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

astyle

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It can be after too. The whole point of a package system is that it will drag in the dependencies it needs. However to see KDE, you will ultimately need some sort of display system (Xorg, Xvnc, SSH/X11 or Wayland, etc).
I meant install, configure, and get running. You can do stuff out of documented order if you know what you're doing, and will be arriving at intended result anyway. For beginners, I think it helps to have stuff tightly nailed down.
 

kpedersen

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For beginners, I think it helps to have stuff tightly nailed down.
Quite true for the handbook so it logically makes sense for a reader. Though:

Code:
# pkg install xorg
# pkg install kde5

Should result in an identical hard drive contents as:

Code:
# pkg install kde5
# pkg install xorg
 
OP
Scribner

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It looks like all my questions but two (Q2 and Q7) have been answered to my satisfaction. Here they are again:

(Here is the "above link" I mention at the beginning of Q2. It's post #8 by jardows.)

Q2. In the same reply (see above link), I’m told to run as root startx before running sddm or adding a line to start Xfce in the file ~/.xinitrc. Once one sees X has started, one is supposed to immediately exit. This step supposedly automatically configures Xfce; if it’s not followed, the power buttons supposedly won’t work without additional configuration. In a follow-up post, the same user clarifies that he runs into problems with reboot and shutdown options not working if he doesn’t startx before running the Xfce environment. While I’m not planning on using sddm anymore (I’ll just start Xorg with startx)--and I am planning on using KDE not Xfce--should I still follow this step?
Q7. Trihexagonal says to create the ~/.xinitrc from your usr account so you’re not running x11-wm/fluxbox as root. Does this apply to my instructions below? If so, what should I change?

Once I have answers to these questions, I will install FreeBSD and KDE. Ideally, I will do this within a few days of receiving the answers, but I don't like making these kinds of promises.

If anyone has time, looking over my second rough draft of instructions would be helpful (see post #84 or this link).
 

astyle

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Once I have answers to these questions, I will install FreeBSD and KDE. Ideally, I will do this within a few days of receiving the answers, but I don't like making these kinds of promises.
It pays to be stingy with stuff like 'promises' on the Internet. 😏

For Q2: If you get Xorg going as specified in the Handbook, you should be able to:
  1. boot up to a command-line login prompt.
  2. Log in as regular user (this is important)
  3. run startx as regular user (Even the Handbook tells you to do that, that same Quick Start section 5.4.1, Step 3)
  4. TWM window manager will start.
  5. You can return to text mode by typing 'exit' in every single Xterm you can find.
If you can successfully complete these steps without errors along the way, then you'll know you're ready to install KDE and/or play with $HOME/.xinitrc.
--
And no, this won't 'automatically' configure XFCE. You'll be able to install it. Then, if you configure it according to the Handbook's documentation (Just below the KDE section), you'll be able to log in. But on first login, it's still a mess that needs some cleaning up, but that chore is easily done within the DE itself.
 
OP
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It pays to be stingy with stuff like 'promises' on the Internet. 😏
It also allows me to under-promise and over-deliver. With that said, I'd like to announce that I've just installed FreeBSD for the second time! This time around I am even able to use # shutdown -r now rather than having # shutdown -p now as my only option!

I am holding off on installing KDE, however, until there are solid answers to Q2 and Q7.
For Q2: If you get Xorg going as specified in the Handbook, you should be able to:
  1. boot up to a command-line login prompt.
  2. Log in as regular user (this is important)
  3. run startx as regular user (Even the Handbook tells you to do that, that same Quick Start section 5.4.1, Step 3)
  4. TWM window manager will start.
  5. You can return to text mode by typing 'exit' in every single Xterm you can find.
If you can successfully complete these steps without errors along the way, then you'll know you're ready to install KDE and/or play with $HOME/.xinitrc.
--
And no, this won't 'automatically' configure XFCE. You'll be able to install it. Then, if you configure it according to the Handbook's documentation (Just below the KDE section), you'll be able to log in. But on first login, it's still a mess that needs some cleaning up, but that chore is easily done within the DE itself.
I guess I'm not familiar with using Xorg without a desktop environment. Now, do you think Q2 is even something I should be concerned with?

Q7 seems more important to me. Any takers for answering Q7? I can install KDE as soon as tomorrow!

Thanks again.
 

astyle

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I guess I'm not familiar with using Xorg without a desktop environment. Now, do you think Q2 is even something I should be concerned with?

Q7 seems more important to me. Any takers for answering Q7?
I'd suggest you re-read my post #104 a bit more carefully... If you get through the 5 troubleshooting steps as outlined, you will have success with Q7. In the world of UNIX, order matters. If a step early on has been messed up and skipped around - that creates difficulties down the road, and they can be difficult to untangle.

BTW, back in the day, it took me 5 tries just to get Xorg and KDE on FreeBSD going for the first time (I think that was 2007 or 2008), and then I kept messing up my system to the point that a complete system reinstall was warranted. That happened plenty of times, I kept going even after getting the Xorg/KDE install process down and making sense of what the Handbook is telling me to do.
 
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I'd suggest you re-read my post #104 a bit more carefully... If you get through the 5 troubleshooting steps as outlined, you will have success with Q7. In the world of UNIX, order matters. If a step early on has been messed up and skipped around - that creates difficulties down the road, and they can be difficult to untangle.

BTW, back in the day, it took me 5 tries just to get Xorg and KDE on FreeBSD going for the first time (I think that was 2007 or 2008), and then I kept messing up my system to the point that a complete system reinstall was warranted. That happened plenty of times, I kept going even after getting the Xorg/KDE install process down and making sense of what the Handbook is telling me to do.
That's good advice, and I'd like to avoid a system reinstall. Let's take another look at post #104...

It pays to be stingy with stuff like 'promises' on the Internet. 😏

For Q2: If you get Xorg going as specified in the Handbook, you should be able to:
  1. boot up to a command-line login prompt.
  2. Log in as regular user (this is important)
  3. run startx as regular user (Even the Handbook tells you to do that, that same Quick Start section 5.4.1, Step 3)
  4. TWM window manager will start.
  5. You can return to text mode by typing 'exit' in every single Xterm you can find.
If you can successfully complete these steps without errors along the way, then you'll know you're ready to install KDE and/or play with $HOME/.xinitrc.
--
And no, this won't 'automatically' configure XFCE. You'll be able to install it. Then, if you configure it according to the Handbook's documentation (Just below the KDE section), you'll be able to log in. But on first login, it's still a mess that needs some cleaning up, but that chore is easily done within the DE itself.
OK, let me unpack this.

First, I take it you want me to do just my second instruction (I2) from post #84.

I2. Run # pkg install xorg

Question: Should I then reboot the computer?

Next (#2), I will log in as a regular user (important). Then (#3) I will run % startx as a regular user. The TWM window manger should then start (#4). I should be able to return to text mode by typing exit in every single Xterm I can find (#5).

Question: What should I do if I can't return to text mode (which I take it is the same thing as the command line/[in my case] tcsh shell)?

Question: If I make it back to text mode, should I reboot?

If I can successfully complete these steps without errors, I know I'm ready to install KDE. Should I then move on to my third instruction (I3)?

I3. Run # pkg install kde5 drm-kmod firefox

Question: So a question I still have is, Should I follow Trihexagonal's advice to create the ~/.xinitrc file from my usr account so I'm not running x11-wm/fluxbox as root? If so, should I amend my instructions to enter # exit to leave the superuser account before I20?

I20. Enter the easy editor to edit the file ~/.xinitrc by entering the following command: # ee ~/.xinitrc

I am in Central time, but I can stay up tonight to get this done!
 

astyle

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First, I take it you want me to do just my second instruction (I2) from post #84.

I2. Run # pkg install xorg
Nope. My instructions assume you have it installed already.
Question: Should I then reboot the computer?
Rebooting the computer will get you to the starting line of my troubleshooting list.
Next (#2), I will log in as a regular user (important). Then (#3) I will run % startx as a regular user. The TWM window manger should then start (#4). I should be able to return to text mode by typing exit in every single Xterm I can find (#5).

Question: What should I do if I can't return to text mode (which I take it is the same thing as the command line/[in my case] tcsh shell)?
There's at least a couple Xterm windows visible when you start the TWM window manager. I think you can google the term 'Using TWM window manager' to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
Question: If I make it back to text mode, should I reboot?
Not necessary, but won't hurt anything, either.
If I can successfully complete these steps without errors, I know I'm ready to install KDE. Should I then move on to my third instruction (I3)?

I3. Run # pkg install kde5 drm-kmod firefox
If you have Xorg installed and running (You just ended the Xorg session when you got out of TWM), then you can skip the drm-kmod part when installing stuff.
Question: So a question I still have is, Should I follow [FONT=monospace]Trihexagonal[/FONT]'s advice to create the ~/.xinitrc file from my usr account so I'm not running x11-wm/fluxbox as root?
If you completed the 5-step troubleshooting list that I outlined, you're ready to play with ~/.xinitrc.
If so, should I amend my instructions to enter # exit to leave the superuser account before I20?

I20. Enter the easy editor to edit the file ~/.xinitrc by entering the following command: # ee ~/.xinitrc
All files in your $HOME directory should be edited as regular user, not as root. Also - if you don't know how to use ee, google for instructions. I personally use editors/nano for such tasks, it's one of the first things I install.
 
OP
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A friendly advice: You are overthinking it.
I know it must seem that way. It's a fault in my writing style when discussing technical matters. I really just want to know the best (and most correct) way to run FreeBSD for desktop. I also want to avoid the headache of coming back to the forums if there are problems.

Nope. My instructions assume you have it installed already.
Thanks for adding that second sentence; I was just about to ask for clarification. So, in my case, with a fresh install of FreeBSD, I take it I will just install xorg first?
Rebooting the computer will get you to the starting line of my troubleshooting list.
And then reboot to get to the beginning of your troubleshooting list?
There's at least a couple Xterm windows visible when you start the TWM window manager. I think you can google the term 'Using TWM window manager' to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
I Googled "xterm." I think I have an idea of what to expect. It looks kind of like a primitive desktop environment if I'm not mistaken. I take it the mouse will work?
Not necessary, but won't hurt anything, either.
If rebooting won't hurt anything, I think I'll elect to do it.
If you have Xorg installed and running (You just ended the Xorg session when you got out of TWM), then you can skip the drm-kmod part when installing stuff.
That's good to know. While I believe you, would there be any harm in doing the drm-kmod part* again for good measure?

* By "part," I take it you mean I should not install drm-kmod in I3...

I3. Run # pkg install kde5 drm-kmod firefox

... and I should not do instructions 10-14? Correct for both?

I10. Enter the easy editor to edit the file /etc/rc.conf by entering the following command: # ee /etc/rc.conf
I11. Once in the easy editor, on a new line, enter the following line:
Code:
kld_list="/boot/modules/i915kms.ko"
I12. Make sure to hit Enter so the file starts on a new line after saving.
I13. Save and exit the easy editor by pushing Esc and following the prompts to save and exit. The KMS driver should now be set up.
I14. Go ahead and load the drm driver. Run # kldload /boot/modules/i915kms.ko

Are there any other instructions I should not do? (Link to instructions: post #84.)

If you completed the 5-step troubleshooting list that I outlined, you're ready to play with ~/.xinitrc.
Sounds good.

All files in your $HOME directory should be edited as regular user, not as root. Also - if you don't know how to use ee, google for instructions. I personally use editors/nano for such tasks, it's one of the first things I install.
This is really good advice; I did not know this. I take it one can tell ~/.xinitrc is in the $HOME directory because it begins with "~/."? The only other files I edit in my instructions are /etc/fstab and /etc/rc.conf. I take it these aren't in the $HOME directory and I am supposed to edit these files with the root account?

I think I understand the easy editor enough to do basic edits.

Thanks so much!

Edit (06:01 UTC): I am going to get some sleep and will work on this later today.
 
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You want to use Fluxbox instead of KWin with KDE Plasma?
You must be talking about Q7. I must admit, I'm not even sure what x11-wm/fluxbox is -- or KWin, for that matter. I am not sure which one I will be using (if I even use one at all). Regardless, it sounds like I'm supposed to edit ~/.xinitrc from my usr account.
 

jardows

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So, in my VM, I installed FreeBSD, xorg, and KDE according to the handbook. I did not run startx until after adding the appropriate line in the~/.xinitrc file. Shutdown and restart controls worked without issue. So the issue I've encountered where needing to run startx before using sddm or startx seems to be limited to XFCE.
 

astyle

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Thanks for adding that second sentence; I was just about to ask for clarification. So, in my case, with a fresh install of FreeBSD, I take it I will just install xorg first?
Correct. If you run pkg info xorg (better do it as root), that will tell you if you even have the package installed. I assume you already have drm-kmod installed? And i915.ko i915kms.ko kldload-ed? If you don't, Xorg won't run, even if you install the package. (Edited for correct module name after grahamperrin pointed out my typo later 😅)
And then reboot to get to the beginning of your troubleshooting list?
Why reboot twice? No harm done, but pointless.
I Googled "xterm." I think I have an idea of what to expect. It looks kind of like a primitive desktop environment if I'm not mistaken. I take it the mouse will work?
Google the exact term I gave you. You will get mostly Linux-based results, that's OK. the point is to take a look at screenshots of what a running, but bare-bones Xorg even looks like, and get some ideas of how to navigate that kind of graphical interface. Then getting in and out of Xorg will be easy on your FreeBSD install. And yes, the mouse should work fine.
I14. Go ahead and load the drm driver. Run # kldload /boot/modules/i915kms.ko
Your i14 really needs to happen BEFORE my troubleshooting list. Basically, move that instruction WAY up your list. It should be i2 or i3, not i14. Done correctly, the text on the screen (command line that you booted to) will appear smaller after a screen flicker.
This is really good advice; I did not know this. I take it one can tell ~/.xinitrc is in the $HOME directory because it begins with "~/."? The only other files I edit in my instructions are /etc/fstab and /etc/rc.conf. I take it these aren't in the $HOME directory and I am supposed to edit these files with the root account?
Your understanding is correct on that.

I'd say it is a good idea to take notes on what you did, what works, what doesn't - but order of steps matters. in the world of FreeBSD, the basic logic of software management is:
  1. install - Just run pkg install for what you need. Some packages have dependencies (pre-requisites).
  2. configure - this comes AFTER installing everything you need. Some softwares have their own .conf files.
  3. turn on - edit rc.conf so that .ko files get loaded at boot, and daemons get started.
Decision tree stems from there. If something isn't working, just be willing to backtrack. First, comes drm-kmod. Go through the steps (install, configure, turn on). Then comes xorg (install, configure, turn on). Then KDE (install, configure, turn on).
 

grahamperrin

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video. This is really important for starting and running Xorg. Without it, you can install the GPU driver, and enable it in rc.conf, but you still won't be able to load it. This directly will lead to Xorg not starting.

Starting X does not require membership of the video group.

2021-11-18 19:41:44.png

Please recall <https://forums.freebsd.org/posts/534211> and the bug report that arose later in the topic.

operator. … I think parts of the graphics stack also require such access.

I'm not aware of a requirement.
 

grahamperrin

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OP
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So, in my VM, I installed FreeBSD, xorg, and KDE according to the handbook. I did not run startx until after adding the appropriate line in the~/.xinitrc file. Shutdown and restart controls worked without issue. So the issue I've encountered where needing to run startx before using sddm or startx seems to be limited to XFCE.
Thanks for letting me know. I wonder if this changes what astyle and I have been discussing and if Rough Draft #2 (see post #84) would work without issues (though I would still need to change the last part to have the ~/.xinitrc file edited from a usr account).

Correct. If you run pkg info xorg (better do it as root), that will tell you if you even have the package installed. I assume you already have drm-kmod installed? And i915.ko kldload-ed? If you don't, Xorg won't run, even if you install the package.
I'm pretty sure I don't have Xorg, drm-kmod, and i915.ko kldload-ed installed yet. The only thing I've done so far is install FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE and make sure I am able to log in and restart. I haven't installed anything or done anything else.

Why reboot twice? No harm done, but pointless.
I was just going to err on the side of caution, but I believe you. I might not include this step.

Google the exact term I gave you. You will get mostly Linux-based results, that's OK. the point is to take a look at screenshots of what a running, but bare-bones Xorg even looks like, and get some ideas of how to navigate that kind of graphical interface. Then getting in and out of Xorg will be easy on your FreeBSD install. And yes, the mouse should work fine.
I Googled the exact term you gave me, "Using TWM window manager," and looked at this article, Get back to basics with the TWM Linux desktop. This passage seems relevant: "You can get a pop-up menu with a left-click on the desktop. By default, it has one application listed: xterm. When you launch xterm, the outline of a window appears until you click to place it on the desktop." What's the last sentence talking about? You wanted me to return to text mode by typing exit in every single xterm I can find. How does that last sentence figure in? I guess I'm just worried about the possibility of being stuck in TWM if I am not able to close all the xterm's for some reason.

Your i14 really needs to happen BEFORE my troubleshooting list. Basically, move that instruction WAY up your list. It should be i2 or i3, not i14. Done correctly, the text on the screen (command line that you booted to) will appear smaller after a screen flicker.
Thanks. This brings me back to my first quote for you in this reply. I will make sure Rough Draft #2's I10-I14 happen right away in Rough Draft #3 (see below). I think I know what you're talking about regarding the text on the screen in the command line I boot to appearing smaller after a screen flicker (from my first install over two years ago).

Your understanding is correct on that.

I'd say it is a good idea to take notes on what you did, what works, what doesn't - but order of steps matters. in the world of FreeBSD, the basic logic of software management is:
  1. install - Just run pkg install for what you need. Some packages have dependencies (pre-requisites).
  2. configure - this comes AFTER installing everything you need. Some softwares have their own .conf files.
  3. turn on - edit rc.conf so that .ko files get loaded at boot, and daemons get started.
Decision tree stems from there. If something isn't working, just be willing to backtrack. First, comes drm-kmod. Go through the steps (install, configure, turn on). Then comes xorg (install, configure, turn on). Then KDE (install, configure, turn on).
Thanks for the confirmation. And I am definitely taking notes. One of the reasons I started this thread and keep asking so many questions is I want to have good instructions for future installs as well. Your basic logic of software management is helpful; I will keep it in mind. Thanks also for reiterating the order for installing the components of the desktop.

Typo. There's no such module.
Thank you. I take it astyle meant running # kldload /boot/modules/i915kms.ko. not "i915.ko kldload-ed," or am I missing something?

KWin <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KWin> is the window manager <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_manager> that is normally used with KDE.

The port to FreeBSD: x11-wm/plasma5-kwin
Thanks; that's good to know. I'm not sure if anyone else has said anything about KWin yet.

Starting X does not require membership of the video group.

View attachment 12052

Please recall <https://forums.freebsd.org/posts/534211> and the bug report that arose later in the topic.



I'm not aware of a requirement.
Interesting. Thank you. I made my main user part of the operator, wheel, and video groups. So this wasn't necessary? Is there ever an event where it would be helpful? Could it cause any harm?

Thank you. It sounds like a good idea to mount it then.

--

I will now prepare a third version of my rough draft for installing KDE. If astyle and anyone else could kindly look over the instructions, that would be great. I think it is necessary to have a third version of the rough draft because (primarily) astyle and I have discussed many changes from the second rough draft. I think it will be much easier to discuss changes (if there are any) after looking at fresh set of instructions.

Instructions for Installing KDE on FreeBSD (Rough Draft #3)

In this third rough draft of instructions, I will show you how to install KDE that will be started with the command startx. My second rough draft of instructions should not be followed because steps I20-I23 are not edited from a usr account (i.e. they should not be edited as root). My first rough draft of instructions shows you how to install KDE that is started by sddm. This third version of instructions contains edits suggested mostly by astyle. Thanks go to him!

J1. Enter the superuser/root account by entering % su and the password for the root account. Note that the command prompt on the shell (%, $, #, etc.) is dependent on what user is currently logged in. Therefore, the % should not actually be typed out. Once in the root account, the command prompt will be #.

J2. Run # pkg install drm-kmod

J3. Enter the easy editor to edit the file /etc/rc.conf by entering the following command: # ee /etc/rc.conf

J4. Once in the easy editor, on a new line, enter the following line:
Code:
kld_list="/boot/modules/i915kms.ko"

J5. Make sure to hit Enter so the file starts on a new line after saving.

J6. Save and exit the easy editor by pushing Esc and following the prompts to save and exit. The KMS driver should now be set up.

J7. Go ahead and load the drm driver. Run # kldload /boot/modules/i915kms.ko

J8. Run # pkg install xorg

J9. Reboot by running # shutdown -r now and booting up to a command-line login prompt.

J10. Log in as regular user (this is important).

J11. Run % startx as regular user (Even the Handbook tells you to do that, the Quick Start section 5.4.1, Step 3.)

J12. TWM window manager will start. You can return to text mode by typing exit in every single Xterm you can find.

J13. Become the superuser/root account again by running % su

J14. Reboot by running # shutdown -r now

J15. After logging in, become the superuser/root account again by running % su

J16. Run # pkg install kde5 firefox

J17. Enter the easy editor to edit the file /etc/fstab by entering the following command: # ee /etc/fstab

J18. Once in the easy editor, on new lines, enter the following two lines (you can push the Tab key or spacebar after entering each field):
fdesc /dev/fd fdescfs rw 0 0 proc /proc procfs rw 0 0
(See post #33. There is debate on whether this instruction should be included; I am including it because it may be beneficial for those who want to run applications such as LibreOffice.)

J19. Make sure to hit Enter so the file starts on a new line after saving.

J20. Save and exit the easy editor by pushing Esc and following the prompts to save and exit.

J21. Run # mount /dev/fd

J22. Run # mount /proc

J23. Enter the easy editor to edit the file /etc/rc.conf by entering the following command: # ee /etc/rc.conf

J24. Once in the easy editor, on a new line, enter the following line:
Code:
dbus_enable="YES"

J25. Make sure to hit Enter so the file starts on a new line after saving.

J26. Save and exit the easy editor by pushing Esc and following the prompts to save and exit.

J27. Run # service dbus start

J28. Exit the superuser account by running # exit. All files in your $HOME directory should be edited as a regular user, not as root.

J29. Enter the easy editor to edit the file ~/.xinitrc by entering the following command: % ee ~/.xinitrc

J30. Once in the easy editor, on a new line, enter the following line:
Code:
exec ck-launch-session startplasma-x11

J31. Make sure to hit Enter so the file starts on a new line after saving.

J32. Save and exit the easy editor by pushing Esc and following the prompts to save and exit.

J33. Become the superuser/root account again by running % su

J34. Reboot by running # shutdown -r now

J35. If you chose not to reboot, enter # exit to leave the superuser account.

J36. If everything worked, you should see the KDE desktop after running % startx as a regular account.
 

astyle

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Almost there... move your J24 up to J4. In step J4, you should add two lines to /etc/rc.conf : kld_list="/boot/modules/i915kms.ko" and dbus_enable="YES". That's the difference maker left to iron out in your notes.

Your instructions J18 (and J21, by extension) are debatable, because the Handbook doesn't mention fdescfs for setting up KDE. I don't think it hurts anything, though.
 
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Almost there... move your J24 up to J4. In step J4, you should add two lines to /etc/rc.conf : kld_list="/boot/modules/i915kms.ko" and dbus_enable="YES". That's the difference maker left to iron out in your notes.
Thanks! I will type up Rough Draft #4 below, which I take it will be the final draft.

Your instructions J18 (and J21, by extension) are debatable, because the Handbook doesn't mention fdescfs for setting up KDE. I don't think it hurts anything, though.
See these two messages by mer (post #90) and Vull (post #93) that say they got /dev/fd in package messages, namely in LibreOffice. If that's what they're saying--and I am planning on using LibreOffice--it seems like a good idea to include these instructions (unless I'm mistaken).

Would you also be able to look at and respond to the following passage in my last reply?

I Googled the exact term you gave me, "Using TWM window manager," and looked at this article, Get back to basics with the TWM Linux desktop. This passage seems relevant: "You can get a pop-up menu with a left-click on the desktop. By default, it has one application listed: xterm. When you launch xterm, the outline of a window appears until you click to place it on the desktop." What's the last sentence talking about? You wanted me to return to text mode by typing exit in every single xterm I can find. How does that last sentence figure in? I guess I'm just worried about the possibility of being stuck in TWM if I am not able to close all the xterm's for some reason.
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Instructions for Installing KDE on FreeBSD (Rough Draft #4)

In this fourth rough draft of instructions, I will show you how to install KDE that will be started with the command startx. My second rough draft of instructions should not be followed because steps I20-I23 are not edited from a usr account (i.e. they should not be edited as root). The third rough draft of instructions should also not be followed because steps J23-J27 should be merged with step J4. My first rough draft of instructions shows you how to install KDE that is started by sddm. Thanks go to astyle for ironing out the final details and everyone else who contributed on The FreeBSD Forums.

K1. Enter the superuser/root account by entering % su and the password for the root account. Note that the command prompt on the shell (%, $, #, etc.) is dependent on what user is currently logged in. Therefore, the % should not actually be typed out. Once in the root account, the command prompt will be #.

K2. Run # pkg install drm-kmod

K3. Enter the easy editor to edit the file /etc/rc.conf by entering the following command: # ee /etc/rc.conf

K4. Once in the easy editor, on a new line, enter the following two lines on separate lines:
Code:
kld_list="/boot/modules/i915kms.ko"
dbus_enable="YES"

K5. Make sure to hit Enter so the file starts on a new line after saving.

K6. Save and exit the easy editor by pushing Esc and following the prompts to save and exit. The KMS driver should now be set up.

K7. Go ahead and load the drm driver. Run # kldload /boot/modules/i915kms.ko

K8. Run # service dbus start

K9. Run # pkg install xorg

K10. Reboot by running # shutdown -r now and booting up to a command-line login prompt.

K11. Log in as regular user (this is important).

K12. Run % startx as regular user (Even the Handbook tells you to do that, the Quick Start section 5.4.1, Step 3.)

K13. TWM window manager will start. You can return to text mode by typing exit in every single Xterm you can find.

K14. Become the superuser/root account again by running % su

K15. Reboot by running # shutdown -r now

K16. After logging in, become the superuser/root account again by running % su

K17. Run # pkg install kde5 firefox

K18. Enter the easy editor to edit the file /etc/fstab by entering the following command: # ee /etc/fstab

K19. Once in the easy editor, on new lines, enter the following two lines (you can push the Tab key or spacebar after entering each field):
fdesc /dev/fd fdescfs rw 0 0 proc /proc procfs rw 0 0
(See post #33. There is debate on whether this instruction should be included; I am including it because it may be beneficial for those who want to run applications such as LibreOffice.)

K20. Make sure to hit Enter so the file starts on a new line after saving.

K21. Save and exit the easy editor by pushing Esc and following the prompts to save and exit.

K22. Run # mount /dev/fd

K23. Run # mount /proc

K24. Exit the superuser account by running # exit. All files in your $HOME directory should be edited as a regular user, not as root.

K25. Enter the easy editor to edit the file ~/.xinitrc by entering the following command: % ee ~/.xinitrc

K26. Once in the easy editor, on a new line, enter the following line:
Code:
exec ck-launch-session startplasma-x11

K27. Make sure to hit Enter so the file starts on a new line after saving.

K28. Save and exit the easy editor by pushing Esc and following the prompts to save and exit.

K29. Become the superuser/root account again by running % su

K30. Reboot by running # shutdown -r now

K31. If you chose not to reboot, enter # exit to leave the superuser account.

K32. If everything worked, you should see the KDE desktop after running % startx as a regular account.

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How do those look?
 

astyle

Daemon

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Would you also be able to look at and respond to the following passage in my last reply?

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I was just hoping that this will give you a visual handle on how I expected my 5 troubleshooting step to work. Some places provide pretty good commentary to the screenshots. Just do some playing with Xorg as those places suggest, but don't forget that this 'playing' is right in the middle of my 5 steps, and you still gotta come back. Kind of like exiting off the freeway into a rest area, and then getting back on the freeway to continue the trip.
 

eternal_noob

Daemon

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Messages: 1,516

K7 and K8 are superfluous if you reboot in step K10 anyway.
i915kms and dbus get loaded while booting because you added them to /etc/rc.conf in K4.
 
OP
Scribner

Scribner

Active Member

Reaction score: 33
Messages: 199

K7 and K8 are superfluous if you reboot in step K10 anyway.
i915kms and dbus get loaded while booting because you added them to /etc/rc.conf in K4.
I think you're right. I guess I'll just keep those steps in there for now in the event someone doesn't restart or if someone is taking bits and pieces from these instructions. Those instructions can't hurt, can they?

I just took a look at the link that Scribner provided (https://opensource.com/article/19/12/twm-linux-desktop). One of the screenshots (Under section "Desktop Tour") should have provided a hint on how to exit an Xorg/TWM session. 😩 And yeah, it's slightly different than what I've been saying. But the basic idea is the same.
Thanks! That is actually really helpful. So I take it I would open the pop-up menu by left-clicking on the desktop and then click Exit to return to text mode? Do this instead of typing exit in every single xterm I can find?
 

astyle

Daemon

Reaction score: 994
Messages: 1,988

Thanks! That is actually really helpful. So I take it I would open the pop-up menu by left-clicking on the desktop and then click Exit to return to text mode? Do this instead of typing exit in every single xterm I can find?
Yeah. I was hoping you'll look at more than one such article, but even this was a useful exercise in doing research and connecting the dots back to your FreeBSD adventures. :)
 
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