PC-BSD Quick Guide, draft part I

Here is a draft of some thing I’ve been writing. Gotta love vim for text editing, it’s actually written in HTML so I’d get a little more used to using it. I know enough html and can look up enough to be able to get around, the only problem is any thing I cook up will have “Designed for lynx” written all over it. I don’t enjoy html enough to get fancy with it ^_^

//Start draft

Common tasks

In this chapter we will go over a number of common tasks faced by every day users and administrators. We will discuss such matters using plain english and discribe using graphical user interfaces and the command line interfaces as well as configuration files. This will allow you to chose which method you prefer and to be more productive.

We have broken down common tasks into the following:

  • Installing applications
  • Adding new users
  • Adding custom fonts
  • Downloading system updates

Installing Applications

There are several methods of installing software on a PC-BSD system. Each method will be discribed in more detail below.

  1. PBI Installer, the easy way
  2. Packages, the quick FreeBSD way
  3. Ports, the traditional FreeBSD way

When you install software from a PBI you will be presented with a simple graphical way to install software. Simular to many other popular operating systems you just click and go. Since PBI programs are created from traditional FreeBSD ports and packages they are fewer and less up to date then ports.

Ports and Packages are the traditional ways of installing software. You can get the most up to date software by compiling from ports. You may also quickly install allot software using packages, but not all software is available as a package or PBI.

Installing software via PBI

When you install a program through the PcBsdInstaller system it is placed with all required files in it’s own folder in /Programs and linked into the system. This is very simple and safe to the persons system as person is not changed more then necessary to allow the packages to function/*Footnote*/

To install a PBI we need to go to the PBI Directory and download a program

Once the download is completed simply double click on the file to launch the installer. It will prompt you once for the super users password before beginning the installation process. This is to ensure you are installing the program and not any one that may have sat down at your computer. It’s both effective as a security measure and parental control.

Click next at the welcome screen, you will then be asked to read any license agreements that comes with the program you are installing. Check the I agree box and click next to continue installation. You will now have the options of placing icons on your desktop and entries in the PBI Programs section of the K-Menu. Check all boxes that you wish done and click install. Once it has completed the installation click finshed and tryout your program

If at a later date you wish to add an icon to your desktop you may do so by right clicking on the desktop….. You can also install in text mode from a console by changing directory to the location of the PBI and run the following as the super user.
./PBI_File -text

/*Footnote*/ Some PBI do modify the base system beyond standard restrictions out of requirment. Examples of this include the Linux Compatiblity layer, Graphics and Audio drivers, e.t.c.

Fetching packages

Packages are prepaired files for installing software, they install software into the system and can cause dependancy issues. The package system is comparable to RPM, Dpkg, and Apt-Get used in several Linux Distros. Installing packages requires you to open a console with root permissions. You can type kdesu konsole in a run dialog from the K-Menu or open a konsole from the K-Menu in super user mode, or open a konsole and type su and press enter. You will be prompted for the root (super user) password, it will nto display the password on screen for security reasons. After switching to the super user account you have complete access to the system and can install software at will.

You can install a program using the package system like so:

#pkg_add -r irssi

will install the irssi with all required files. You can generally find the binary (execuitable) in /usr/local/bin, configuration files in /usr/local/share// or your home directory and the libraries (like .dll) will be placed into the system as needed. This is true for ports as well, the PBI system is favored by users wanting to avoid this at the minor expense of some disk space. As PBI install all files into /Programs/ but ports are kept up to date and contain many more programs

You can uninstall a package by using the pkg_delete command and the name and version of the package or a wild card.

pkg_delete irssi-0.8.10_2 and pkg_delete “irssi-*” are equavilent.

You can get info about an installed package the same way using the pkg_info command.

#pkg_info “irssi-*”

Installing software using ports

Traditionally BSD installs software from source, the ports collection is a easy to use system that makes this as painless as possible. You first need to install an up to date ports collection before you may use ports to install software. New users coming from Gentoo Linux will find this simular to the Emerge system based on FreeBSD ports.

To install the ports collection click on the K-Menu and navigate to settings, administration, PC-BSD System. Enter the super users password to acces the admin panel and click on the tasks tab. Now click fetch ports and it will begin downloading the necessary files and installing them.
This will take awhile depending on your internet connection and Processor speed.

If you wish to do this from the command line open a console as the super user as discribed in fetching packages and run the following command

#cvsup -g -L 1 /root/ports-supfile

You can also use the portsnap method

#portsnap fetch && portsnap extract

If you install ports using portsnap you should not update the ports collection with cvsup, instead use:

#portsnap fetch && portsnap update

if you installed ports using cvsup you may update them in the same way as before:

#cvsup -g -L 1 /root/ports-supfile

You can edit the supfiles and set a download mirror closer to you, please see the FreeBSD handbook for more information on using CVSUP

Now that the ports collection is installed if you look in /usr/ports you will see a simple tree structure of folders. The structure is in the format of catagory, program name.

//end draft

I need to start looking at KPorts and a few other things, I also have some notes in the text but Live Journal treats them as comments just liek HTML, although you don’t need any html skill at all to use LJ.