.. Fixing PC-BSD 10.2 issues

Table of Contents

PC-BSD has a few annoying issues by default.

HTML 5 videos run with high CPU in Firefox

HTML 5 videos use 150% of my CPU (see this bug) using the OSS backend for Firefox.

Recommended solution

The recommended solution for now is to switch Firefox to the ALSA backend of pulseaudio. Luckily, installing the package firefox-pulse makes this change quickly.

This leads to another issue with pulseaudio: sound playback is jittery. To fix this, uncomment and edit these two lines in /usr/local/etc/pulse/daemon.conf:

default-fragments = 8
default-fragment-size-msec = 5

This solution isn't ideal, however, as it means controlling the audio in Firefox separately from the rest of the system. For example, each time I plug my headphones in, I need to set CubebUtils to use /dev/dsp1 in the pulseaudio Volume Control, separate from the global output

Luckily for me, I keep my headphones in nearly all the time.

Alternative solution

Other people might want to avoid installing the firefox-pulse package/port and use a workaround to keep using the OSS backend. Keep in mind that it has some caveats. Rebuild alsa-plugins with some changes:

cd /usr/ports/audio/alsa-plugins
sudo make config

Now select BUFSZ_P2 and BLKCNT_P2. Finally:

sudo make install clean

System locks up on resume from suspend

Due to syscons not supporting KMS with the Intel driver in New Xorg, many Thinkpad users are awaiting newcons to fix video not resuming after suspend.

For now, here is my somewhat hackish fix to prevent the unrecoverable black screen after resuming. Put this line somewhere in /etc/rc.suspend (I use Line 57):

/usr/sbin/vidcontrol -s 1 < /dev/console

All this does is switch to the console on suspend. Then switch back to Xorg on resume by sticking a line just before exit 0 in /etc/rc.resume:

/usr/sbin/vidcontrol -s 9 < /dev/console

Dolphin cannot search for files

Arguably this is a KDE bug, and not specific to PC-BSD, but in a vanilla PC-BSD installation, searching in Dolphin will yield no results. For another hackish fix, execute:

kcmshell4 kcm_baloofile

Now add any folder you like to Do not search in these locations and press OK. Execute balooctl status:

Baloo File Indexer is running
Indexed 596 / 596 files
Failed to index 0 files

If the output of Indexed is not 0, then things are now working.

Laptop does not power down after critical battery

Despite warnings of critical battery from KDE, my Thinkpad x230 will drain completely without a clean power-down. I execute this reliable script found on the FreeBSD forums (credit to user DutchDaemon) from /etc/rc.local:

sh /usr/local/bin/battery-action.sh

PC-BSD Control Panel icons go missing

For some reason the icons disappear in the PC-BSD control panel every so often, but when it happens, I just click the drop-down button in the top right near the search bar, and switch to large icons and back again to reset the icon sizes.