System Manager/9.2

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(Sorry for the inconvenience)

This section describes the various tasks that can be performed using the graphical System Manager utility. System Manager can be accessed from Control PanelSystem Manager or by typing pc-sysmanager.


Generating a Diagnostic Report

System Manager, shown in Figure 8.7a, is launched by clicking Control PanelSystem Manager. You will be prompted to input the administrative password to allow the System Manager window to open.
Figure 8.7a: General Tab of System Manager Utility
Figure 8.7b: Mirrors Tab of the 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[1] post or mailing list[2] message.

Setting an Update Mirror

The "Mirrors" tab of System Manager, seen in Figure 8.7b, allows you to configure which PC-BSD® mirror is used when installing applications or updates using AppCafe® or Update Manager.

By default, PC-BSD® automatically checks its list of mirrors every day to ensure each mirror is operational. If you keep the default selection of "Use auto-detected mirrors",
Figure 8.7c: Available Components in System Manager
it will automatically choose the available mirror that is geographically closest to your location and your mirror will automatically change if you are travelling or if your current mirror goes down.

Alternately, you can override the automatic selection by clicking "Select Mirror from list" and choosing a mirror in the drop-down menu. Occasionally, your selected mirror may become busy or unavailable. If you are unable to install a PBI or an update, try selecting another mirror from the drop-down list or change your selection back to "Use auto-detected mirrors".

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.

The mirror setting is saved to /usr/local/etc/pcbsd.conf, as seen in this example:

# Default PC-BSD Mirror for System Updates / Meta-Pkgs PCBSD_MIRROR:

This provides the ability to change the mirror from the command line by editing the URL in that file to point to the desired mirror.

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 the "System Packages" tab of System Manager, shown in Figure 8.7c:

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" button to perform the requested operations.

This page contains a brief description of the available components.

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 8.7d:

Figure 8.7d: Tasks Tab of the System Manager Utility

This tab provides a graphical interface for installing system source (using svn) or the ports tree (using portsnap).

If you click the "Fetch System Source" button, a progress screen will indicate that sources are being downloaded to /usr/src/. Once the download is complete, a "Finished!" message will appear and you can click the "Close" button to exit this screen.

If you click the “Fetch Ports Tree” button, a message will indicate that ports are being fetched and will indicate when this is complete by adding a “Finished!” message to the lower left corner of the message. Ports will be installed to /usr/ports/.

Set Miscellaneous Options

The "Misc" tab of System Manager is seen in Figure 8.7e:

Figure 8.7e: 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 txt=Missing Link[3] 256-color image in the bitmap (.bmp[4]) or ZSoft PCX (.pcx[5]) format. However, this GUI will not accept a bitmap image. Further information can be found at the FreeBSD Bootsplash page[6].

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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