Unique to PC-BSD there is a "System" window that can be opened by clicking on the "Start Menu> Settings > System Administration > PC-BSD System". At this point a kdesu (the KDE super user shell) window will open and you will have to type in your root password to allow the System window to open. Once the PC-BSD System window opens you will be presented with four tabs with the following titles:
The "General" tab shows us the versions of both PC-BSD and the base FreeBSD system. It's a good idea to report both of these when asking questions on the PC-BSD forums or any of the FreeBSD lists.
Also found on this tab is a report generator that creates a report by clicking on the "Generate" button. While this report doesn't show all system attributes, it does hold an abundance of pertinent information. Items included in the report are as follows:
You will be given an opportunity to save the generated report to a file and directory of your choice. Once it is saved it will open up in kwrite (or your default KDE editor) for your inspection. While this report isn't a complete report of every variable of your system, it is a very comprehensive report of most things that matter and it is quite lengthy. All successful probes and loads as well as most errors will be reported here.
Here on the "Kernel" tab you are presented with several options. They are:
Please be VERY CAREFUL setting options on this tab. The kernel settings and the ATAPI DMA can leave your system in an unstable state if set incorrectly.
If you have two physical CPU sockets on your motherboard, an AMD x2, an Intel Hyperthreading CPU with hyperthreading turned on in the BIOS, or an Intel Core 2 then you should be safe choosing the Multi Processor kernel option by clicking on its drop down and selecting it.
If you want to see all of the probes and peeks of PC-BSD/FreeBSD as it loads the operating system you can un-check the "Enable Splash Screen" option and you will see all the raw messages as the system loads. Some people like to see what is happening and this often comes in handy while diagnosing problems.
The "ATAPI DMA" option will probably not cause any problems if you turn it off but it may slow down your disk access. There seems to be some computers with mostly older CD-ROMs or hard drives that may benefit by having this turned off.
The last option, the "Boot Delay", can be set anywhere from Off to 0 to 60 seconds. It defaults to 1 but some people prefer to set it higher if they are diagnosing problems or need to boot up with special flags set.
Any changes on this tab must be saved by clicking on the "Save Changes" button.
There are many services that can be enabled/disabled on this tab. The list is as follows:
SSH support is enabled by default. If you want to log in from a remote terminal or use a remote desktop like noMachine's client desktop then you must leave it enabled. For the paranoid, PC-BSD comes loaded and turned up with the denyhosts daemon which will keep SSH attacks to a minimum. When there are several invalid SSH logins then denyhosts will ban the attacking IP and the attacker is not allowed any further tries. This protection works very well and sends a report to the root on the daily security run if any attempted break-ins are found. Do yourself and the world a favor, don't use common words as passwords.
NFS support is not turned on as default. If you intend to mount files from any other networked computers that have NFS available you will need to enable this feature.
Samba is on automatically and it used to share files with any Windows computers you may have in your network. If you don't have a network or wish not to use this then you can safely disable Samba and save some system resources.
The CUPS server allows you to install printers and share them over your network. There are two different interfaces you can use to set up your printer. One can be found by clicking on "KMenu > Settings > Control Center". Once the Control Center opens click on the plus (+) next to Peripherals and then the Printers options. You should be able to set up a printer here but there have been problems with some versions of CUPS and also some bugs in KDE that may prevent it from working properly. Many find that using the second method, opening a browser, going to the address "localhost:631" and using the web interface is just as easy and works much better.
As on the previous tab, any changes must be saved by clicking on the "Save Changes" button.
This tab could also be called the "Wait" tab because if you run both of the functions on this tab you will be waiting, and waiting and if you are on dial up connection you could be waiting several hours. The longest wait is only for the first time they are run, major base updates or long intervals between updates. Like all good things that teach patience, this wait will reward you richly if you ever need to compile a kernel or any application not yet available as a PBI. The two functions are:
The first function, the Fetch System Source, will open a small terminal screen and show you how it progresses. This will take some time the first run or at long intervals between updating. If you run it on a regular basis that time will be greatly shortened.
The second function, Fetch Ports, will open a progress window and show you its progress as it downloads, expands and places the ports tree under the /usr/ports directory. This one will also take a while to complete if you are using it for the first time or a long period has elapsed between updates. Once your port tree is downloaded and in place you will be able to open a terminal screen (konsole), log in as root, change directory to the application you want to install and run a make install clean to compile and create the application you wish.