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Software recommendatios for a new(bie) system.

Tu_Vieja

New Member

Thanks: 1
Messages: 12

#1
Greetings, BSDers.

In the verge of migrating to a FreeBSD desktop enviroment, I'm looking for some advice about what software is recommended that follow these principles:

-"Do one thing and do it well." (The core in UNIX philosophy)
-Have a BSD/MIT or any other permissive license. Even if I'm not going to edit the source code at all, I want to stay away of GPL license as much as I could (personal preference), but I know that sometimes it's impossible to avoid.
-Preserve privacy in the internet enviroment.

After some research I have a list that in some cases I have multiple options, in others I don't have anything at all. What I want it's your point of view on what is the best tool (following the previous principles) for each category. Feel free to give the explanation you want, even "that's what I use and I feel comfy with it" it's acceptable.

Shell: tcsh.
Port manager:ports-mgmt/portmaster
Window manager: x11-wm/fluxbox
Terminal emulator: ¿?
E-Mail client: mail/thunderbird
Instant messaging client: net-im/ricochet
Web Browser: www/firefox/www/links/www/lynx
Torrent client: net-p2p/rtorrent
File packer/compresser: archivers/p7zip
Office suite: editors/calligra ( Only Words, Sheets and Stage for college works )
Video player with support for mp4, mkv and x264/65 codecs: ¿?
Audio player that supports FLAC: ¿?
Image viewer: ¿?
Other useful software: ¿?

Any suggestion is welcome.
Sorry if there's bad english writting in the post, it's not my native language.

See ya later.
 

ILUXA

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 218
Messages: 395

#3
Shell: shells/zsh with sysutils/tmux
Window Manager: x11-wm/fvwm2
Terminal emulator: x11/xterm or x11/rxvt-unicode
Image Viewer: graphics/viewnior
Office suite: editors/abiword - nice and lightweight app to edit MS Word files. (be sure to apply fix from my bug report, without it, it is unusable)
Video player with support for ...: multimedia/mpv
Audio player that supports FLAC: multimedia/audacious (be sure to install multimedia/audacious-plugins)
File manager: x11-fm/pcmanfm or sysutils/py-ranger

By the way, ranger is really great console file manager, it is even possible to view image and video previews (also install www/w3m-img), when using ranger FM with xterm or urxvt. (Read this to configure it.)


I don't like and don't use qt apps, because they're ugly, have a lot of qt dependencies, and usually glitchy and slow.

-Have a BSD/MIT or any other permissive license. Even if I'm not going to edit the source code at all, I want to stay away of GPL license as much as I could (personal preference), but I know that sometimes it's impossible to avoid.
Despite I like more BSD/MIT licenses, I'm not a "license fan" :D, like Stallman, for example.
And if software is FOSS, it is ok for me, I respect developer's choise, I don't care if it uses GPL,
untill I'll need to sell it in binary forms :)
I use FreeBSD not because it's licensed under BSD-style license,
I use FreeBSD because it is secure, high-quality and high-performance operating system.
 

ShelLuser

Daemon

Thanks: 806
Messages: 2,013

#5
-"Do one thing and do it well." (The core in UNIX philosophy)[/quote
-Have a BSD/MIT or any other permissive license. Even if I'm not going to edit the source code at all, I want to stay away of GPL license as much as I could (personal preference), but I know that sometimes it's impossible to avoid.
-Preserve privacy in the internet enviroment.

Fair warning: don't bother yourself with these issues too much if you're just beginning to learn how this whole thing works. Because although the Unix philosophy is a good one, there's also a very good reason why some environments don't (or barely) follow it. There's also value to be found in setting up a system which can handle multiple tasks in a central manner instead of delegating them.

As to those licenses: you do realize that you're now doing the exact same thing as that stuff you're trying to avoid? Trying to exclude has really helped no one, and it also won't do you much good as an end user. Unless you actually plan on creating work from existing work I seriously recommend that you ignore the licenses altogether. A desktop should evolve around functionality.

Since you're into philosophies and such: the BSD philosophy is not to discriminate on licenses but to allow everything in. Even commercial licenses, and you can see a good example of that in the ports collection.

Sure: recently (somewhat) they began to dump GCC in favor of Clang in the base system and the main reasoning was the opposition of using the GPL 3.0 license. But it wasn't so much the license which raised opposition, but the limitations it would apply whenever BSD developers would create something based on (or within) GCC. They'd be restricted to using the GPL as well, whereas the BSD licenses rules supreme because it gives people true freedom, and not the narrow minded "free to do as I tell you" kind of freedom which is found in the GPL.

However, as an end user this doesn't affect you so I really think you shouldn't let that affect your decisions.

Bad idea I think.

There's much value to be found in keeping the root shell different from that of a regular user. For starters: it can actually prevent you from making nasty mistakes. In my favorite shell (Korn) you can use constructions such as: for a in `cat file`; do echo $a; done (this also applies to Bourne and derivatives). That doesn't work on csh which means that whenever you try you're forced to re-think your options. Which is a good thing when you're doing something as root.

I don't have a shell recommendation ("what works for me doesn't have to work for you") but I do recommend not using the root shell.

Window manager: x11-wm/fluxbox
Office suite: editors/calligra ( Only Words, Sheets and Stage for college works )
This also makes no sense to me. Calligra is a project suite build upon KDE. So by trying to install this you're also installing a pretty large amount of the KDE environment. Effectively meaning that you'll end up with 2 window / desktop managers. Unless of course you plan on using KDE as your desktop manager and fluxbox as your window manager (something I wouldn't recommend either)...

The problem is bloat. You'd be wasting a lot of resources and disk space for something you'll only marginally use. Therefor my recommendation would be to either use KDE as your desktop manager (and thus kwin as your window manager) and combine that with Calligra or use Fluxbox and then a suite which is less reliant on a specific environment. Your best options there are in my opinion either Libre Office and/or Open Office (the former is probably the better of the two right now).

The other stuff seriously depends on personal taste. I like VLC as both a video and audio player, but there's tons more to chose from. For example XMMS is also quite nice. And if you follow my idea on KDE then you'd also get your hands on dozens of other software. For example: Gwenview is a really impressive image viewer / manager. Maybe only (somewhat) surpassed by Digikam which is also extremely versatile and nice. Though both seriously lack some basic features. For example: using IrfanView I can easily blurr out some parts of my images, but that seems nearly impossible with those first two (I always resort to the Gimp for that).

Geeqie is also one of my favorites, and even pretty independent of the platform (runs awesome on both KDE as well as CDE for example). Quite light too.

So yeah... hope this can help a bit.
 

lebarondemerde

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 372
Messages: 983

#7
These are what I use:

Shell: csh.
Port manager: ports-mgmt/synth (I currently actually use ports-mgmt/poudriere, but Synth is more suitable for generic usage, IMO)
Window manager: x11-wm/bspwm (Tilling WM)
Terminal emulator: x11/rxvt-unicode
E-Mail client: mail/neomutt
Instant messaging client: irc/weechat + irc/znc
Web Browser: www/firefox
Torrent client: net-p2p/transmission-daemon
File packer/compresser: archivers/xarchiver (see PR 216678)
Office suite: editors/libreoffice (I actually use LaTeX exclusivelly, but keep LO installed just in case I receive some random file)
Video player with support for mp4, mkv and x264/65 codecs: multimedia/mpv
Audio player that supports FLAC: audio/musicpd + audio/ncmpcpp
Image viewer: graphics/feh
Other useful software: ports-mgmt/psearch x11/urxvt-perls security/keepassxc deskutils/note misc/pastebinit x11/rofi

Most of them need some work to setup, but I do not think they are really difficult to use. But YMMV.

PS. unless you already like it, net-p2p/rtorrent is painful to setup.

I was using it before, and set it up was the most annoying thing I could remember about software configuration. The rTorrent community is not that helpful as they try to force you to use some fancy rTorrent distribution instead of actually configuring the thing.
 

shepper

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 197
Messages: 617

#8
From my perspective:
Mail Client = key aspects are security and message format. Are you going to be archiving emails or accessing servers at the University with gpg keys/encryption?

Office suite: If you will be collaborating and sharing documents with MSOffice users, Libreoffice/OpenOffice are much better in that regard compared to Calligra/Abiword.

DE vs WM. Most window managers are less bloated but have a larger/longer learning curve. If you choose a desktop environment, XFCE4 has several Core developers with BSD affiliations The Gnome project does not give a wit about BSD interoperability and , the last I looked is based on version 3.18 in FreeBSD. The current stable release of Gnome is 3.20 -> 3.22 ->3.24. KDE is better supported in FreeBSD, in part due having been the TrueOS default desktop. It is telling that TrueOS is developing Lumina and Lumina is worth looking at in FreeBSD. Both KDE/Gnome are moving to Wayland which is a bit of an issue with nVidia graphics.

Web Browser: Three main choices: Mozilla/Gecko rendering, Webkit (older versions have uncorrected vulnerabilities), Google Chrome/Iridium (disables some of the Data tracking that Chrome has).

Edit corrected SmartOS -> TrueOS per sko
 
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Tu_Vieja

New Member

Thanks: 1
Messages: 12

#10
As to those licenses: you do realize that you're now doing the exact same thing as that stuff you're trying to avoid? Trying to exclude has really helped no one, and it also won't do you much good as an end user. Unless you actually plan on creating work from existing work I seriously recommend that you ignore the licenses altogether. A desktop should evolve around functionality.
I understand your point, but as I said in the post, sometimes it's imposible to avoid de GPL license. I'm not excluding 100% that kind of license, I simply don't agree with
the narrow minded "free to do as I tell you" kind of freedom
so I don't want to use a product like that, 'cause I don't want to indirectly promote the license by givin' +1 to the user base of that software. But I'm telling again, sometimes it's impossible to avoid so I could live with that. I'm not a radical license fan, I just have preferences. Still, I fully understand your point, so thank you for the reply.

Since you're into philosophies and such: the BSD philosophy is not to discriminate on licenses but to allow everything in. Even commercial licenses, and you can see a good example of that in the ports collection.
Adding to the previous sentence, interesting point. Thanks for the info.


There's much value to be found in keeping the root shell different from that of a regular user. For starters: it can actually prevent you from making nasty mistakes. In my favorite shell (Korn) you can use constructions such as: for a in `cat file`; do echo $a; done (this also applies to Bourne and derivatives). That doesn't work on csh which means that whenever you try you're forced to re-think your options. Which is a good thing when you're doing something as root.
I read it and I knew it, I just never remember that tcsh was the root shell. So, my bad.

This also makes no sense to me. Calligra is a project suite build upon KDE. So by trying to install this you're also installing a pretty large amount of the KDE environment. Effectively meaning that you'll end up with 2 window / desktop managers. Unless of course you plan on using KDE as your desktop manager and fluxbox as your window manager (something I wouldn't recommend either)...

The problem is bloat. You'd be wasting a lot of resources and disk space for something you'll only marginally use. Therefor my recommendation would be to either use KDE as your desktop manager (and thus kwin as your window manager) and combine that with Calligra or use Fluxbox and then a suite which is less reliant on a specific environment. Your best options there are in my opinion either Libre Office and/or Open Office (the former is probably the better of the two right now).
I had no idea about the bloat thing and the other things you point out. Good advice.

So yeah... hope this can help a bit.
It helps a lot, thanks for your reply.
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Thanks: 5,506
Messages: 25,687

#11
I read it and I knew it, I just never remember that tcsh was the root shell. So, my bad.
Not exactly, root's shell is csh(1). The tcsh(1) is an extension of that with more features. Technically they're the same though, they both actually reference the same executable (they're hard-linked). Similar to /bin/sh and /bin/bash being the same executable on many Linux distributions.

I don't see anything wrong with using tcsh(1) for regular user accounts. It's been my shell since I started with FreeBSD (around the 3.0 era). Whatever shell you chose to use will be fine, just never change root's shell.
 

poorandunlucky

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 25
Messages: 359

#13
Shell: tcsh. I think it's the shell with the best user environment, and it's even fun to script with/for, except when it comes to redirecting stdout and stderr into the same file as for an impromptu log or something...
Port manager: poudriere. Accept no substitute.
Window manager: I like KDE4 right now.
Terminal emulator: I'm not so fond of Konsole, though I use it. There's a thread about just that somethere, it's recent, too...
E-Mail client: Not there yet, though I wish it was Nylas.
Instant messaging client: Uhh... Facebook? Cell phone? I don't think anyone uses that anymore...
Web Browser: Firefox Quantum. Accept no substitute. Also Lynx. Accept no substitute.
Torrent client: qbittorrent. The search feature makes me giggle in my sleep.
File packer/compresser: The what? I just use Dolphin's integrated thing... works like folders... Otherwise: command line.
Office suite: Libre Office. I know there are others, but none are as complete as Libre Office... I know it's cluttered, I know it's... it leaves to be desired as far as binary software goes, but it's really fully-featured and super compatible.
Video player with support for mp4, mkv and x264/65 codecs: So far VLC, mostly... idk... I haven't really downloaded a movie to watch yet, I stream them, usually...
Audio player that supports FLAC: Also not there yet... Not quite that settled-in...
Image viewer: Haven't found one I quite like, either...
Other useful software: I really just use Firefox... (._.)
 

sko

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 131
Messages: 296

#14
Shell: tcsh. I think it's the shell with the best user environment, and it's even fun to script with/for, except when it comes to redirecting stdout and stderr into the same file as for an impromptu log or something...
As an interactive shell, I really love tcsh and in fact use it multiple hours every day, but (t)csh was especially developed as an interactive shell, so scripting in it isn't a good idea. I think especially for beginners, it's a really bad idea to begin shell scripting with anything but bourne shell.
The bourne shell was intended to be used for scripting (that's why it lacks practically all features you'd want for an interactive shell) and contains nearly all features necessary to produce structured code (which is absolutely essential to learn for a beginner!). Its syntax and functions have been stable across all major/relevant operating systems for the past decades, so scripts written on a solaris box 25 years ago will still run on any modern unix system (and linux).
 

vermaden

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 902
Messages: 2,578

#15
@ Tu_Vieja

Shell:
The tcsh is just a default FreeBSD, use something that is usable - zsh (preferred) or fish.
Read these:
http://www.grymoire.com/Unix/CshTop10.txt
http://www.shlomifish.org/open-source/anti/csh/

Port manager:
portmaster is ok, I use pkg for all ports that use default options and portmaster for the ones that I customize with pkg lock.

Window manager:

I used fluxbox in the pats, moved to openbox out of curiosity and stayed here with openbox, I like generated menus from scripts in openbox, but fluxbox is also ok. There are also tiling wms like i3 or awesome which you could try.

Terminal emulator:
No matter what I used in the past I always came back to xterm, even urxvt had/have many problems while xterm has only one problem, it does not support region select/cut. You may also try cool-retro-term for fun.

Here are my xterm settings if that helps:

Code:
  xterm*iconHint:            /home/vermaden/.wbar.icons/xterm.xpm
  xterm*SimpleMenu*font:     -*-clean-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-2
  xterm*faceName:            ubuntu mono
  xterm*faceSize:            12
  xterm*scaleHeight:         0.9
  xterm*VT100.geometry:      128x31
  xterm*allowBoldFonts:      true
  xterm*allowWindowOps:      true
  xterm*fullscreen:          never
  xterm*selectToClipboard:   true
  xterm*VT100.translations:  #override <Btn1Up>: select-end(PRIMARY, CLIPBOARD, CUT_BUFFER0)
  xterm*keepSelection:       true
  xterm*omitTranslation:     fullscreen
  xterm*title:               xterm
  xterm*boldMode:            false
  xterm*cutNewline:          true
  xterm*on4Clicks:           group
  xterm*on5Clicks:           page
  xterm*internalBorder:      1
  xterm*metaSendsEscape:     true
  xterm*cursorBlink:         false
  xterm*veryBoldColors:      14
  xterm*loginShell:          true
  xterm*charClass:           33:48,35:48,37:48,43:48,45-47:48,64:48,95:48,126:48,35:48,58:48,63:48,61:48,44:48,38:48,59:48
  xterm*jumpScroll:          true
  xterm*multiScroll:         true
  xterm*scrollKey:           true
  xterm*scrollTtyOutput:     false
  xterm*saveLines:           1024000
E-Mail client:
The thunderbird is ok, I also find geary quite usable.

Instant messaging client:
Hevent tried ricochet, I have pidgin configured for IM which I use very rarely.

Web Browser:
If You do not need extensions, then firefox, if You want to use extensions then firefox-esr. I also have w3m, iridium and midori as backup browsers.

Torrent client:
I use transmission and that works well.

File packer/compresser:
I use engrampa when in graphical mode and anything that works (tar/unzip/unrar/...) in cli.

Office suite:
Its hard to find more complete solution then libreoffice here.

Video player with support for mp4, mkv and x264/65 codecs:
The vlc along with smplayer and mpv as a backup.

Audio player that supports FLAC:
Try deadbeef, works great for me, like foobar for UNIX.

Image viewer:
The viewnior along with gpicview and xnview via WINE.

Other useful software:
arandr
pdftk
mkvtoolnix
geany
galculator
audacity
inkscape
gimp
sysutils/automount
sysutils/beadm
network.sh - https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/62013/
net-mgmt/networkmgr
sgrep
cclive
youtube-dl
ffmpeg
pdfgrep
nmap
wine
curl
wget
wmctrl
leafpad
cal / ncal
jhead
doas
aria2c
lftp
cmatrix
xfreerdp
ansible
screen
cool-retro-term
 

poorandunlucky

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 25
Messages: 359

#16
As an interactive shell, I really love tcsh and in fact use it multiple hours every day, but (t)csh was especially developed as an interactive shell, so scripting in it isn't a good idea. I think especially for beginners, it's a really bad idea to begin shell scripting with anything but bourne shell.
The bourne shell was intended to be used for scripting (that's why it lacks practically all features you'd want for an interactive shell) and contains nearly all features necessary to produce structured code (which is absolutely essential to learn for a beginner!). Its syntax and functions have been stable across all major/relevant operating systems for the past decades, so scripts written on a solaris box 25 years ago will still run on any modern unix system (and linux).
@ Tu_Vieja

Shell:
The tcsh is just a default FreeBSD, use something that is usable - zsh (preferred) or fish.
Read these:
http://www.grymoire.com/Unix/CshTop10.txt
http://www.shlomifish.org/open-source/anti/csh/
I have to agree that tcsh does induce bad habits...

Now that I remember, I chose tcsh because it was the man page that was easier for me to read and understand...

There weren't many other reasons besides that... Maybe I should take another look at the other options...
 

sidetone

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 215
Messages: 776

#17
GPL dependency madness left a bad taste in my mouth, after the compiler GCC would take 16 hours to compile asking for irrelevant dependencies of all types, when Clang just compiled in 2 hours, and didn't ask for irrelevant dependencies. For subsystems and shared libraries, no, but for end programs, GPL is perfect to protect authors' works. Maybe I sound like a broken record, but dependency clutter is an inherent flaw in GNU, GCC, GPL etc. Sure, some of the problem has been fixed for GCC, but it's still there for many GPL programs, fortunately, not to the same extent that it was.
 

OJ

Daemon

Thanks: 239
Messages: 1,024

#18
The problem is bloat. You'd be wasting a lot of resources and disk space
I don't understand what that means in practice. I am indeed a fan of floppies still, and love the challenge of low resources, but .... On a latest decade desktop system it's actually difficult to find a hdd under 500GB and most people have several times that available. Tell me then, how would the space taken up by larger programs and their dependency make the slightest bit of noticeable difference to your disk space? I have the same question about RAM, and for the same reasons. This is an honest question, as I see the word "bloat" a lot, but never with a practical modern day explanation. :) If it's about the elegance and challenge, as with me and my floppy systems, then I totally understand - but I don't think this is usually the case.
 

sidetone

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 215
Messages: 776

#19
The example I made above was an extreme, but real case of bloat. Bloat translates to increasing compiling times (by hours in many cases), causing more potential points of failure, more bugs, unnecessary security vulnerabilities, and slower running programs. It also adds confusion, when it has to do with software architectures like sound, which is less of a problem here. Also, bloat reduces reproducibility (less standardized results) from compiles, by adding options, that we don't even know why they are needed, and if they're needed.

Sometimes 1 library or other file is needed, then one has to download and compile 26 (not so bad) to an OS worth of dependencies to get that 1 file. That's bloat.

Moreover, I have a tendency to find efficient ways to do things.

* Edit - another example of bloat on FreeBSD, but probably an unavoidable one, is when programs are compiled with GNU/Redhat documentation that requires a gettext dependency of over 70MB (or was it about 400MB, I don't remember well), that at one time the server stalled, holding up installations. I remember that was 2 hours of downloading from a busy server and compiling. Then compiles of gettext failed when I tried to use packages in place of some of its ports' dependencies, or the packages weren't current enough for it. All of that trouble for documentation that is a in kilobytes at a time, not in tens or hundreds of MB. Documentation is a must, but needing a large dependency to get it was the only way to get it on computer, and it was troublesome.

* Edit - Another issue is, bloat wastes electricity, time, and, in some instances, cost. For instance, on the Hardware donation page, they ask for hardware to build ports on specialized architectures. Just reducing hours of build time, by eliminating bloat, should bring their costs down, and reduce their need for as much hardware. And it helps others with package maintenance.
 

ILUXA

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 218
Messages: 395

#20
by adding options, that we don't even know why they are needed, and if they're needed.
Also, IMHO, it is necessary to rebuilt ports only when you know exactly what options
you want to change, and why you want to change them. Rebuilding all ports and removing
all features you don't know, or just don't like their names, is not the best practice at all,
because then it may cause problems, and you'll be confused why this or that thing doesn't
work for you.
 

sidetone

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 215
Messages: 776

#21
Also, IMHO, it is necessary to rebuilt ports only when you know exactly what options
you want to change, and why you want to change them. Rebuilding all ports and removing
all features you don't know, or just don't like their names, is not the best practice at all,
because then it may cause problems, and you'll be confused why this or that thing doesn't
work for you.
I'm referring to bloat options, bugs, or bloat that has no effect on a compile's features. When a program for graphics, calls up 4 different sound architectures, then that one calls up an unrelated subject, then it picks up a sound architecture, again, then a mounting program, and reinstalling parts of a separate OS's functions, just to get 1 library. The problem has improved at FreeBSD.
Not, this is what's actually needed or wanted, options.

That problem was rampant on Linux (and I bet still is), and it was carried on to here. So now I wonder if I used to spend 16 hours compiling, when I only needed 1, just to get Asterisk running.

gmake and GCC on FreeBSD used to pull in every dependency under the sun, and they fixed that. It took 8 times more than compiling the base system, than compiling that, and it was mostly useless. Now it takes 5 minutes, because Clang is already there, and 3 different OS's full subsystems didn't have to be recompiled when no one knew why.

* EDIT -
Another example of bloat: audio/libcanberra is for playing basic sound tones. So why does it need graphical dependencies, other than x11-toolkits/pango, that pango itself doesn't pull in? At the time of this edit, these are required dependencies and not user options.
 
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Minbari

Active Member

Thanks: 72
Messages: 167

#22

Tu_Vieja

New Member

Thanks: 1
Messages: 12

#23
From my perspective:
Mail Client = key aspects are security and message format. Are you going to be archiving emails or accessing servers at the University with gpg keys/encryption?
About the Mail Client, It'll be mostly for archiving emails. Nothing fancy.

Office suite: If you will be collaborating and sharing documents with MSOffice users, Libreoffice/OpenOffice are much better in that regard compared to Calligra/Abiword.
As I see, libreOffice> Calligra in general aspects. So, libreOffice will be. I only need it for some college or work files.

DE vs WM. Most window managers are less bloated but have a larger/longer learning curve. If you choose a desktop environment, XFCE4 has several Core developers with BSD affiliations The Gnome project does not give a wit about BSD interoperability and , the last I looked is based on version 3.18 in FreeBSD. The current stable release of Gnome is 3.20 -> 3.22 ->3.24. KDE is better supported in FreeBSD, in part due having been the TrueOS default desktop. It is telling that Smart OS is developing Lumina and Lumina is worth looking at in FreeBSD. Both KDE/Gnome are moving to Wayland which is a bit of an issue with nVidia graphics.
I forgot Lumina. If it's simple for a starter, maybe I should try that and do some experimentation with flux/black/openbox
 

shepper

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 197
Messages: 617

#24
About the Mail Client, It'll be mostly for archiving emails. Nothing fancy.
I forgot Lumina. If it's simple for a starter, maybe I should try that and do some experimentation with flux/black/openbox
There are several format that are used to archive emails. The formats are succinctly described here.

Where you get Lumina matters. If you use TrueOS it only offers zfs as a file system. If you FreeBSD + Lumina, then you can use ufs or zfs as a file system.
 

michael_hackson

Member

Thanks: 23
Messages: 32

#25
Hey! Nice thread. Got here by chance as I am in the middle of changing shell. Been a new user since some months back now and will give quick share for three things I liked and became easily accustomed to. Think that great alternatives are given already so will not repeat with a full list but:

Window manager: x11-wm/awesome

I went for Fluxbox when I started on scratch and installed it through ports. Not sure if it was some options I forgot through installation but it came out very much minimalistic, too rough for my taste so I later on tried the awesome wm after reading in some linux groups. Did install through pkg this time and got a full fleshed working environment out of the box. Easy function switch between floating/tiling and any other things you'd like. Easily programmable with lua-configuration. The support online is very heavy as well.

Terminal emulator: x11/lilyterm

This was the first I tried since I wanted "modern look" and it has support for transparency. The setup was quick and easy (even before it was ported to FreeBSD). I also started x11/rxvt-unicode to check the difference and learnt that lilyterm is practically a more userfriendly version, precustomised rxvt-unicode (correct me otherwise). Lily comes with an minimal GUI complementing the configuration files and also supports unicode. On my laptop though the ported version has a bug not always showing term on quick command with awesome but it may have other reasons.

Audio player that supports FLAC: multimedia/audacious

This one wasn't obvious. I started with the already mentioned multimedia/xmms and was happy with it until I realised some minor issues. When added to library the files are read separately file by file so if I had the volume set for one song the volume configuration would reset playing the next in the list because the library is not cohesive. I searched for a fix for this and there was an older plugin with this fix but I was guided (as a part of the fix) to change into audacious instead. Audacious is very much better at everything than XMMS. To me the playback is even better so the sound quality is true to file (which to me is very important), and as ILUXA said, make sure to install multimedia/audacious-plugins.
Kind of related: [IMHO, OSS driver > ALSA driver]

@ Tu_Vieja

Shell:
The tcsh is just a default FreeBSD, use something that is usable - zsh (preferred) or fish.
Read these:
http://www.grymoire.com/Unix/CshTop10.txt
http://www.shlomifish.org/open-source/anti/csh/

Port manager:
portmaster is ok, I use pkg for all ports that use default options and portmaster for the ones that I customize with pkg lock.
| Found the grymoire yesterday and it seems to be a good read. | Portmanaging according to this method. From the beginning I installed everything through ports, it was good for learning but I had a lot of better experiences and time at my hand when I started to use pkg instead. Nowadays I tend to install through ports again but that is only because after some months I now know what options I want. As a first timer (with not so much experience) you don't know too much of what to pick and you can more likely end up with a mess.

To quickly sum this up:

awesome wm for out-of-the-box and multifunctioning wm (both tiling and floating)
audacious for better playback and library/list control
lilyterm may be the lazyman's rvxt-unicode
learn port install but use pkg for desktop

+ As file manager I currently use ranger complemented with Firefox's (I think, it just appeared on my system hehe).


Welcome to FreeBSD. :D