Ok i had a lot of trouble doing this, and from posts i've seen elsewhere (mostly not on this site), it looks like others are as well. but, after reading the flipping manual (
) a bit, i figured out what i did wrong... and probably what is going wrong with other people too.
ok, so i installed FreeBSD 5.3, using the X-user distribution, and added all the post-installation X11 bells and whistles, as well as KDE and Gnome. so, what was the first thing i did after i logged in the first time? you guessed, it, xf86config.
"xf86config: command not found"
hrm. "# XF86Config"?
"XF86Config: command not found"
umm, ok... so i did some web searches, and tried about every conceivable way to find or call xf86config unix style, with no luck. tried to reinstall the packages, etc. no luck.
But then i remembered something i read in the official FreeBSD FAQ, found here:
xf86config is actually the configuration app for XFree86 (hence the name
) but according to the FAQ, "As of July 2004, in FreeBSD-CURRENT, XFree86 has been replaced with Xorg
as the default implementation [of X Windows]." I actually read this after i installed FreeBSD, but it didn't register. in fact, after reading this Q&A:
... i actually got the impression that i was supposed to use xf86config (btw, i couldn't contact the webmaster, but this should be updated in the FAQ, if someone knows how to contact them).
so, i googled around a bit until i found this:
and i quote:
"The magic command was:
cp xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf"
I did this, and it worked.
So, what's the difference between XFree86 and Xorg? besides being different implementations of X Windows, i honestly don't know. but i figure as long as Xorg get's the job done, i couldn't care less to know the nitty gritty differences, nor should other newbs IMHO.
So yeah, after this meladrama, i opted to have X run KDE for the interface. why that and not Gnome? i dunno, i liked KDE when i messed with it on my Linux Box (which is now just a really sluggish dev web server). Newbs should just stay out of the KDE vs. Gnome flame wars; really this is not much different from picking between Mario and Luigi: sure they look a bit different, but both can save the Princess pretty well. try both out and stick with the one you like more.
To configure XWindows to run Gnome or KDE, the FreeBSD handbook's entries on both are good:
i'd just use "edit" instead of "vi" if you have to manually edit the .xinitrc file, unless you are a sadist
i got KDE working... haven't tried their instructions for Gnome, but i figure it should work out fine.
For those of us spoiled by the Windows OS's: You can also have FreeBSD boot you right into the GUI environment you choose instead of always having to "startx." i have not messed with this yet, though. for details see here:
apparently, another neat trick is you can have a splash screen while FreeBSD boots, and it is customizable. But, i forgot where i read that at... if any of the vets here know where that is documented, i'd like to bookmark it for future reference.