Managing a PC BSD workstation

I am a big fan of the clean lines of FreeBSD Unix. However, I am in a minority, where the winner (Linux) has massive network effect advantages.

Migrating my main workstation(s) to Linux is not my preferred solution.

I used to build my workstation from scracth - rebuilding the whole from source (See OSBuilder). However that started taking more and more precious time.

So I am looking for productivity solutions.

I am a software professional choosing to use BSD to develop on, and choosing to do so in a manner that does not lose me days of client-billable time if a driver upgrade fails.

PC-BSD presents a workstation on FreeBSD. They spend a lot of time and effort making things work. But we can cut down a lot on the outliers.

  • Why is the world changing when the basic stuff still works?


Ethernet networking just works. So stick with it. For a desktop machine this is fine. For a laptop - well I used to stick to one dongle and one set of configs - till that changed below me. Now - Netgear universal WiFi.


PC-BSD have prebuilt pbis. THats fine but on an upgrade they wipe out all your nice ports you built. And if you dont use ports, you dont get source - fopr example you need to build postgres-client apps (psql) from source so that Python psycopg libraries can be built.

So - the PC_BSD upgrade doesnot wipe portjails

  1. initialising the portjail

  2. updating a working portjail

    portjail console
    su (sudo not configured here)
    portsnap fetch extract (or update)


Setting up ghi

sudo /usr/local/bin/gem18 install iconv – –with-opt-dir=/usr/local/

Xorg and Dual Monitors

I know VGA moniotr works - I used to have iut running pre PC-BSD and I can dual moniotr with anohter laptop xrandr not finding VGA

[pbrian@hadrian ~]$ sudo lspci | grep -i vga 00:01.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Device 9802

sudo update-pciids migrating from pkg_config to pkgconf

Basically a main junction is being replaced / renamed. We want to renameit thoughtout beforr more problems

sudo portmaster -o devel/pkgconf devel/pkg-config