Other Installing CDE on FreeBSD

Oldrancher

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I don't see any discussion about installing the CDE (Common Desktop Environment) window manager here. It isn't in the FreeBSD ports, so far as I can tell, but it is clear from information on Sourceforge that work has been done to get CDE working on FreeBSD.
https://sourceforge.net/p/cdesktopenv/wiki/FreeBSDBuild/
I have followed those directions and built the window manager, but one utility is crashing on a SIGSEGV, and I'm getting into debugging that. I've posted the details in
https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/cde-port.51379/#post-311793
I'm posting here because it seems to me that there is at least some interest in getting
CDE available as a Window Manager on FreeBSD.

Have others gotten CDE compiled and installed on FreeBSD?
 
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Oldrancher

Oldrancher

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XFCE4 ! Same but different.

x11-wm/xfce4
Not the same, and yes, different.
I've gotten CDE installed and running. Problem was cockpit error.
/etc/hosts needs to have the hostname reported by uname -n entered as a reference to an active IP on the system. While the docs talk about localhost, the name can be attached to a NIC IP.

While the open port does not have many of the resources (in /usr/dt/bin) that were included in the Solaris 10 version (Sun extensions),
the basics are there, including applications development tools. And I see a good deal of activity doing useful things on the Sourceforge CDE site. There is a lot of interest in CDE for Illumos, OpenIndiana, and Solaris 11.

I do have xfce4 installed and available, and have used it for the past 6 weeks,
but having the "real thing" (CDE) vs. a replacement, I'm going to put my effort into CDE.
 

sk8harddiefast

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Atsuri

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I remember I wondered about CDE some time ago when checking on an old website on FreeBSD software. It looked great, but I thought it was dropped and googling 'cde' isn't exactly helpful :p.

I am honestly very happy the project is still up and running!
 
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Oldrancher

Oldrancher

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I remember I wondered about CDE some time ago when checking on an old website on FreeBSD software. It looked great, but I thought it was dropped and googling 'cde' isn't exactly helpful :p.

I am honestly very happy the project is still up and running!
I don't know what google finds, as I use duckduckgo. The site you want to go to is:
https://sourceforge.net/p/cdesktopenv/wiki/Home/ Note the [https://.
I've given the home site url, which you are free to explore at your leisure. Click on
"FreeBSD" and that brings up instructions for building on FreeBSD 10.1 and later.
Notwithstanding the warning that " THIS GUIDE IS FOR ADVANCED USERS FOR USE IN BUILDING AND PORTING",
the build and install on FreeBSD 10.2 amd64 was pretty much a simple "follow the directions." I've done the compile with clang and gcc47 and both finished with nothing that needed investigating and fixing. The objects I am running are the clang compile.

A few notes thus far:
1. I found /usr/lib32 already installed on my system:
2. The instruction "Add your hostname to the localhost line in /etc/hosts" is a bit obscure. What you need to have is
the hostname as reported by uname -n defined as a valid up-and-running IP in /etc/host
ifconfig -a will tell you what those are.
3. You do not need to install /usr/ports/devel/imake. That program is built internally in the sources.
4. While CDE will come up with env LANG=C startx /usr/dt/bin/Xsession, it doesn't find some things properly. Starting it from root with /usr/dt/bin/dtlogin lets you log into any user account. You do need to define the LANG environment variable, although that can be done in dtlogin.
5. For convenience, you will want to assure that /usr/dt/bin is in your PATH.

For reference, I have a Solaris 10 update 9 CDE running on identical hardware, for comparison purposes. The hardware I am using is Sun Ultra 27s (Intel Xeon, 12gb ram), with Sun type 7 USB keyboards and Sun 24.1" LCD monitors. There have been some useful things in seeing "how Sun did it" vs. how the FreeBSD version is working.
 

ShelLuser

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Nice, thanks for sharing. I still have good memories about CDE, always used it with the 'waterdrop' background. Even though I'll probably stick with XFCE4 as well, it does everything I want and is pretty lightweight.
 

kpedersen

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OpenCDE developer here :)

I pretty much stopped work on OpenCDE as soon as CDE was released open-source. I still use an early monolithic version of it as my file manager on Android but that was just for giggles.

AFAIK the main issue with getting a CDE port is that it is quite tricky to get it building into /usr/local. By default the (terrible) build system likes to use /usr/dt and it is quite tricky to change it.

That said, CDE is very easy to build and there are detailed step by step guides on the CDE wiki. https://sourceforge.net/p/cdesktopenv/wiki/FreeBSDBuild

I have been using CDE now as my main DE since it was released and am still very happy with it :). I have also been using Motif for our internal OpenGL tools at work. This technology all still works great ;)
 
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Oldrancher

Oldrancher

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OpenCDE developer here :)

AFAIK the main issue with getting a CDE port is that it is quite tricky to get it building into /usr/local. By default the (terrible) build system likes to use /usr/dt and it is quite tricky to change it.

I have been using CDE now as my main DE since it was released and am still very happy with it :). I have also been using Motif for our internal OpenGL tools at work. This technology all still works great ;)
For me, working with CDE and Motif is a real "remember when" trip. The current Sourceforge version looks "1995-new" to me. I actually prefer having it installed
down in the OS core directories as file locations are the same on Solaris as on FreeBSD.

I wouldn't call the build system "terrible." Probably looks that way to somebody who didn't use imake when it was current back in the 1980's and '90's, which I did (and, thankfully, still have documentation for on my bookshelf). I suspect there is a way to a /usr/local install prefix in a master Imakefile. I took care to tar up the distribution before compiling, so can easily restore it to see how the Makefiles are generated.

I, too, have used CDE since it was released. But that "since" goes back to 1996/7 when it became available on Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, etc. For the past 14 years, since I retired, I've been 100% Solaris.
 

kpedersen

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I wouldn't call the build system "terrible." Probably looks that way to somebody who didn't use imake
Admittedly, I grew up with something worse... The dreaded GNU autotools ;)
I think what I find most frustrating about the CDE build system isn't so much the imake parts but these random shell scripts dotted around which sometimes use quite ancient syntax and do weird things (and break in mysterious ways). Most of them have been updated by now but they completely baffled me.
 
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Oldrancher

Oldrancher

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Well, I've got my opinions about GNU autotools---and some things to say about makefiles that require gmake and code that won't compile on native compilers, only gcc. If clang isn't truly "native," it will do until a real one comes along. Many of my favorite programs on Solaris were compiled with the native Sun compilers; generally leaner and meaner and less likely to core than the same code compiled with gcc.

At any rate, I looked at my source trees, and have found what looks like a single definition for installing in /usr/dt; quick to override about the same way as UseGcc is handled. Don't know about /etc/dt yet.
I am still in the process of walking my way through that build tree---give me another week and I'll know a lot more.
One thing I now know is that there are directories in the build tree for doing crash-and-burn parallel testing that aren't being built. Probably only useful for someone doing development (i.e., me). They're manufacturer-specific, and pretty ancient.
Need to investigate further before reinventing the wheel.

Two things that I'd call "bugs" that need attention.
1. The man() pages have "usr cmd" rather than the man section number. Looks as though the actual man pages are generated at install time, so that's not canned in the source.
2. dtstyle doesn't give me screensavers, and doesn't control DPMS at all. Looks like a need to build a new application for that function.

I've also got some questions about dtmail. The application included looks like a substitute for mailx which implies a local mail spool. The Solaris version handles POP and IMAP as well as a local spool. Probably OK, but I haven't seen it function with an attachment yet.

Some of the other desirable Solaris applications not in the Sourceforge sources are handled with shell scripts. Candidates for rewrites to be FreeBSD-specific rather than Solaris-specific.
 

kpedersen

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Some of the other desirable Solaris applications not in the Sourceforge sources are handled with shell scripts. Candidates for rewrites to be FreeBSD-specific rather than Solaris-specific.
I have a few tools I have knocked up with Motif such as a simple WiFi manager and mount tool (mostly ported from OpenCDE) but nothing very polished. If I thought CDE had a bigger userbase (and I am surprised but I don't think it does), I might clean them up and whack them up online somewhere.
 

zspider

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3-4 years before as far as I remember, someone started a project called OpenCDE from the CDE code. And yes. A port existed and some of us, including me, we where running CDE on FreeBSD. Today, I have no idea what's going on about that. You can see here: https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/opencde.11663/
Also see here zspider screenshot with OpenCDE pon FreeBSD: https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/freebsd-screen-shots.8877/page-27
That was a long, long, time ago. Lol. One night I just got sick of looking at it. Soon after I settled on Fluxbox with the Nimbus theme and slightly altered to make it a little cleaner looking. Been using that ever since. Last time I was in the OpenCDE IRC it was a ghost town. I'd say that screenshot is from around early 2013. It's even got the Solaris crimson theme. :)

I have a few tools I have knocked up with Motif such as a simple WiFi manager and mount tool (mostly ported from OpenCDE) but nothing very polished. If I thought CDE had a bigger userbase (and I am surprised but I don't think it does), I might clean them up and whack them up online somewhere.
Oh 2010, how I miss thee. Good times with OpenCDE. All that took place in another life - an eternity ago in my mind.
 
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Oldrancher

Oldrancher

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I have a few tools I have knocked up with Motif such as a simple WiFi manager and mount tool (mostly ported from OpenCDE) but nothing very polished. If I thought CDE had a bigger userbase (and I am surprised but I don't think it does), I might clean them up and whack them up online somewhere.
I'd have to agree with you that there doesn't seem to be much of a user base of interest for CDE on FreeBSD. Many of the responses here seem to be confusing OpenCDE, where you had a significant role, with the currently available osf/open.org FreeBSD port of the sources used by Sun, SGI, IBM developed in the 1990's.

I suspect that the major interest in the original CDE is in the group using Illumos/OpenIndiana as a follow-on to OpenSolaris. As it is, the FreeBSD build on 10.2 comes up clean, following the directions given by the porters, and there seems to be too little interest here to warrant adapting it to a FreeBSD port in the /usr/ports tree.
 

bullittman281

New Member


Messages: 9

hello,
I've followed the instructions and have CDE running. I'm struggling with using it though. Could somebody help me with the secret of getting chromium or any other installed program to show up? Also, is there a way to have it automatically launch when ever the computer boots? I'm very new to Freebsd. THANK YOU!

Bullittman
 
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Oldrancher

Oldrancher

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hello,
I've followed the instructions and have CDE running. I'm struggling with using it though. Could somebody help me with the secret of getting chromium or any other installed program to show up? Also, is there a way to have it automatically launch when ever the computer boots? I'm very new to Freebsd. THANK YOU!

Bullittman
If you've gotten to the point that you can start /usr/dt/bin/dtlogin and login to get CDE up, you've covered most of the basics. The instructions don't point to a script for
getting dtlogin to start at boot, but I suspect there is something suitable in the CDE build. I haven't looked. I start it manually because I don't always want to run CDE.

Browsers should run when started by command line in a dtterm terminal window. That's one of the choices available when you click on the up-arrow on the left of the control window down at the bottom. All of the widget commands for CDE are in /usr/dt/bin, and they can be run from a terminal window. Invoke the browser by name, but put it in the background. i.e. firefox & To avoid seeing the messages spit out by the browser, redirect stdin and stderr to /dev/null.
 

bullittman281

New Member


Messages: 9

Hello,
Thanks for the reply. If I wanted to add chromium to the desktop apps menu, how would I do that? Or can I do that? I've figured out how to make an icon and add it to the sub menu, though they don't seem to stay on the desk top. Its a trip using the old desktop though.

Bullittman
 
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Oldrancher

Oldrancher

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Rather than trying to add application ikons, I suggest you get some experience with the base CDE. Start your browser by opening a terminal window (dtterm in CDE), and start your browser from the command line. To open a terminal window, click on the up-arrow above the file editor ikon (2nd to the left of center), and click on Terminal. The two browsers I use are Firefox and Seamonkey.

I don't know that it is practical to start a browser from a Motif app. Solaris CDE has a browser start in the clock ikon, but supports it with a command line shell script.
Note that there are some things about CDE that are different from what most current developers use. For one thing, there is nothing GNU in it. The make configurations are all controlled through imake. CDE uses the Motif widget set extensively, so to do anything useful, you'll want to use Motif. The Motif attributes, colors, fonts, wallpapers, etc. are in a defaults/override scheme, like /etc/rc.conf, with the override files in /etc/dt. You'll want to study how it is done so that any additions or changes you make mesh well with what's already there.
 

free-and-bsd

Aspiring Daemon

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Well well well. Since I've got used to FVWM2 I keep wondering if I could tame CDE now. My experiences with it in Solaris 9 (the last I used CDE) were like "my, how can anybody use such an ugly thing!!!" LOL. 2005 it was, I think. Now I look at it from a different angle...

Oldrancher thanks for your post, I'll give it a try! After all, what I'm using in FVWM2 now is pretty close to those things I didn't know what to do about in CDE.
 

free-and-bsd

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OpenCDE developer here :)

I pretty much stopped work on OpenCDE as soon as CDE was released open-source. I still use an early monolithic version of it as my file manager on Android but that was just for giggles.

AFAIK the main issue with getting a CDE port is that it is quite tricky to get it building into /usr/local. By default the (terrible) build system likes to use /usr/dt and it is quite tricky to change it.

That said, CDE is very easy to build and there are detailed step by step guides on the CDE wiki. https://sourceforge.net/p/cdesktopenv/wiki/FreeBSDBuild

I have been using CDE now as my main DE since it was released and am still very happy with it :). I have also been using Motif for our internal OpenGL tools at work. This technology all still works great ;)
Good to hear from you :) So did you finally manage to get it installed into /usr/local, so that others could use it as well?

I'll not only try to build it, but also create a port for it -- given that the build-install process is that straightforward. Since creating a port actually amounts to writing a good working Makefile and making sure the port will get build with port-building tools like synth or poudriere.

Only, the download process takes a long time... or maybe it's just a wrong day for that?
 
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