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PC-BSD® provides a unique file format known as a PBI (push button installer). PBI files end with the .pbi extension and areself-contained installation programs. When a PBI is installed using AppCafe®, even novice users are protected from the risk of inadvertently overwriting or deleting files needed by the operating system or other applications.
If you prefer to install PBIs from the command line, see the section on using pbi_add.
PBIs are the recommended software installation method on PC-BSD®. Update Manager will automatically notify you when newer versions of software installed through the PBI system are available. PBIs will also be preserved over system upgrades and system meta-package changes.
Installing and Uninstalling PBI Software
To install a PBI, start AppCafe® by double-clicking its icon on the Desktop, going to Control Panel ➜ AppCafe®, or by typing appcafe from a command prompt. The "Browse" tab in AppCafe® can be used to browse for available software, as seen in Figure 7.1a, also shows that 1021 PBIs are available and 3 are currently installed on this system.If you know the name of the application you would like to install, type its name into the "Search" bar. Alternately, you can click on a software category (for example, "Archivers") to browse for available software. Use the back arrow or home icon to navigate within the browser. In the example shown in Figure 7.1b, the user searched for the "gimp" application then clicked on the "Gimp" search result.
Figure 7.1b shows an example of the information that is available for each PBI:
- Name and icon of the application; in this example, it is Gimp.
- A hyperlink to the application's website; in this example, clicking on "The GIMP Team" will open gimp.org in the user's default web browser.
- Either a Download icon (if the application is not currently installed) or an Installed icon if it is already installed.
- The version of the application.
- The platform (i386 for 32-bit applications and amd64 for 64-bit applications). If you are on a 64-bit system and there is only a 32-bit application, AppCafe® will install the 32-bit application and PC-BSD® will still be able to run the program.
- The type will indicate whether the application is graphical or text (command line).
- Whether or not the installation requires the root (administrative) password.
- The license used by the software.
- The size of the initial download of the PBI.
- A description of the application.
If you right-click an installed PBI you can:
- View details: Figure 7.1d shows an example of a PBI's details. In addition to the information usually available for a PBI in the "Browse" tab, the details will indicate that the PBI is installed and a checkbox is added for "Automatic Updating". Check this box if you would like Update Manager to automatically update this PBI, rather than just notify you that a newer version is available.
- Install PATH links: select this option if you will be starting the application from the command line as it will add the command's location to your $PATH.
- Install PATH links (All Users): adds the command's location to the $PATH of all users so that they can start the application from the command line. Requires the administrative password.
- Uninstall: will uninstall the PBI. Once the PBI removal is complete, it will be removed from the Installed list.
- Install Desktop Icons: will create a shortcut to the application on the user's desktop.
- Install Menu Icons: will add an entry for the application to the supported desktop's application menu.
- Install Menu Icons (All Users): will add an entry for the application to the application menu of every user. Requires the administrative password.
Updating Installed PBIs
If you click File ➜ Preferences, you will see the screen shown in Figure 7.1f.
If you click Repositories ➜ Configure Repository from within AppCafe®, you will see the screen shown in Figure 7.1g:
If you have created your own .rpo file using the pbi_makerepo command, you can use Repositories ➜ Add Repository to browse to the location of the .rpo file. This is the equivalent of manually running the pbi_addrepo command.