FAQ

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This document aims to cover the most frequently asked questions concerning GhostBSD operating system. Although originally intended to reduce bandwidth and avoid the same old questions being asked over and over again, FAQs have become recognized as valuable information resources.

Every effort has been made to make this FAQ as informative as possible; if you have any suggestions as to how it may be improved, please feel free to contact us.

Contents

Introduction

What is GhostBSD?

Briefly, GhostBSD is a UNIX®-like operating system. It works on AMD64 and Intel® platforms. GhostBSD is based on FreeBSD, which is based on U.C. Berkeley’s “4.4BSD-Lite” release, with some “4.4BSD-Lite2” enhancements. It is also based indirectly on William Jolitz’s port of U.C. Berkeley’s “Net/2” to the i386, known as “386BSD”, though very little of the 386BSD code remains. GhostBSD provides a GNOME, Mate, Xfce, LXDE and Openbox desktop.

Who can use GhostBSD?

GhostBSD can be used by companies, researchers, computer professionals, students and home users all over the world in their work, education and recreation.

What is the goal of the GhostBSD Project?

The goal of the GhostBSD Project is to combine the ease of use of a set of GTK desktop with security and flexibility of the underlying FreeBSD mechanisms. GhostBSD is a great tool to learn FreeBSD and start one’s adventure in the BSD world. GhostBSD may be used for any purpose and without strings attached.

Does the GhostBSD license have any restrictions?

Yes. Those restrictions do not control how you use the code, merely how you treat the GhostBSD Project itself. If you have serious license concerns, read the actual license. For the simply curious, the license can be summarized like this.

  • Do not claim that you wrote this.
  • Do not sue us if it breaks.

Can GhostBSD replace my current operating system?

For most users, yes.

Most people do not actually use an operating system. They use applications, as they are what really makes a computer useful. GhostBSD is designed to provide a Desktop and full-featured environment for applications. It supports a wide variety of web browsers, office suites, email readers, graphics programs, programming environments, network servers, and just about everything else you might want. Most of these applications can be managed through the FreeBSD Ports Collection.

If you need to use an application that is only available on one operating system, you simply cannot replace that operating system. Chances are there is a very similar application on GhostBSD, however. If you want a solid office or Internet server, a reliable workstation, or just the ability to do your job without interruptions, GhostBSD will almost certainly do everything you need.

If you are migrating to GhostBSD from some other UNIX environment, you already know most of what you need to. If your background is in graphic-driven operating systems such as Windows® and older versions of Mac OS®, expect to invest additional time learning the UNIX way of doing things.

Why is it called GhostBSD?

GhostBSD was developed as a Gnome hack operating system technology BSD. After a while it became what was referred to as “Gnome hosted by BSD”, which means that Gnome is hosted on the FreeBSD system. Now that we support multiple GTK desktops it is more accurate to call it "GTK hosted by BSD".

What is the latest version of GhostBSD?

At this point in GhostBSD development, we are at version 3.5.

Releases are made every few months.

Version 4.0 is the next to come, following the release cycle of FreeBSD.

Many GhostBSD users stay up to date using other mechanisms available to FreeBSD users. You can read about them in the Chapter Updating and Upgrading FreeBSD in the FreeBSD Handbook.

When are GhostBSD releases made?

The developers team releases a new version more or less every 8 months. GhostBSD follows the release dates of FreeBSD. A testing period precedes each release in order to ensure, that the addition of new features does not compromise the stability of the release.

How can I contribute?

There is a number of ways to contribute to the GhostBSD project:

  • If you possess abilities in programming and knowledge of FreeBSD operating system, or simply want to learn these things, you might want to consider becoming an active developer in the team. If you are feeling adventurous, you might want to try building GhostBSD, but you might as well join our development mailing list to get in touch with the team and see what work has to be done currently.
  • If you are interested in helping from the artistic perspective you could contribute fan art, logos, wallpapers, or help design/maintain the website layout. In this case, the website mailing list is something to look for additional info on.
  • If you have decent writing skills and know English quite well, you might want to help write documents and produce website and wiki content. Get in touch with us on the website mailing list.
  • If none of the above apply to you, you might just want to use GhostBSD and tell us about bugs you've discovered and ideas you have about how to improve the system You can report them via forums. You might also consider simply spreading the word about GhostBSD!

If you feel like you might be able to help us grow and improve GhostBSD in any of the above ways (or any other way you can come up with), please contact us using the forums, an IRC channel (#ghostbsd on irc.freenode.net) or any of the mailing lists above.

Support

What’s the best way to get support?

At this point, the best ways to contact other GhostBSD users or developers are:

FAQ and User Handbook are under development. Questions can be answered on the forums and IRC will find their way to this page or.

Where can I find complete information on how to get things done in GhostBSD?

For the most part, things can be done on GhostBSD the same way they are done on FreeBSD. This is why we encourage our users to check out the great FreeBSD Handbook in case of any doubts or questions. If the handbook doesn’t cover a specific area of your interest, or it seems GhostBSD differs from FreeBSD in some regard, the forums or IRC channel will hold the answers you seek.

Installation

Where can I get GhostBSD?

Every release image of GhsotBSD is available via SourceForge site:

  • The latest releases images can be found on the Download page.
  • Our Torrent file are available from www.gotbsd.net and www.ghostbsd.org/torrent.
  • You can also buy GhostBSD CD, DVD and USB from OSDisc.com

How do I create a bootable USB pendrive?

Introduction

After downloading the appropriate USB .img file, you must copy it to a pendrive using one of the methods described below. Since the image itself can be slightly above 2 GB in size, we suggest you use at least a 4 GB pendrive.

On Linux

Depending on the architecture, you might want to issue one of the following commands:

sudo dd if=GhostBSD-3.5-i386.img of=/dev/sdf bs=1M conv=sync

or

sudo dd if=GhostBSD-3.5-amd64.img of=/dev/sdf bs=1M conv=sync

On BSD

Depending on the architecture, you might want to issue one of the following commands:

dd if=/path/to/GhostBSD-3.5-i386.img of=/dev/da0 bs=1m conv=sync

or

dd if=/path/to/GhostBSD-3.5-amd64.img of=/dev/da0 bs=1m conv=sync

On Windows

This solution comes from Ubuntu help site, but it applies to GhostBSD as well. You can use one of two tools to create a bootable pendrive on Windows.

Graphical tool
  1. Download the desired .img file
  2. Download Disk Imager from http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/
  3. Insert your flash media
  4. Note the drive letter assigned to your flash media
  5. Start Disk Imager
  6. Select the downloaded file and target device, and click "Write"
  7. Remove your flash media when the operation is complete
Command prompt tool
  1. Download the desired .img file
  2. Download flashnul from http://shounen.ru/soft/flashnul
  3. Attach your USB drive
  4. Run flashnul -p
  5. Note the physical device number for the USB drive
  6. Run flashnul <number obtained in prior step> -L \path\to\downloaded.img
  7. Answer "yes" if the selected destination device is correct
  8. Remove your USB drive when the command completes

Conclusion

After completing the above steps, the pendrive should hold a bootable GhostBSD system. Just reboot your machine and make sure you boot from the USB - it should then start a live session.

Where are the instructions for installing GhostBSD?

Installation instructions for versions since GhostBSD 3.1 can be found at Handbook entry on Installing GhostBSD.

Software Installation

How do I install new software?

In GhostBSD, software can be install with bxPKG, FreeBSD pkg_add (or pkgng on FreeBSD 10.0 based version) and FreeBSD ports:

  • bxPKG is a GTK+ based tool to manage (install and uninstall) binary packages on BSD systems.
  • FreeBSD pkg_add is command used to extract packages that have been previously created with the pkg_create command. pkg_add is use to install a FreeBSD binary package from a local file or from a server on the network. (From FreeBSD 10.0, pkg has been replaced by pkgng, which has slightly different syntax.)
  • FreeBSD Ports is one of the most useful and unique features of FreeBSD compared to most Linux distributions is the Ports Collection. It can be found under /usr/ports and contains the Makefiles for a vast amount of software.

Can I use Linux software on my GhostBSD system?

First, you should know that most "Linux" software is really "open source" software. That is, it is freely available for many operating systems, not just Linux. Most software that runs on Linux should also run on GhostBSD.

Like FreeBSD, GhostBSD uses something called Linux Binary Compatibility. In a nutshell, that means you can run many Linux applications as-is. This section of the FreeBSD Handbook explains this compatibility in more detail and describes when it does not work.

However, you do not have to setup Linux Binary Compatibility on your GhostBSD system as it is already configured for you and should "just work".

Does GhostBSD Support Adobe Flash plugin?

Yes, but a native Adobe® Flash® plugin is not available for GhostBSD. However, a software wrapper for running the Linux® version of the plugin is available. This wrapper also provides support for other browser plugins such as RealPlayer®.

Look How to install Adobe Flash plugin.

System and software updates

How should I update GhostBSD to latest FreeBSD updates?

GhostBSD supports freebsd-update command line to update the FreeBSD base system.

freebsd-update fetch install

Network

Why my WiFi don't work?

look if wlan0 is configured.

cat /etc/rc.conf | grep wlan0

If you have an output similar to:

wlans_run0="wlan0"
ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"

Your WiFi is configured, but it might be down.

sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

Now it should work.

If you have no output, this mean the GhostBSD network configuration system have not detected your WiFi card. The next step for you will be to look if GhostBSD have your WiFi drivers install.

sudo ifconfig | grep -B 3 802.11

In this case run0 is the WiFi drivers.

run0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 2290
       ether 00:1e:e5:e6:5d:1
       nd6 options=29<PERFORMNUD,IFDISABLED,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
       media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11a

If you have an output similar from the example above, you need to configure /etc/rc.conf.

sudo ee /etc/rc.conf

Add those line in /etc/rc.conf(Replace run0 by your drivers).

wlans_run0="wlan0"
ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"

Esc and save and You need to restart netif.

sudo /etc/rc.d/netif restart

Your wifi is now configured, you might have to turn wlan0 up.

sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

If you have no output with sudo ifconfig | grep -B 3 802.11, this can mean your WiFi kernel Module is not compile in GhostBSD or your WiFi card is not yet supported by FreeBSD. Please fill out a problem report form this will help us to make GhostBSD better.

Why the WiFi Network Manager don't work?

You might look at #Why my WiFi don't work? (from above). If you have your WiFi Configured and the WiFi Network Manager still not working.

sudo ifconfig wlan0 scan

You should have something similar to this:

SSID/MESH ID    BSSID              CHAN RATE   S:N     INT CAPS
rogerwifi       bc:14:01:e6:33:48    1   54M -23:-42  100 EP   WPS HTCAP WPA RSN WME
-               bc:14:01:e6:33:49    1   54M -20:-38  100 EP   HTCAP RSN WME
WLAN_6EF1       00:13:f7:c4:6e:f3   11   54M -12:-21  200 ES  
BSDHacker       5c:d9:98:69:df:2e   11   54M -15:-27  100 EP   HTCAP WPA WME WPS

If not sudo ifconfig wlan0 up scan should do it. Now you can setup to your network. From above you have none encrypted and encrypted WiFi network.

For a none encrypted WiFi network add to /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.

network={
        ssid="WLAN_6EF1"
        bssid=00:13:f7:c4:6e:f3
        key_mgmt=NONE
}

For an encrypted WiFi network add to /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.

network={
        ssid="BSDHacker"
        bssid=5c:d9:98:69:df:2e
        key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
        proto=WPA
        psk="yourpasword"
}

For more completed documentation see Wireless Networking.

If sudo ifconfig wlan0 up scan still not scanning, please fill out a problem report form this will help us to make GhostBSD better.

Hardware

Does GhostBSD support the 3D acceleration of my graphics card?

It depends on the hardware of your graphics card, to have support by GhostBSD (or not).[1]

ATI/Radeon

3D acceleration will not work on ATI or Radeon cards until FreeBSD completes its TTM[2] work (possibly in time for FreeBSD 10.0)[3]. You can still use these cards, but you will have to choose the 2D driver, and if that does not work, you will need to resort to using the Vesa driver.

Intel

GhostBSD supports 3D acceleration on most Intel graphics cards. Due to the current KMS support[4], you will not be able to switch between the graphical console and a virtual console (using Crtl+Alt+F#).

Nvidia Graphics

Yes! But nvidia-driver must be loaded.[5] The software can be installed easily, for example by using the (bxPKG/pkg) Package Manager.

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