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Old 12-11-2004, 10:13 PM   #1
sheepdogj15
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from one newb to others: getting KDE/Gnome going in recent FreeBSD releases


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:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...oks/faq/x.html

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:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...html#RUNNING-X

... 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:

http://pcpitstop.ibforums.com/index....0&#entry758420

and i quote:
"The magic command was:
Xorg -configure
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:
http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...ok/x11-wm.html

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:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...html#RUNNING-X


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.

Last edited by sheepdogj15; 12-11-2004 at 10:44 PM.
 
Old 12-11-2004, 10:39 PM   #2
sigsegv
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Removed -- Double post

Last edited by sigsegv; 12-11-2004 at 10:40 PM.
 
Old 12-11-2004, 10:40 PM   #3
sigsegv
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Congrats!

This is one of the best "newbie" posts I've seen in a while. Your drive to figure things out rather than give up and do what's comfortable will be what separates you from the masses ... and all that Yoda like stuff

The splash screen docs you're talking about are probably these though I'm not certain.

The XF86 vs Xorg debate is basically an argument between the GPL whor, er, advocates and everyone else. Xorg *is* XF86, but for some reason the GPL folks don't like the fact that the X consortium changed their license a while back ... Whatever ...

Something that might save you some time in the future is the misc/instant-workstation meta-port.

Last edited by sigsegv; 12-11-2004 at 10:42 PM.
 
Old 12-11-2004, 10:48 PM   #4
sheepdogj15
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thank you for the kind comments, sig. i will probably ask a lot of questions in the future, but i also want to try to help other people out if they have a similar problem. yes, usually i am the type who will try to figure it out and/or research it before asking.

ha! yeah, i suppose it makes sense that the open source politics are a factor in the Xorg/XF86 debacle.

Quote:
Originally posted by sigsegv
Something that might save you some time in the future is the misc/instant-workstation meta-port. [/B]
ahhh, i'll keep that in mind. thank you
 
Old 12-11-2004, 10:50 PM   #5
sheepdogj15
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Quote:
Originally posted by sigsegv
The splash screen docs you're talking about are probably these though I'm not certain.
and i almost forgot. yes taht is it! bookmarked; thank you again.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 10:08 PM   #6
sheepdogj15
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Re: from one newb to others: getting KDE/Gnome going in recent FreeBSD releases

Quote:
Originally posted by sheepdogj15
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:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...html#RUNNING-X
correction: this should be:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO....html#XDM-BOOT

it goes to the same page, but to a different section.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 11:42 PM   #7
sheepdogj15
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i got it to boot to KDE. the process is different from what i linked to above. what you do is login as root, and open the file /etc/ttys in a text editor (e.g. type "edit /etc/ttys" at the command line without the quotes). scroll down to a line that starts "ttyv8" and change the entry to:

ttyv8 "/usr/local/bin/kdm" xterm on secure

then restart.


i presume the process is the same for Gnome, just "whereis gdm" and enter the location information in the above instead of the location for kdm.

not too tough at all. to logout, reboot, or restart, just up the "start menu" (the sound you here is the gnashing of many linuxphiles' teeth) and pick Logout... all the options are there.
 
Old 12-17-2004, 09:43 PM   #8
dfowensby
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or, to launch kde from the console either as root or user (startx), do:
echo "exec startkde" > ~/.xinitrc
this transposes kdm from the default twm.

luck -O
 
Old 12-18-2004, 05:53 AM   #9
sheepdogj15
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yup. thank you for noting that.
 
  


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