Using FreeBSD as Desktop OS

topcat

Active Member

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Despite the binary blob, I vastly prefer nvidia to ati (and intel). I sure hope that nvidia support isn't dropped, because then I'll have to switch all my FreeBSD machines to Linux (one reason I no longer run OpenBSD). A very disturbing thought!

Linux really has gotten this suspend/hibernate thing down! I use it on my laptop and it works more reliably than windows!

Hope I'm not necrobumping :)
 

shkhln

Active Member

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Amdgpu actually seems to be quite decent. As for the Nvidia's blob, at least for gaming, without Vulkan it would be pretty much useless in a couple of years.
 

knightjp

Member

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So this thread has ended.
I returned because for one reason. I could not find a single easy to understand article on Fluxbox and setting up a working DE using it.
I had fluxbox up and running just fine. Everything was going well. But all I had were the base setup. Nothing more. I installed FireFox, but I just could not launch it. I installed a bunch of other apps like LibreOffice and just could not launch them either. I was wondering where I would go to do it.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

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I returned because for one reason. I could not find a single easy to understand article on Fluxbox and setting up a working DE using it.
I had fluxbox up and running just fine. Everything was going well. But all I had were the base setup. Nothing more. I installed FireFox, but I just could not launch it. I installed a bunch of other apps like LibreOffice and just could not launch them either. I was wondering where I would go to do it.
knightjp, programs you install need to be added to the /usr/home/username/.fluxbox/menu manually in plain text with a text editor.

The period before fluxbox indicates it is a hidden directory that you need to make visible through your file manager. From there it is as simple as adding them with a text editor. There are already default programs listed you can use as an example of how to do so.

Had you asked I would have been more than happy to tell you how.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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Trihexagonal Are you sure that needs to be manually created? I've never had to do that with any WM before.

knightjp Well, you said you left so I'm just going by what you said. That you are having so many problems starting up every day programs most of us use every day ... I don't know what to tell you.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

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Trihexagonal Are you sure that needs to be manually created? I've never had to do that with any WM before.
Yes, drhowarddrfine, I am absolutely positive.

I always build all my programs before booting to the desktop and invoke editors/leafpad from the commandline to do it, as it is not included with the default programs.

balanga asked much the same question not too long ago.

There is an menu icon generator of some sort but I've never used it as I like a plain menu.
 

CraigHB

Member

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Messages: 90

The fvwm window manager is the same way. Everything has to be done from within a text file. I don't have any problem with it since the manager is highly flexible and can be customized in just about any way. It's kind of the Unix way to configure things using text files so it shouldn't be a point of contention. Though in the case of fvwm it does take a little reading to understand how the configuration file works. I did try Fluxbox, but didn't see any big advantage there so I went back to fvwm. Fluxbox offers some point and click configuration, but it's not as flexible and there's still some text editing involved.
 

scottro

Daemon

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I have an ancient page on fluxbox that decribes some basic key shortcuts. It involves creating a text file. If that's a deal-breaker, then don't bother but othewise http://srobb.net/fluxbox.html

Haven't even looked at that article in years, but much of it should still be valid, including setting up keyboard shortcuts to launch programs.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

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I renamed my x11-wm/fluxbox menu and ran the command referenced in the relevant link to generate a new menu:

Code:
$ fluxbox-generate_menu
/usr/local/bin/fluxbox-generate_menu: convert: not found
Menu successfully generated: /home/jitte/.fluxbox/menu
Use fluxbox-generate_menu -h to read about all the latest features.
$
It did generate a menu of sorts, but did not include all the programs I have installed, editors/leafpad for instance, and listed quite a few I didn't have installed.

So a menu can be generated automagically, of how much use it is somewhat in question. I have a standard menu that cuts out all the submenus I keep for use since I always install the same programs.
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

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It did generate a menu of sorts, but did not include all the programs I have installed, editors/leafpad for instance, and listed quite a few I didn't have installed.
Reason might be a weak point of FreeBSD as desktop OS: many packages do not install the .desktop files in /usr/local/share/applications, so they do not appear in WM/DM menus.
 

ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

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Messages: 679

Haha, same. We should stockpile these things whilst we can. Afterall, 10 Years from now, we will only be able to obtain "regulated" locked down and tracked consumer tablets.*

Though in the future, all "open" computer hardware will be classed as illegal contraband and we will have to smuggle them between ourselves to get any (meaningful) work done :D.*

* I don't know this for a fact. But I certainly imagine Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, NSA and all other big and "cloud" corporations will love this prospect. And unfortunately they are the ones that get to make the decisions these days.
We'll all be running RISC-V, but even for that we'll need to apply for special dispensation to use it for "educational purposes". Of course many things can be educational. It'll be illegal to use these boxes for posting to the internet, so we'll all have to become pen pals again. Good news for the post office.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

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Reason might be a weak point of FreeBSD as desktop OS: many packages do not install the .desktop files in /usr/local/share/applications, so they do not appear in WM/DM menus.
There's still going to be some text editing done either way you do it, and in this instance I'd still have to call editors/leafpad from the terminal since it's not included in either menu.

I don't see that as a problem though. It's just one of many files that need to be edited when I boot to the desktop the first time and SOP. If that alone keeps someone from using x11-wm/fluxbox as a WM I respectfully can't help but question their dedication to using FreeBSD as a desktop OS. Red Pill/Blue Pill.

For my part, I'd prefer to swallow the systemd toad than to stay with FreeBSD...
I'll have a double order of frog legs and a side order of Solaris and OpenBSD, please. :)
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

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Messages: 794

There's still going to be some text editing done either way you do it, and in this instance I'd still have to call editors/leafpad from the terminal since it's not included in either menu.

I don't see that as a problem though. It's just one of many files that need to be edited when I boot to the desktop the first time and SOP. If that alone keeps someone from using x11-wm/fluxbox as a WM I respectfully can't help but question their dedication to using FreeBSD as a desktop OS. Red Pill/Blue Pill.
I don't like fluxbox because it looks and feels so much like Windows. :(

Using the same FVWM config with 3 desktops 16 screens each for years now...
New computer, copy ~/.fvwm, "desktop configuration" done...
With FreeBSD I find myself calling many programs from the terminal, without actual need.
If the .desktop files were complete, I'd get a full bouquet of applications to open files with.
For example:
fvwmrecentopenwith.png


files menu->recently opened files by extension->.pl->browse directory meow->file meow.pl->OpenWith...

(I recently deleted file history, so it is small window)
If the .desktop files were complete, I'd see much more apps, like gedit, leafpad, sublime, ... [Edit, corrected, see my next post]
You see why I would love if the .desktop files were there like they are with Linux?

I am even so lazy that my script even remembers which application I opened a file with last time...
You see, being so insane to write 3000 lines Perl to get acceptable menus for FVWM, I think I am beyond Windows or Fluxbox medication :'‑(
 
B

BSDAppentic3

Guest


Nice, that looks promising. If I ever get a working system together, I’m going to write a how-to myself, from start to finish. Funny how WM’s or developers assume the user is not going to do simple things like accessing network shares. In a company of any size, people would be unable to work if this did not work.

FreeBSD is rather exceptional as a server platform, as a desktop it’s “meh”.
So, do you know how to mount a server here?
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

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Messages: 1,036

I don't like fluxbox because it looks and feels so much like Windows. :(
*snip*
Using the same FVWM config with 3 desktops 16 screens each for years now...
LOL you lost me there, Snurg. Could you please point out one of my screenshots that looks anything remotely like a Windows desktop? I fail to see any comparison in look or feel.

Icons remind me of Windows, and personally, I cut out all the 2nd level and beyond sub-menus from my menu. It looks neater to me that way.

I have heard at least 2 people comment they didn't care for my style of desktop, but can't remember anyone ever saying they liked the configuration of terminals, file manager, etc. I keep. Some of my wallpaper are just to show I have made a new one available and I'm using the daemons in my head bg now.

I had a Gateway Solo 1450 with 1.2GHz Celeron and 250MB RAM for my first FreeBSD 7 install so I went with x11-wm/fluxbox and stuck with it. It does everything I want it to and I have things set up just the way I like it. My OpenBSD boxen look just the same.
 

tobik@

Daemon
Developer

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(I recently deleted file history, so it is small window)
If the .desktop files were complete, I'd see much more apps, like gedit, leafpad, atom, ...
You see why I would love if the .desktop files were there like they are with Linux?
So editors/leafpad actually installs a desktop file, as does editors/gedit. After installation they appear automatically in Xfce's app menu without me doing anything. You should be way more concrete here. Which applications do not install one or only install incomplete ones? Then start filing bugs. Just repeating the same thing over and over again here will change nothing.
 
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