Best (and Most Correct) Way to Run FreeBSD for Desktop

jardows

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5. jardows: What all would change from your post with step-by-step instructions for installing Xfce if I were to instead install KDE?

6. jardows: By the way, my computer has integrated Intel graphics, so I take it I would add kld_list="/boot/modules/i915kms.ko" to /etc/rc.conf?

7. jardows: In comparing the instructions I posted on my blog <https://www.linuxphoto.com/2019/06/25/how-i-installed-xfce-on-freebsd/> to your instructions, I have some questions.
7.1) Why do you not follow 4.4.1. Getting Started with pkg in the FreeBSD Handbook to bootstrap the system by running the following command: # /usr/sbin/pkg?
7.2) Why do you install sddm?
7.3) Is sddm_enabled="YES" necessary in /etc/rc.conf because you installed sddm?
7.4) Should you have started the /etc/rc.conf lines by entering # service dbus start?
7.5) Should I follow the order of steps you provided, or will the order on my blog work as well?
7.6) Do you think your step 5 would be necessary for KDE? The line in ~/.xinitrc you’re talking about to start Xfce was not in my tutorial, but I see you mention it and it is in the Handbook as well. What is it for, and why was I able to use startx to start Xfce without it? I see the Handbook also says to add a line to that file for KDE.
5. It has been a while since I have installed KDE. If I recall correctly, adding the entries to fstab were the only changes needed, aside from installing the kde5 package.

6. Yes.

7.1 pkg is bootstrapped the first time you try to run it, so I don't put it as a separate step
7.2 I like sddm better than the alternatives. It is actively developed, and there is a module for KDE for customizing it. I have had less glitches with it than slim. More personal preference than anything. Installing the graphical login manager eliminates the need to use the ~/.xinitrc file.
7.3 That line is necessary for sddm to start with the system.
7.4 Yes, if you don't want to reboot. I always reboot as my last step, so I don't worry about starting services
7.5 I don't see anywhere in your blog post where you setup the ~/.xinitrc file to load xfce when running startx. That is a necessary step if you don't install the graphical login manager. The order of your post otherwise seems fine, but I have ran into problems with the reboot and shutdown options not working if I don't startx before running the xfce environment.
7.6 Would my step 5 be necessary for KDE? I don't know. I might try it out, but again, it has been a long time since I've installed KDE. ~/.xinitrc is the file that tells startx which window manager/desktop environment to run. If you install a graphical login manager such as sddm or slim, this is unnecessary.
 

mer

Aspiring Daemon

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adding fdescfs and procfs to /etc/fstab comes in the "messages" section of some packages. Do you absolutely need it? Probably not. But like enabling/disabling d-bus, you may lose some functionality by not having them. If that loss doesn't matter to you, don't put them in.
 

grahamperrin

Son of Beastie

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… only when using KDE5?

It's the FreeBSD/Setup page in the KDE Community Wiki:

1634381917244.png

𠄲– so yes, KDE Plasma 5.
 
OP
Scribner

Scribner

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adding fdescfs and procfs to /etc/fstab comes in the "messages" section of some packages. Do you absolutely need it? Probably not. But like enabling/disabling d-bus, you may lose some functionality by not having them. If that loss doesn't matter to you, don't put them in.
What exactly are these lines I should add for complete functionality and where in the process of installation should I add them? I take it I can use the easy editor to add them? I think grahamperrin may have linked to a Wiki edit that had the lines (see post #27), but I want to be sure.
 

Vull

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What exactly are these lines I should add for complete functionality and where in the process of installation should I add them? I take it I can use the easy editor to add them? I think grahamperrin may have linked to a Wiki edit that had the lines (see post #27), but I want to be sure.
I encountered this pkg message when installing libreoffice but not when installing more recent versions of kde5. There was formerly a requirement for procfs (but not fdescfs) in a kde5 related package too, but I'm no longer seeing either of those requirements in any package other than this single jdk (java development kit) package. That's as far as I've been able to trace these requirement but in general I agree with mer's advice in the post you quoted. I'm using libreoffice too, so in my case, I'd require it anyway.

Edited to add: Yes to using easy editor. I would mount them both right after installing the software or as described in the openjdk11 package message I linked in my previous paragraph.
 

mer

Aspiring Daemon

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Scribner as root (su, or sudo), editor of your choice add the following 2 lines to /etc/fstab.
fdesc /dev/fd fdescfs rw 0 0 proc /proc procfs rw 0 0
Rebooting may or may not be needed, or as root you can then do
mount /dev/fd mount /proc
 

GVitaliy

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Messages: 34

It's the FreeBSD/Setup page in the KDE Community Wiki:

View attachment 11744

𠄲– so yes, KDE Plasma 5.
I tried the sddm setup. There are two items in FreeBSD/Setup - should they both be done?

I don't have /usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules-d/ but /usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules.d/

There is no /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf file either. And after you've done

# sddm --example-config /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf

I don't get it, just a long list of parameters on the terminal screen -

Code:
 [Autologin]
# Whether sddm should automatically log back into sessions when they exit
Relogin=false
# Name of session file for autologin session (if empty try last logged in)
Session=
# Username for autologin session
User=
[General]
# Halt command
HaltCommand=/sbin/shutdown -p now
---------------------------------
---------------------------------
 

Vull

Aspiring Daemon

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I tried the sddm setup. There are two items in FreeBSD/Setup - should they both be done?

I don't have /usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules-d/ but /usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules.d/

There is no /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf file either. And after you've done

# sddm --example-config /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf

I don't get it, just a long list of parameters on the terminal screen -

Code:
 [Autologin]
# Whether sddm should automatically log back into sessions when they exit
Relogin=false
# Name of session file for autologin session (if empty try last logged in)
Session=
# Username for autologin session
User=
[General]
# Halt command
HaltCommand=/sbin/shutdown -p now
---------------------------------
---------------------------------
Instead of
# sddm --example-config /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf

you want
sddm --example-config > /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf

Note the ">" character. This redirects the output from the terminal to create the file /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf . Then you can use a text editor to customize the file however you want.

You don't really need this file to login normally using sddm, but you might want to use it to customize certain things. For example, to enable autologin, change Session= to Session=plasma.desktop and User= to User=yourusername. Before doing this, however, I suggest logging in the normal way first.

The preferred way of changing most system settings is by using the "System Settings" program, but autologin is one thing I can't find in "System Settings." Instead, I had to use /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf.

Another thing worth noting is this: I'm unable to change my current theme using sddm.conf. Instead I must use "System Settings". I suspect this is true for most settings. If you can change it with "System Settings" that's very likely the best way to do it, and maybe, the only way to do it. KDE is undergoing rapid development, and I suspect that /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf is considerably out of date, and no longer used, for a lot of settings, but I don't actually know which ones.
 

Vull

Aspiring Daemon

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Messages: 823

Keyword: behaviour – please see the first screenshot.
Thanks but I don't seem to have the same settings in my "System Settings" either with kde5-5.22.5.21.08.1 (quarterly) or kde5-5.22.5.21.08.2 (latest) on FreeBSD-13.0-RELEASE-p4.

Screenshot_20211017_023719.png


In future I suspect sddm.conf will be completely unnecessary for kde5. This however will probably not be true for all desktop environments.
 

matt_k

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Messages: 83

I wonder why nobody proposed the use of sysutils/desktop-installer? I used it very recently to setup my FreeBSD desktop at work and it worked perfectly. I figured that I don't have the time nor the willpower to do everything manually, so I gave it a try.
Installed KDE, everything just works, including printers, scanner, sound (2 different sound cards present), graphics acceleration (a bit of fine-tuning was necessary [nvidia], but yea), multimedia keys.
I was very impressed and from that experience I will try and propose that to anyone who wants to have a FreeBSD desktop hassle-free.
I wonder how hassle-free is it for different HW specs

I understand that there is a lot of learning happening when a person sets up the desktop from a barebones install, but I wonder how useful/valuable that learning process is. You set it up once and if everything works, you don't touch it for years.
 

GVitaliy

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Messages: 34

Which two items do you mean?

I meant this from the KDE Community Wiki.

1634463522984.png


At the same time, I would like to know what the file is for /usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules-d/40-wheel-group.rules.

Instead of
# sddm --example-config /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf

you want
sddm --example-config > /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf

Yes, you're right, the line

# sddm --example-config /usr/local/etc/sddm.conf

I took from the description in the above screenshot and didn't pay attention to the missing ">" character. Maybe a correction needs to be made there?

The sddm.conf itself I wanted to use to change the theme after installation

Code:
pkg ins -y plasma5-sddm-kcm
pkg ins -y sddm-freebsd-black-theme

I wonder why nobody proposed the use of sysutils/desktop-installer?

The script works fine, but I had to give it up because some of the settings it makes, for me as a beginner, are not very clear.

Even a simple copying of instructions, as in the above case with a missing ">", causes errors, and I want to understand every step - what and why I do it.

So I saved the contents of the master configuration files after it was done for further analysis and went back to manually installing it step by step.
 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

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I want to understand every step - what and why I do it.

So I saved the contents of the master configuration files after it was done for further analysis and went back to manually installing it step by step.
What you are doing is by far the "most correct" way. Trying to understand what magic scripts / installers are doing underneath is the only way to get proficient with an OS or any technology.

These scripts are great, but the most benefit they provide is when they are decomposed and understood.
 

grahamperrin

Son of Beastie

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I meant this from the KDE Community Wiki.

I'm familiar only with the quick start part.

<https://community.kde.org/FreeBSD/Setup#Configuring_SDDM> must be outdated, but I'll not attempt to correct it. IMHO documentation for SDDM belongs elsewhere.

Code:
% file /usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules-d/40-wheel-group.rules
/usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules-d/40-wheel-group.rules: cannot open `/usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules-d/40-wheel-group.rules' (No such file or directory)
%

The file does not exist, I'm not aware of a requirement.

<https://www.freshports.org/x11/sddm/#message> does not express a requirement for that file.

In addition:
 
OP
Scribner

Scribner

Active Member

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Scribner as root (su, or sudo), editor of your choice add the following 2 lines to /etc/fstab.
fdesc /dev/fd fdescfs rw 0 0 proc /proc procfs rw 0 0
Rebooting may or may not be needed, or as root you can then do
mount /dev/fd mount /proc
How do you type the above two lines? Do the correct number of spaces need to be in there? I am talking about:
fdesc /dev/fd fdescfs rw 0 0 proc /proc procfs rw 0 0

Additionally, GVitaliy brings up a good point: Is there more work I need to do from the KDE Wiki other than just what's listed under the heading "KDE and the rest" at <https://community.kde.org/FreeBSD/Setup#Quick_start> (in addition to graphics/drm-kmod)? If so, could someone tell me what all I need to do from that KDE setup page, keeping in mind I will be using packages and have integrated Intel graphics?

I will be typing up a full set of instructions at some point -- unless someone more qualified would be willing to write them out -- and will seek the gracious support of members in this thread to proofread them. Thanks in advance!
 

grahamperrin

Son of Beastie

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… Is there more work I need to do from the KDE Wiki other than just what's listed under the heading "KDE and the rest" …

If graphics work: no, nothing more should be required.

It's a quick start because those few steps suffice.
 

GVitaliy

Member

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Messages: 34

IMHO documentation for SDDM belongs elsewhere
And where can I find documentation on sddm, and how to set up black-theme?

Also, the built-in help for KDE in my localized version is from 2018. There are links to online documentation, but how do you tell what applies to FreeBSD from things that only apply to Linux?
 
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