Package Management

One of the most user-friendly features of the PC-BSD® operating system is the PBI package management system. Learn about it and other package management options here!

An Overview

Part of making a desktop operating system that people feel immediately comfortable with is ensuring that software installation is as easy and familiar as possible. PC-BSD has taken this approach when developing the PBI (PC-BSD Installer or Push-Button Installer) file format.


Programs under PC-BSD are completely self-contained and self-installing, in a graphical format. A PBI file also ships with all the files and libraries necessary for the installed program to function, eliminating much of the hardship of dealing with broken dependencies and system incompatibilities.


PBI files also provide developers and packagers with advanced scripting and user interaction in an entirely graphical format, making the entire install procedure similar to what a user would expect from other popular graphical operating systems.

PBI package management features:

  • Completely graphical extraction & installation process.
  • Advanced scripting support - Use shell-scripts to control the installation process.
  • Corruption detection - Ensures that a user's downloaded PBI is intact.
  • Library auto population - Grabs all the library files a binary may need for operation during the creation process.
  • Icon Management - Allows developers to set icons for both the desktop & K-Menu.
  • Program Error Detection - If a PBI installed binary fails and silently outputs a stderr / stdout message, this is captured and displayed in a GUI for troubleshooting.
  • Easy Removal - PBI's can be removed through the "Remove Programs" system utility.
  • PBIs can be found at or in the AppCafe® utility in PC-BSD.

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