server, click the Find Fastest button to open the screen shown in Figure 7.3f:

Figure 7.3f: Finding the Fastest Server to Download Source From


By default the All box is checked, meaning that System Manager will connect to each possible server to determine which server has the fastest response time. If you already know which server you would like to use or wish to narrow the choices down to a geographic region, uncheck this box, highlight the desired country name(s) and use the right arrow button to move the selection to the Selected box. When ready, click the Start button. After a few moments, the progress bar will move to 100% and System Manager will list the name of the fastest server. Click Yes to select the server and its address will now appear as the Selected CVSup server.

By default, the checkbox next to "all" is checked (as seen in Figure 7.5f) as you typically want to download all system source. Advanced users can uncheck this box and check the sections of source they wish to download. To download source, click the Start button; System Manager will show its progress by indicating which source files are being downloaded. Once the download is complete, "Finished!" will appear in the upper left corner and you can click the Close button to exit this screen.

Set Miscellaneous Options

The Misc tab of System Manager is seen in Figure 7.3g:

Figure 7.3g: Misc Tab of the System Manager Utility


The Boot Screen section of this tab allows you to configure whether or not the PC-BSD splash image appears during boot and the language of the splash screen. Uncheck this box if you prefer to watch the boot messages instead of the splash image. Localized versions of the PC-BSD splash screen are installed in the /usr/local/share/pcbsd/splash-screens/ directory. If you click the Custom button, you can browse to the location of a customized splash screen.
Note: the splash screen must be an indexed-mode 256-color image in the .pcx format.

The Other Options section of this tab contains a checkbox to "Force IBUS keyboard input. Check this box if you wish to to input Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Indic characters using a Latin keyboard.

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