[howto] Minimal FreeBSD desktop

morbit

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It's not _that_ minimal ;) e.g. you don't need all x11-fonts/xorg-fonts, panel, background... xterm is far from being minimal. Check x11/sterm.
 

jb_fvwm2

Daemon

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Another suggestion, install sysutils/lookat/ because after one exits the man page (if it is set as the $PAGER) the man page persists (IOW if one exits lookat after viewing a man page with it, with the EXAMPLES onscreen, they are STILL THERE to be typed in, no need to have two terminals open nor write it down nor chance of typos in retyping it...). Can save one hours of time yearly. At least it does here...
(Although some shells may do that already, some do not...IANAE).
.....................
Even another: the configuration files x11-wm/ratpoison (for example)... 1... find out what they are called 2... grab a few from the web 3... test the downloaded files. No need sometimes to even figure out the syntax, one gains weeks' worth of expertise at a few hours of cost.
 

wblock@

Beastie Himself
Developer

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That depends on the terminal. I think the "hide what you were just looking at" is a bashism. It works correctly in csh(1).
 
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taz

taz

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morbit said:
It's not _that_ minimal ;) e.g. you don't need all x11-fonts/xorg-fonts, panel, background... xterm is far from being minimal. Check x11/sterm.
Right but then again we don't actually need Xorg either ;). Anyway thank you for suggesting x11/sterm I added it to the list. Also updated the howto with sysutils/tmux and how to take a screenshot.
 

shepper

Aspiring Daemon

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I have a similiar setup with openbox/tint2/feh. One option that is alluded to but not fully described is to to use the terminal "-e" option to make a menu item to run an ncurses based app. I do this for ncmpc, top, midnight commander and rtorrent. An example menu item for openbox:

Code:
                <item label="rTorrent">
                        <action name="Execute">
                                <execute>
                                        xterm -e rtorrent
                                </execute>
                        </action>
                </item>
 
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taz

taz

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shepper said:
I have a similiar setup with openbox/tint2/feh. One option that is alluded to but not fully described is to to use the terminal "-e" option to make a menu item to run an ncurses based app. I do this for nmcpc, top, midnight commander and rtorrent. An example menu item for openbox:

Code:
                <item label="rTorrent">
                        <action name="Execute">
                                <execute>
                                        xterm -e rtorrent
                                </execute>
                        </action>
                </item>
True, I have added a comment for that in the "Launching applications" section.

Also a small update: added the "Misc" section for disabling beep sound and setting UTF-8.
 

user1

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Hello, first just wanted to say thank you for this tutorial!

I recently got a job that uses FreeBSD on their servers and Ive been working on setting up a dual boot on my home PC. I really wanted a basic GUI to help me make my swap a little easier so I was following your tutorial.

I ran into a problem at the # portmaster x11-wm/openbox command. It keeps hanging during the install. I ctrl+c(ed) it a couple times to try to get past the hang but it keeps hanging. This seemed to work in previous installs when it would hang but not for the openbox. Is there a way to skip a file when it hangs? I will try installing another window manager if I need to but I'd like to follow close to your tutorial since this is my first time attempting an install.

Also the nvidia command wasn't working, I figured I could add the drivers later so I didn't go to far into this.

One thing to note, I am logged in as root and have been using su to use portmaster for the installs. Not sure if this has any effects on the errors im running into.
 

SirDice

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user1 said:
One thing to note, I am logged in as root and have been using su to use portmaster for the installs. Not sure if this has any effects on the errors im running into.
If you are already root there's no need for su(1).
 

user1

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Just came home and it moved past the hang, looks like it was just really slow, should have waited a bit longer before posting, good guide! Thanks again.
 
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taz

taz

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user1 said:
Just came home and it moved past the hang, looks like it was just really slow, should have waited a bit longer before posting, good guide! Thanks again.
Glad to hear that it worked. If you have another questions feel free to ask and post a feedback if you manage to successfully set everything up.
 

user1

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Messages: 17

Just wanted to post an update. I've been trying to get this installed and working correctly but had no success. I ended up reformatted FreeBSD to start fresh then I had issues getting my WiFi to work correctly. It was intermittent so I changed to a wired connection and had no connectivity problems. I started going through the guide again (made sure to follow everything to a T) and I got stopped at the Xorg -configure command.

Prior to this command there were a lot of corrupt files in the portmaster installs of the x11 files(im guessing this is the reason my install failed). I wrote down a list as I was going through the install, these are the errors I came into before the Xorg -configure command.

Corrupt during installs:
x11-servers/xorg-server failure @ x11keyboard-config
x11-drivers-input-keyboard-config
libxi xf86-input-mouse
nvidia-driver
keyboard-config

Command not found: Xorg -configure


I am still interested in getting this to work but for now I am going to go the easy route and install another GUI.
 

user1

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Just got finished installing gnome. Not really what I was hoping for but it will have to do until I get a better understanding of FreeBSD. Portmaster seems to be causing a lot of errors with my install. I kept getting corrupt files and the installations would not complete correctly. The last reformat I did (my 5th one :r) I tried using pkg_add instead of portmaster and xorg/gnome installed without any corrupt files. I may try this guide again using the pkg_add variants of the portmaster commands on a virtual machine and see how the install goes. For now I am going to stick with gnome on my PC until I get a little more comfortable.
 

CyberBSD

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Messages: 10

Thank you for your nice guide, Taz. It helped me a lot.

Unfortunately it doesn't include instructions how to place a language indicator/switcher at the taskbar. I believe it will be very useful for anyone who uses more than one language. To add the language indicator I did following:

#> portmaster x11/xxkb

then placed the line:

(sleep 2 && xxkb) &

after the line:

(sleep 2 && tint2) &

of ~/.config/openbox/autostart.sh

and put the following data in to the config file ~/.xxkbrc:


XXkb.image.path: /usr/local/share/xxkb/
XXkb.mainwindow.type: tray
XXkb.mainwindow.enable: yes
XXkb.mainwindow.image.1: en15.xpm
XXkb.mainwindow.image.2: ru15.xpm
XXkb.mainwindow.image.3: ua15.xpm
XXkb.mainwindow.image.4:
XXkb.mainwindow.appicon: yes
XXkb.mainwindow.geometry: 20x20+2+2
XXkb.mainwindow.in_tray: true
XXkb.button.enable: no
XXkb.controls.add_when_start: yes
XXkb.controls.add_when_create: yes
XXkb.controls.add_when_change: no
XXkb.controls.focusout: no
XXkb.mainwindow.xpm.1: en48.xpm
XXkb.mainwindow.xpm.2: ru48.xpm
XXkb.mainwindow.xpm.3: ua48.xpm
XXkb.mainwindow.label.enable: no
XXkb.controls.two_state: no

Sorry for bad formatting. Xombrero just doesn't allow to click any buttongs except at the toolbar.
 

sub0

New Member


Messages: 1

My 2cents.. the first three things i find very useful to have at hand after a new install (way before i even think of X) are:
1) Handbook
2) tmux
3) lynx
You open two panes in tmux, work your way through the installation in one, and keep the other in /usr/local/share/doc/freebsd/handbook with lynx ready to allow you to navigate through the docs. Whatever goes wrong, you have nicely formatted help always at hand
 

shepper

Aspiring Daemon

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My 2cents.. the first three things i find very useful to have at hand after a new install (way before i even think of X) are:
1) Handbook
2) tmux
3) lynx
You open two panes in tmux, work your way through the installation in one, and keep the other in /usr/local/share/doc/freebsd/handbook with lynx ready to allow you to navigate through the docs. Whatever goes wrong, you have nicely formatted help always at hand
I tend to do the same thing albeit in OpenBSD. The Base install includes X, xterm, lynx, tmux, ftp and some basic editors. I often open 4 xterms in fvwm:
1) xterm for pkg_add
2) xterm to paste in script options that are presented by pkg_add, configure rc.conf.local, local config files like .rtorrent.rc
3) xterm that contains an ftp list of the available software so that I get the spelling right (musicpd vs mpd, abcde vs abcde-lame etc) and make sure the package actually exist on the server I have configured.
4) xterm for lynx or eventually a html browser so I can get info (interface, number of dependencies, etc) when choosing between packages

The other thing that may help others who are doing multiple installs is that I set up an ftp server on the first install. It makes is easy to pull redundant config files (/home/user/.config/openbox/autostart etc) rather than going back and forth with a usb thumb drive.
 

mcochris

New Member

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Messages: 6

Great tutorial, thanks!

I like the flwm window manager, very light and easy to configure.
 

morbit

Well-Known Member

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Messages: 258

csup is deprecated, I would recommend updating guide for portsnap. Moreover, mc-light is a bit saner than mc.
 

MasterOne

Member

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Messages: 96

Does anybody know of a GUI frontend to mplayer / mplayer2 other then SMplayer (which requires QT), which remembers media settings and time positions of played files, and better fits into a minimal desktop (without QT dependency)?

This is such a nice feature, to be able to simply close the player during playback, and resume watching at the same point on next use.
 

MasterOne

Member

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vermaden said:
Try gnome-mplayer.
The emphasis of my question was on "which remembers media settings and time positions of played files", and as far as I remember, gnome-mplayer does not have such a feature.
 

copypaiste

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Messages: 81

In case anyone needs a tray sound control knob, here one made by a friend of mine. https://github.com/svagner/gtmixer
There's no port available yet, but maybe we'll make it sometime.
ps: Written for GTK+. Tested with openbox+tint combo. Provides volume and equalizer controls.
 

bozzy

New Member


Messages: 13

Anyone got any hints tips and traps on vBox filesharing? I have not been able to get shared folders working on a FreeBSD VM though they work fine for me on an ArchLinux VM on the same host.
 

wblock@

Beastie Himself
Developer

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VirtualBox shared folders is not implemented for FreeBSD guests yet.
 
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