A few questions about update from 10.3 and new installation


I’ve been reading and try to study what an update to TrueOS will mean. I have a few thoughts and questions.

I currently use 10.3 P6 (last and final update on PC-BSD if I understand it correctly?) with KDE and I like it although I miss a few things like Skype and a WYSIWYG Website editor like BlueGriffon (hope that will come on TrueOS’s AppCafe) as well it doesn’t support the hardware on my kinda new Asus Notebook (I come back to that below).

However, as far as I can understand from what I’ve read in e.g. the TrueOS Handbook (I’ve not read it all, but tried to get some clarity in what will happen), TrueOS Desktop won’t update from the PC-BSD Update Manager, but require a kind of new installation from e.g. a DVD? I’ve also understood that 10.3 will be saved in the Boot Environment Manager if I just press OK according to section “10.2.2. Upgrading from PC-BSD® 10.x to TrueOS®” in the TrueOS Handbook. My present ZFS Pool is called “Tank”, will TrueOS create “Tank1”?

But what will happen to all settings? Will they be transferred to the new installation? Or will I be able to manually transfer them? I know how to make back-ups from Thunderbird and Firefox and as long as it will be the same procedure in TrueOS it shouldn’t cause any problems. I also have all my files on a second HDD (ZFS formatted) so they should be safe there (the primary SSD I use for the system only). I also know how to reactivate the second HDD given that it also will be the same procedure. But what about all other settings in KDE?

I understand there won’t be any Desktop Environment options in the installation process on TrueOS as on PC-BSD, but I’ll comes with Lumina only?
I’ve not used Lumina before (tried to install a Beta version on another computer before, but I didn’t like it at all). However, according to screenshots and the pics in the Handbook it looks kinda nice, but we’ll see if I like its behaviour. Otherwise I plan to install KDE. But will KDE look and behave in the same way on TrueOS as on PC-BSD? Can a subsequently KDE installation cause any problems on TrueOS?

To be on the safe side I plan first to install TrueOS on my new Asus 10" Notebook. It currently has no PC-BSD on it since it didn’t work. As far as I learned it’s according to its AMD Radeon HD 8180G graphics card https://forums.pcbsd.org/thread-20927-post-115109.html . Will this work on TrueOS?
Will there be settings for the laptop touch pad on TrueOS? (don’t think it is on PC-BSD) I always want to turn off the tapping function since I hate it when you put a finger on the tab and it clicks instead of moves.

I tried Linux Mint with KDE on it to be able to use it in the meantime, and thought it may look and behave like PC-BSD with KDE, but it doesn’t, it feels like garbage so I’m not put it away for now.

Note, I’m not using PC-BSD as Virtual Box, but as primary installation and no dual boot since I hardly use Windows at all anymore. Any thoughts?
Well, actually I have Windows XP on an old test computer and on another small 10" PB DOT S Netbook (its hardware doesn’t meet the Minimum Requirements for PC-BSD). But as soon I get the new Notebook to run with TrueOS I’ll clean out the PB and try to sell it. It’s in mint condition and some Windows XP or 7 or Linux lover will surely enjoy it (it has a Swedish/Scandinavian keyboard).

BTW, I guess there won’t be no update notification in the PC-BSD Update Manager? How do we know when the final release of TrueOS is out? In TrueOS Download directory http://download.trueos.org/master/amd64 it just says “TrueOS-Desktop-2016-10-14-x64-DVD.iso”, not Beta or RC so?

OK guys, keep up the good work and I hope you have some pleasing responses for me :slight_smile:


Ok, you asked a lot of questions, so I will try to break them down and answer them one-by-one:

  1. How to do upgrade from PC-BSD 10.3 to TrueOS?
    A: You will need to download the TrueOS ISO or IMG file and burn to a DVD/USB just as if you are going to do a fresh installation. Within the installer, it will detect that you already have a ZFS pool setup and give you the option to do a fresh install of TrueOS into a boot environment within that pool (it does not change the pool or create a new one to replace it). This will basically preserve all of your user data and user settings, but start fresh from an OS perspective - meaning that you will need to recreate your user accounts before you can re-access your old user data. You may also have to install additional 3rd party packages as needed to get it back to how your original PC-BSD system was setup.

  2. Can I use something other than Lumina?
    A: Yes, other desktop are available on TrueOS, but Lumina is the only one officially supported by the TrueOS team (meaning that bug reports with KDE/GNOME/etc need to go to the respective port maintainers). Similarly, in the future you may not be able to take advantage of some unique TrueOS features without using Lumina.

  3. What about AMD Radeon HD 8180G driver support?
    A: AMD graphics driver support is still “iffy” at the moment. The only AMD driver which works right now is the amdgpu driver, and that one only supports a smaller subset of the newer AMD cards. You might be able to use the vesa or scfb drivers in the meantime - you just need to try it and see (you can try within the installer - no need to install to disk first).

  4. What about touchpad settings?
    A: A number of touchpads just work out of box now, but if you want to fully disable the touchpad, I have found it easier to do so in the BIOS settings for the laptop. For management of input devices, I am actually working on an interface for that within Lumina right now. If you use KDE or some other desktop you might be able to configure the touchpad as you like - I just don’t know much they allow offhand.

  5. Due to the nature of upgrading from PC-BSD to TrueOS, I don’t think you will get a notification from the PC-BSD update manager (would need to ask @kris about that). We are technically still in beta right now, and are planning to announce the “release” of TrueOS next month. Keep your eyes open on the blogs/forums/etc as we will make it very clear when that happens… :slight_smile:

Tried to install TrueOS today - no luck

Yay! Thank you all very much. :sunglasses:


Next month? That’s great news! Really looking forward to TrueOS.


Thanks a lot Ken for the clarifying reply, but just to illustrate a few things about your replies.

1a. I don’t think it will cause any problems to install 3rd party packages again as long as I can go back to 10.3 and redo/delete TrueOS if something goes wrong. Will that be possible?
1b. I have two ZFS Pools in Disk Manager, “tank” and “Harddisk” (that’s my secondary HDD). The “Harddisk” looks quite simple, but “tank” has a looong list of stuff in the ZFS Filesystem, even some stuff from as far back as 10.1 and I don’t know what it’s all for (the oldest enter in Boot Manager is 10.3 P3). Will this list be even longer after installing TrueOS? I guess it doesn’t matter, but I’m thinking if this old stuff may affect the computers speed? Also so stuff won’t get mixed up? In this part I’m very much a novice. I enclose four screenshots so you know what I’m talking about.

I could not enclose the screenshots so I put them on my server where you can see or download them:

  1. (some criticism) I actually don’t understand the reason why you redo the whole system. Changing name from PC-BSD to TrueOS as @Kris puts it to “avoid some of the alphabet soup, and give us a more catchy name” (well, maybe in English, not in Swedish :wink: ) is one thing. But is there any advantage to redo the entire system? Remove the desktop options? Remove the preinstall options for e.g. Thunderbird, Firefox, Libreoffice etc? And have us reinstall the system instead of just updating the existing system with Update Manager and if desired just change its name to TrueOS?

But what will actually happen when I install TrueOS onto my now functioning 10.3? Will it, a) skip to Lumina? b) keep running as KDE?
If “a” I guess I’ll have to install KDE (if I will want it that is, depends on how Lumina feels) as a 3rd party package? And then somehow drag the settings from the 10.3 saved boot environment? I my ears it doesn’t sound doable which means to set it manually, but I can live with that :smirk:

“…some unique TrueOS features”? What will those be? :sunglasses:

  1. I know there may be some BIOS settings to fully disable the touchpad, but that’s not an issue for me, I just want to be able to turn off the tapping function. But I guess I’ll find out when the time comes.

It will be really interesting to see what and how things will turn out. I hope everything will work out fine since as for now I can’t think of any other OS to use :slight_smile:

The spyware infested Windows 10 is completely out and I didn’t even start the Asus Notebook that came with Windows 8.1 preinstalled. I just opened it, removed the HDD and inserted an empty SSD :laughing:


1a: No problem. By installing TrueOS into a new boot environment, you should be able to “roll back” to your older 10.3 boot environment if you need to.

1b: Part of the install to BE option is a box to select which pool to install to. From your setup, it looks like “tank” is the one that contains all your boot environments, and “Harddisk” is an extra pool you created for data storage.

1: We changed the name because the whole system under the hood changed… :wink:
I feel like I am repeating a bit of the “features” mentioned on the website, but here are a couple of the “big” changes under the hood which made us also want to change the name:

  • FreeBSD base now managed by pkg (no clean upgrade path from the old freebsd-update mechanisms to base packages - which is why base packages are still not used in FreeBSD itself yet).

  • Rolling release based on FreeBSD-CURRENT (no hard versioning like before)

  • Start pruning/changing a few things from stock FreeBSD (LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL, compiler changes, import the newer Xorg drivers and stuff, etc…)

  • From a desktop perspective, the entire experience changed with the move to Lumina and away from KDE (more of a minor reason, but I wanted to mention it as well since you brought that up as possibility and it was one of the things we talked about).

  1. The new BE for TrueOS will be a clean install: only the TrueOS default packages will be installed (such as Lumina, but not KDE). You will have to install KDE afterward (via the AppCafe or pkg), and then all your user-settings for KDE will get used normally the next time you log into it.

  2. Two new features will be announced in November alongside the general release announcement for TrueOS. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks. If you keep your eyes open and watch our changes closely, you will probably be able to guess what at least one of them is though… :wink:


Very nice to see only two WMs/DEs on the pcdm dropdown. :thumbsup: That was my first inkling of “wow, this is gonna be good.” And it was.


The recent tip in DistroWatch

Please, can someone from the project advise on suitability of the steps that are offered in DistroWatch?

I see no problem with the given use of freebsd-update(8) whilst the operating system is at 10.3. More generally, please:

  • can users expect the end result of a live upgrade to be as good, as ‘clean’ as an upgrade that uses the project’s installer?

Two of the .conf files at https://resonatingmedia.com/TrueOS/repos/ were probably created before plans for EDGE repository URLs were disclosed. If I understand correctly, both http://pkg.cdn.trueos.org/master/amd64-base and http://pkg.cdn.trueos.org/master/amd64 will be treated as STABLE.

Looking ahead

Given the transition to OpenRC: I imagine that when OpenRC becomes the the (STABLE) norm, the steps that are currently offered in the DistroWatch tip will be not enough for an installation of TrueOS to work as expected with OpenRC …


Based on your responses to the initial question, specifically answer #1, I have decided I would rather create a (new partition with) TrueOS rather than risk messing with trying to repair an old PC-BSD10.3 installation that is working well for me now.
To that aim, I have at least 3 questions:
Now that the FreeBSD loader has been expanded to implement ZFS and multiple BE’s,

  1. Can I stamp over the old PCBSD Grub boot with the new, improved, FreeBSD boot loader?
    1a. More particularly without harming the loader link to my old Win-7 partition?
    Since I plan to put the new TrueOS into a 100+GB partition,
  2. Should I use the old grub loader or will the stamping process the new TrueOS installation goes thru, simply add the old to the new somehow?
  3. I have a USB stick with the Feb 09 image on it already, has there been any improvements in the Feb 22image specifically in the loader, that would warrant downloading and using that image instead ?

This question isnt quite covered in the handbook nor any of the discussion entries I’ve seen so far and I Really do not want to hose up my pcbsd10.3 just yet.

  1. @kris has been working on a migration path from GRUB to the FreeBSD loader recently - you might want to wait until that is finished first and we get it added into the installer so that when you do a fresh install into a new boot environment (the upgrade path from PC-BSD -> TrueOS) it will switch your boot loader over as well.
    1a) If your system is already using EFI partitions, then I think a combination of the FreeBSD loader on the TrueOS partition, and rEFInd in the MBR will allow it to work with your current windows partition too. Of course, back up any sensitive data first, just in case… :wink:

2/3) See answer 1


Thanks, That might just save me some problems. I had made inquiry’s related to my migration path here on both gitter and discourses, and after a few weeks got little relative responses. So I decided yesterday late to try out my questions myself on a USB stick (or two :slight_smile: ). First to try out your response way up there on this thread, to mix TrueOS onto a PC-BSD installation on a 16GB stick that after PCBSD installed, still has 10GB free.
Then, I will partition a 32GB stick and put PCBSD on the first, and put TruOS onto the second. We’ll see what happens.

I DO wish we had a real graphical gparted here like the one that comes on debian and ubuntu ( that I know of). I like to see what it’s done graphically. But that’s MY failing, not anybody else. I like commandline but sometimes a gui just shows more! or it’s more convincing, I dont know which hi hi.

Management of storage devices (drives/disks), slices/partitions, file systems and pools

In Post Item #8 from Graham Perrin (grahamperrin), the following question was asked:

“Please, can someone from the project advise on suitability of the steps that are offered in DistroWatch?”

Answer: I tried that and it failed. Worse yet, I could not return to the previous Boot Environment. Save your data and your config files, then do a clean install.