December 18, 2009

How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE?

Filed under: FreeBSD — J. Abram barneck @ 11:02 pm
Tags: , , ,


I realize that PC-BSD exists, but sometimes, you need only FreeBSD without PBIs and you want it to do it all yourself because that is why you came to FreeBSD in the first place; to be an expert user and be able to set everything up yourself.

Requirements for Success
To consider the desktop a success, the user should be able to do the following after installation:

  1. Have a graphical login screen.
  2. Auto-mount CD/DVD and USB drives.
  3. Connect a USB drive and read and write to it.
  4. Browse the web with Firefox.
  5. Create a document with Open Office.
  6. Play an mp3.
  7. Play a DVD

Step 1 – Download the DVD and burn it

  1. To download the DVD, go here: http://www.freebsd.org/where.html
  2. Click on your platform type. You are probably going to want i386 for a 32 bit computer or amd64 for a 64 bit computer.
  3. Select the DVD and download it.
  4. Extract it as it is compressed into a zip file. Use gunzip on FreeBSD or 7zip on Windows.
  5. Use your favorite burning software to burn the ISO to disk.

Step 2 – Install FreeBSD and include Xorg and KDE4 as additional install packages.

  1. Insert the installation media and boot off it. Wait for it to boot.
  2. First select your Country.
  3. At Sysinstall’s Main Menu, choose Standard.
  4. Read the next screen and hit OK.
  5. Press A to select Use entire disk.
  6. Press Q to Finish.
  7. For the Boot Manager choose Standard and hit OK.
  8. Read the next screen and hit OK.
  9. Press A to select Auto Defaults.
  10. Press Q to Finish.
  11. For Distributions select Custom. (Don’t worry, the Custom is not that hard) and select the following distributions:
    Required – You must have the base system and a kernel. 

    • base
    • kernels | GENERIC

    Optional – You don’t have to select these but I am selecting them.

    • dict
    • doc | en (or you language).
    • games
    • man
    • src | All (Optional, if you plan on having the source so you can work on it an contribute some work back to FreeBSD.)
    • ports
  12. To get back to the Choose Distributions screen, either select Exit or OK.
  13. Hit OK to continue.
  14. At the Choose Installation Media screen choose CD/DVD.
  15. Read the next screen and choose Yes.
  16. Wait for the installations to complete.
  17. Read the Success screen and hit OK.
  18. Choose Yes to configuring an Ethernet network device.
  19. Select you network card type and hit OK. It is usually the top entry. Mine is em0.
  20. (Optional) You may want to say Yes to configure IPv6 these days. All my machines at home support IPv6 now since they are FreeBSD and Windows 7.
    It will try to detect a server, but probably won’t find one, that is just fine.
  21. Choose Yes to try DHCP. Assuming you have a DHCP server (any corporate network or home with an internet connection and router has one).
    The network configuration screen will open with your IP Address.
  22. Enter a computer name in the Host field.
  23. Choose No when prompted if you want the machine to function as a network gateway.
  24. Choose No when prompted if you want the machine to configure inetd.
  25. When prompted to enable SSH, choose Yes if you are going to connect via SSH remotely. Choose No otherwise. I am choosing Yes because I always find a reason to SSH in.
  26. Choose No to have anonymous FTP access to this machine.
  27. Choose No to for configuring this as an NFS server.
  28. Choose No to for configuring this as an NFS client (unless it is going to be and if it is going to be, you would no).
  29. Choose No to customizing the system console settings.
  30. Choose Yes to set the machines time zone now.
  31. Choose No when asked if the CMOS clock is set to UTC (unless you know for sure 100% that it is).
  32. Choose your Region.
  33. Choose your Country.
  34. Choose your Time Zone.
  35. If prompted if your Time Zone looks reasonable, choose Yes.
  36. When prompted if you have a PS/2, serial, or bus Mouse you need to understand that a mouse if almost always only PS2 or USB anymore. If USB choose No, otherwise choose Yes.
    If you choose Yes, then enable your mouse, test it and then exit that screen.
  37. Choose Yes when prompted about the FreeBSD Package collection and if you want to browse it now as this is where we are going to install Xorg and KDE.
  38. On the Package Selection screen, scroll down X11 and hit OK.
  39. On the X11 screen, scroll down and select KDE4. Notice that a lot of other packages are auto-selected as dependencies. This is normal.
  40. Continue scrolling down and select xorg-7.
  41. Now click Ok.
  42. You may want other packages such as bash. Choose them now.
  43. Choose Install and you will see the Package Targets screen. It will only list the packages your selected, not all the dependencies, but don’t worry, all the dependencies will install.
  44. Choose Ok.
  45. Wait for the installation of the packages to complete.
  46. When prompted for adding initial user accounts, choose Yes.
  47. On the User and Group Management Screen choose User and hit OK.
  48. Enter a user name under the Login ID field.
  49. Leave UID and GROUP as is.
  50. Enter a password and confirm the password.
  51. Enter your full name.
  52. In the Member Groups add these groups (without a space, only separated by a comma): wheel,operator
  53. Leave home directory as is.
  54. Leave the login shell as is. (Unless you installed bash and want to use it, then you can change it to /usr/local/bin/bash).
  55. Hit OK.
  56. Back at the User and group management screen choose Exit and hit OK. Feel free to add as many users as you need first, but don’t worry you can add more later.
  57. Read the next screen and hit OK, it is just an informational screen about the fact that you must set a root password.
  58. Enter the root password and hit enter and then enter it again and hit enter to confirm the password.
  59. When prompted to visit the configuration menu for a chance to set any last options, choose No.
  60. You are back at the Sysinstall Main Menu. Select Exit Install.
  61. When asked if you are sure you wish to exit, choose Yes.
  62. Read the next screen, and hit OK.
  63. Whilst rebooting, remove your DVD from the drive so you don’t boot off it (assuming it is first in your boot order otherwise you may not need to do this).

FreeBSD 8 is now installed with all the software needed to make a nice FreeBSD 8 Desktop, Xorg-7 and KDE4. However, there are a few more steps to get Xorg-7 and KDE4 configured.

Step 3 – Patch your new system
Update and patch your system. I already have steps to do this here:
What are the first commands I run after installing FreeBSD
Important: While the ports tree is already installed, don’t skip this step. Updating the ports tree is how you get the latest versions.

Step 4 – Configure Xorg Dependencies

  1. Login to the newly installed system with the username and password you created. Make sure you use the account that you added to the wheel and operators group.
  2. Once logged in, su to root by simply typing this command:
    $ su

  3. After typing su, you will be prompted for a password. Enter the root password.
  4. You now logged in as root. Your prompt should have changed from a $ to a NAME#. For example, I named my system FBSD8 so my prompt looks as follows:

  5. Add dbus to /etc/rc.conf. Either use easy editor, or use the following shell command to add it without using and editor.
    FBSD# echo ‘dbus_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
  6. Enable dbus with this command.
    FBSD# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/dbus start

  7. Add hald to /etc/rc.conf. Either use easy editor, or use the following shell command to add it without using and editor.
    FBSD# echo ‘hald_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf

  8. Enable hald with this command.
    FBSD# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/hald start

  9. Reboot by running this command:
    FBSD# reboot

    Note: It is also common to reboot using this command: (It doesn’t matter which command you use to reboot.)

    FBSD# init 6

  10. Once rebooted, log back in and su to root again.

Step 5 – Configure Xorg
Note 1: 1 and 2 are optional and you may skip them if you want. An xorg.conf file is not longer required. Usually most configurations work without it.
Note 2: If you are using VMWare, you may want to jump to this article and come back: How to install VMWare-tools on FreeBSD 8?

  1. Have Xorg automatically create an xorg.conf file using this command:
    FBSD# Xorg -config /root/xorg.conf.new -retro

  2. Copy the xorg.conf.new to /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    FBSD# cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf

  3. Type exit to logout as root. You should go back to the $ prompt.
  4. Create a file called .xinitrc in the users home directory. This file will contain one line.
    $ echo exec /usr/local/kde4/bin/startkde4 > ~/.xinitrc

  5. Run startx to launch Xorg-7 and KDE4.
    $ startx

    Note: If something goes wrong here, your xorg.conf may not have been generated correctly. Reboot (you may have to hit the power button or SSH in to reboot as you may not have console access anymore).

Xorg-7 and KDE4 should now be working.

Step 6 – Enable KDM (Optional) on FreeBSD
Instead of having to login in at a command prompt and run startx, you may prefer a GUI login screen. This can be done very easily with KDM. There is an old way and a new way. Just in case the new way isn’t available to you for some reason, I will leave both methods. Do NOT use both of them.

The new way.

  1. Add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf. Either use easy editor, or use the following shell command to add it without using and editor.
    echo ‘local_startup=”${local_startup} /usr/local/kde4/etc/rc.d”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
    echo ‘kdm4_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf

  2. Start kdm

The old way.

  1. If you are still in KDE, logout. Click the blue K icon at the bottom left of your screen and you can select Leave | Logout to exit KDE.
  2. Use su to login as root as you have done before.
  3. Open the following file with your favorite editor: /etc/ttys. I use Easy Editor or ee.
    FBSD# ee /etc/ttys

  4. Find the following line: (In ee, Page Down three times almost takes me right to this line.)
    ttyv8 “/usr/local/bin/xdm -nodaemon” xterm off secure
  5. Replace that line with this line:
    ttyv8 “/usr/X11R6/kde4/bin/kdm” xterm on secure
  6. Reboot to have the virtual consoles restart. (or make sure Xorg and KDE are not running and run: kill -HUP 1)

KDM should now be working and your system should reboot to a graphic login screen, which is handled by kdm.

Step 7 – Enable CD/DVD/USB mounting
FreeBSD is more secure by default, so something as simple as accessing a CD or DVD or USB drive is not actually allowed by default. You have enable this.

These steps assume that your user is a member of the operator group. Remember above during the installation, I mentioned to make your user a member of both the wheel and operator groups.

  1. Access a shell and su to root.
    Note: The easiest shell to access now that you are in KDE is Konsole. To access Konsole, click the K and go to Applications | System | Terminal. Also you can add the shell icon to your panel by right-clicking on the icon and choosing Add to Panel.
  2. Enable vfs.usermount.
    FBSD# sysctl -w vfs.usermount=1

  3. Configure vfs.usermount to be enabled on boot.
    FBSD# echo vfs.usermount=1 >> /etc/sysctl.conf

  4. Open the following file with an editor: /etc/devfs.conf
    FBSD# ee /etc/devfs.conf
  5. Add the following lines:
    # Commonly used by many ports
    link    acd0    cdrom
    link    acd0    dvd 

    # Allow all users to access CD’s
    perm /dev/acd0 0666
    perm /dev/acd1 0666
    perm /dev/cd0 0666
    perm /dev/cd1 0666

    # Allow all USB Devices to be mounted
    perm /dev/da0 0666
    perm /dev/da1 0666
    perm /dev/da2 0666
    perm /dev/da3 0666
    perm /dev/da4 0666

    # Misc other devices
    perm /dev/pass0 0666
    perm /dev/xpt0 0666
    perm /dev/agpart 0666
    perm /dev/uscanner0 0666

    Note: Yes, I copied these from a PC-BSD install’s version of this file.

    Note: Change to 0660 to only allow users in the operator group to mount drives.

  6. Also you need a devfs.rules file.  Lets create one.
    FBSD# ee /etc/devfs.rules
  7. Add the following lines.
    add path ‘ad*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘acd*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘cd*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘pass*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘xpt*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘ugen*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘usb*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘lpt*’ mode 666 group cups
    add path ‘ulpt*’ mode 666 group cups
    add path ‘unlpt*’ mode 666 group cups
    add path ‘fd*’ mode 666 group operator

    Note: Again, I copied these from PC-BSD.

  8. Tell /etc/rc.conf about the rules section in /etc/devfs.rules
    FBSD# echo ‘devfs_system_ruleset=”Removable_Media”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
  9. Edit the following file: /usr/local/etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf
    FBSD# ee /usr/local/etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf

  10. Change the xml’s config section from this…
    <config version="0.1">
        <match user="root">
            <return result="yes"/>
        <define_admin_auth group="wheel"/>

    …to this:

    <config version="0.1">
            <define_admin_auth group="operator"/>
            <match action="org.freedesktop.hal.storage.mount-removable">
                    <return result="yes"/>
            <match action="org.freedesktop.hal.storage.mount-fixed">
                    <return result="yes"/>
            <match action="org.freedesktop.hal.storage.eject">
                    <return result="yes"/>

    Note: Yes, again, I copied this straight from PC-BSD’s PolicyKit.conf.

  11. Edit the following file with ee: ee /etc/fstab
    FBSD# ee /etc/fstab

  12. Comment out or remove the line for your /cdrom. I usually just comment it out by adding a # sign as shown:
    #/dev/acd0 /cdrom cd9660 ro,noauto 0 0
  13. Restart the computer.

You should now be able to mount CD, DVD, and USB drives. You also should be able to both read and write to them, burn disks, write and format USB drives, etc…

Step 8 – Enable your sound card
I already have an article on this here and it is so very simple.
How to enable sound in FreeBSD 8?

Step 9 – Install Software

We are going to install the following software:

  • Firefox
  • Open Office
  • K3b

Binary Packages

  1. To browse the precompiled package lists, open a web browser to here:

    My architecture is amd64 so the URL I use is this:

    Hint: Some time in the future you may be on a different version or architecture. If you run this command, it will fail and the output may show you where to go.

    FBSD# pkg_add -r DoesNotExist


  1. Access a shell and su to root as software should be installed as root.
  2. FreeBSD has a binary package for Firefox, so to install it you only have to run one command:
    FBSD# pkg_add -r firefox35

  3. Firefox 3.5 installation notes recommend adding a line to /boot/loader.conf, so use ee and add this line:

Firefox is now installed.

Open Office
Note: Here I describe installing using ports, but there may be a package available. Read this post: http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=8639

  1. Access a shell and su to root as software should be installed as root.
  2. To install Open Office, run the following commands:
    Note: There is not package as of this moment, so we have to compile from ports and this takes longer. You can check for a package if you want as there may be one sometime after I write this document.) 

    cd /usr/ports/editors/openoffice.org
    make install

  3. Wait…and wait…and wait…and wait…
  4. Ok, when it fails because you have to manually download some items for java, read and follow the instructions:
    IMPORTANT: To build the JDK 1.6.0 port, you should have at least
    2.5Gb of free disk space in the build area! 

    Due to licensing restrictions, certain files must be fetched manually.

    Please download the Update 3 Source from http://www.java.net/download/jdk6/6u3/promoted/b05/jdk-6u3-fcs-src-b05-jrl-24_sep_2007.jar and the Source Binaries from http://www.java.net/download/jdk6/6u3/promoted/b05/jdk-6u3-fcs-bin-b05-jrl-24_sep_2007.jar and the Mozilla Headers from http://www.java.net/download/jdk6/6u3/promoted/b05/jdk-6u3-fcs-mozilla_headers-b05-unix-24_sep_2007.jar.

    Please open http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp in a web browser and follow the “Download” link for “JDK US DST Timezone Update Tool – 1_3_21” to obtain the time zone update file, tzupdater-1_3_21-2009p.zip.

    Please download the patchset, bsd-jdk16-patches-4.tar.bz2, from http://www.eyesbeyond.com/freebsddom/java/jdk16.html.

    Please place the downloaded file(s) in /usr/ports/distfiles and restart the build.

  5. While you are at it, get the file from this prompt as well. I am not sure why it is not in the same prompt above, but it isn’t.

    Because of licensing restrictions, you must fetch the distribution manually.

    Please access http://www.FreeBSDFoundation.org/cgi-bin/download?download=diablo-caffe-freebsd7-amd64-1.6.0_07-b02.tar.bz2 with a web browser and “Accept” the End User License Agreement for “Caffe Diablo 1.6.0”.

    Please place the downloaded file(s) in /usr/ports/distfiles.

  6. Make sure you followed the instructions, download the files, and placed them in /usr/ports/distfiles. Restart the build using the same command you ran before. If you didn’t know, you can probably press the up arrow on your keyboard to see command history so you don’t have to type it again.
  7. You will shortly be prompted with a license agreement. Please read ever word, pressing the space bar to scroll until the end, before typing yes.
  8. Now wait some more as Open Office and its dependencies continue compiling.
  9. No you haven’t waited long enough.
  10. Ok…no just kidding, wait a little more.
  11. No really. It takes a long time to compile Open Office so leave it running and skip to the next step.

When it is done, you will be able to write documents that are compatible with MS Office.


  1. Access a shell and su to root as software should be installed as root.
  2. FreeBSD has a binary package for K3b, so to install it you only have to run one command:
    FBSD# pkg_add -r k3b

  3. There are a lot of notes about postinstallation steps, so burning a CD is going to be for another day and another document.

Playing MP3s
As for paying I can play MP3s with juK the KDE4 Music player that is installed by default with KDE4.

You should now have the idea and can go installing software that you want.

Playing a DVD

Dragon Player didn’t play the a DVD for me. So I installed kmplayer-kde4. It didn’t play the DVD either. I installed Xine and it worked.

Keywords: FreeBSD X

Copyright ® Rhyous.com – Linking to this article is allowed without permission and as many as ten lines of this article can be used along with this link. Any other use of this article is allowed only by permission of Rhyous.com.



  1. Great ‘how-to’ 🙂

    Step 6 -> does it automount usb-devices?

    Comment by klanger — December 20, 2009 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  2. […] Following one of these documents: How do I install FreeBSD? or if you want a FreeBSD install with a desktop as well: How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? […]

    Pingback by How to download FreeBSD-Current or FreeBSD-Stable using svn? « Rhyous's or ::1 — December 25, 2009 @ 1:29 am | Reply

  3. […] Step 1 – Install FreeBSD You need a FreeBSD Environment, so install one. Following one of these documents: How do I install FreeBSD? or if you want a FreeBSD install with a desktop as well: How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? […]

    Pingback by How to compile a portion of FreeBSD code (Sysinstall for this example) with debugging? « Rhyous's or ::1 — January 1, 2010 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  4. Great Guide!
    but… since I make to activate all the visual effects of kde4?
    because following your steps I settle a version “lite” and it does not have effects in windows (when diminishing and others)

    Comment by Juan Palomo — January 9, 2010 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  5. Thanks for this howto

    Comment by Laurent — January 20, 2010 @ 3:26 am | Reply

  6. […] 1 – Setup a FreeBSD Desktop Instructions for doing this are located here How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? After following the linked-to guide, you should have FreeBSD with Xorg and KDE […]

    Pingback by How to install the Code::Blocks IDE on FreeBSD 8? « Rhyous's or ::1 — January 22, 2010 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  7. […] Step 1 – Build a FreeBSD 8 Desktop Environment Build yourself a desktop as described here (or however you want if you know what you are doing): How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? […]

    Pingback by How to compile and install K-3D 0.7.12 on FreeBSD 8? « Rhyous's or ::1 — January 26, 2010 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  8. […] How to install the vmware video card driver on a FreeBSD 8 guest virtual machine? Filed under: FreeBSD, VMWare — rhyous @ 12:00 am Well, I have documentation on how to create a FreeBSD 8 Desktop environment here: How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? […]

    Pingback by How to install the vmware video card driver on a FreeBSD 8 guest virtual machine? « Rhyous's or ::1 — January 29, 2010 @ 12:03 am | Reply

  9. i install with this guide.
    can you do a guide for install Flash Player in firefox35 or opera?
    Very usefull

    Comment by Romina — January 29, 2010 @ 11:31 am | Reply

    • try swfdec….

      Comment by Marek — June 2, 2010 @ 8:43 am | Reply

  10. […] How to install VMWare-tools on FreeBSD 8? Filed under: Uncategorized — rhyous @ 1:48 pm Well, I have documentation on how to create a FreeBSD 8 Desktop environment here: How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? […]

    Pingback by How to install VMWare-tools on FreeBSD 8? « Rhyous's or ::1 — January 30, 2010 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  11. You rock!

    Comment by Joe — February 5, 2010 @ 12:02 am | Reply

  12. That great, i do it and i runnig very well my KDE4, but i have a little problem:
    I can’t write in all unit when the format it’s FAT32 or NTFS.
    Can you help me?

    Comment by Matias Solaris — February 8, 2010 @ 6:45 am | Reply

  13. Concerning /usr/local/etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf I’ve done once the same thing on debian. The tags you added allow normal user to mount, eject USBs & CDs. There was an alternative way to do it which was by adding the user to hal group.

    Comment by Med Berdai — February 18, 2010 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  14. I know this thread is old but I’ll make my comment anyway.You need the
    /etc/devfs.rules when dealing with IDE CD or DVD drives, or at least I
    did. Here is what I put in my /etc/devfs.rules

    add path ‘acd*’ mode 666
    add path ‘cd*’ mode 666

    Then you need to add the following to /etc/rc.conf


    Since I have IDE DVD drives and need to emulate scsi the atapicam module needs to be loaded as well.

    Add this line to the /boot/loader.conf


    Then either reboot the computer or load the module with kldload.

    Comment by netrattler — February 23, 2010 @ 9:48 am | Reply

    • No, its not that old.

      That is an area I plan to research so I appreciate your comment.

      Comment by rhyous — February 23, 2010 @ 10:04 am | Reply

  15. […] How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? http://rhyous.com/2009/12/18/how-to-install-and-configure-a-freebsd-8-desktop-with-xorg-and-kde/ […]

    Pingback by FreeBSD and its ‘following’ « Luculent Thought — February 26, 2010 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  16. Hi!

    “PC-BSD also has a /etc/devfs.rules file, however, I am not sure what it does or if it is needed. If you know, please comment”

    man devfs.rules:
    The devfs.rules file provides an easy way to create and apply devfs
    rules, even for devices that are not available at boot.

    So this is for devices that are not available at boot
    (for example a pendrive -> da0)

    Comment by cru — February 28, 2010 @ 6:14 am | Reply

  17. […] Well, I have documentation on how to create a FreeBSD 8 Desktop environment here: How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? […]

    Pingback by How to install VMWare-tools on FreeBSD 8? « CS & IT Solutions — March 1, 2010 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  18. Hi,

    I am following your instructions with FreeBSD 8.0 on a Lenovo X61 laptop, but when I get to the line “# Xorg -config /root/xorg.conf.new -retro” it opens up a grey screen with a black “X” mouse cursor and goes no further.

    Restarting and running the cp command says that the files does not exist.

    Comment by WideEyedFox — March 3, 2010 @ 3:38 am | Reply

    • Try it without the -retro.

      Try skipping that step (as I mention that it is optional).

      Try installing the NVIDIA drivers (I think the X61 had an NVIDIA but it might have ATI, in which case make sure the ATI drivers are installed)

      This is a good one to search for an answer on (or ask a question on) the FreeBSD Forums

      Comment by rhyous — March 3, 2010 @ 7:15 am | Reply

  19. Very awesome post, I will definitely try this next week after my new HDD arrives. I have been trying to get FreeBSD setup with KDE running for almost 2 years now and always run into a different problem, mostly with video drivers. But with your lengthy and detailed guide, I am hopeful that it will work finally.

    Also, Desktop-BSD works fine on my hardware, but is not up to date with the more current FreeBSD releases, so I am not too excited to use it.

    I put a link to this article and the VMWare Tools installation on FreeBSD 8 guest on my blog. thanks again.

    Comment by finndo — March 3, 2010 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

  20. Hello,

    In order to start xfce4 I’ve to kldload nvidia first.Startxfce4 works then as expected (nvidia_load=”YES” in /bootloader.conf doesn’t do the trick)
    How to start kde4 as an user? Startkde4?

    Comment by knutselaar — March 4, 2010 @ 4:40 am | Reply

    • Has to be something wrong with /boot/loader.conf and the nvidia_load=”YES”. Could be something unexpected like incorrect quote characters or something. If the loader was working you wouldn’t need to kldload nvidia.

      Comment by rhyous — March 5, 2010 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

      • yes,

        “If the loader was working you wouldn’t need to kldload nvidia”,seems to be a common problem.But I overlooked your comment from the handbook
        “$ echo exec /usr/local/kde4/bin/startkde4 > ~/.xinitrc”,so at last KDE4!!Next problem:Howto restart cq.shut off as an user??

        thx (in advance) Knutselaar

        Comment by knutselaar — March 26, 2010 @ 7:38 am | Reply

        • To restart and shutdown as a user, you need to enable kdm. See Step 6 – Enable KDM (Optional) on FreeBSD

          Comment by rhyous — March 26, 2010 @ 7:48 am | Reply

  21. great howto!!


    Comment by deadalps — March 15, 2010 @ 6:27 am | Reply

  22. Great how-to!

    As an aside, I am appalled at the “How to have basic GUI features in FreeBSD in 124 easy steps” but I am grateful you took the time to enumerate them!

    Comment by Chris — April 11, 2010 @ 11:24 am | Reply

    • Yeah, honestly I am appalled, too. If only there was a new installer that handles both a server or desktop install that was as smooth as Ubuntu’s…I hope PC-BSD continues to improve because their new installer is quite an improvement. It is so much easier to have a short installer and a working GUI. I just haven’t jumped on board with the PBIs yet. I want a FreeBSD desktop with ports and I think that having PBIs as a secondary option would have been ideal for me. I think it was a mistake to make PBIs the primary option. PBIs are the only reason I go through this list of steps instead of running PC-BSD. But PC-BSD has my support for a lot of things other than PBIs, primarily their installer.

      Comment by rhyous — April 11, 2010 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

  23. i´m installing open office from ports /usr/ports/editors/openoffice-3 and it keeps compiling and compiling… 9 hours and counting… can anyone tell me how much time left?

    Comment by ZtoKER — April 16, 2010 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

    • Depending on your computer it can compile a couple hours to a full day, I think it compiled all night and into the day when I did it.

      Comment by rhyous — April 17, 2010 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  24. First of all, I would like to thank you for this very usefull guide. I’ve hit my goal on making FreeBSD desktop with KDE4.
    Also, I would like to ask you: Would you mind, if I translate entire blogroll to Russian in my blog?

    Comment by Dobryak — April 18, 2010 @ 6:55 am | Reply

    • As long as you link to the originally English version on my blog, then yes, Dobryak, you have my permission to translate the entire blogroll to Russian and post the Russian version on your blog.

      Comment by rhyous — April 19, 2010 @ 8:18 am | Reply

  25. Thank you for your kind permission. Here it is – I’ve done it through testing: http://wordpress.sng.by/kak-propatchit-kde-pod-freebsd/.
    Ohhh, by the way – do you know some software for managing Internet cafe unser *nix OS?

    Comment by Dobryak — April 29, 2010 @ 5:59 am | Reply

  26. Thanks for the post! I have been a sysadmin for 15 years and a serious advocate for *BSD servers. I have only attempted a FreeBSD once in the past and gave up after fighting with my wireless nic (dell vostro 1500 laptop). After great success with your guide, I gave the nic another go with ndisgen and all is lovely. Now I don’t feel like a hypocrite for using a linux desktop 🙂


    Comment by tagram — May 12, 2010 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  27. Thank you for posting this excellent how-to. The plug-n-play is exactly what I have been searching for

    Comment by ken — July 14, 2010 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  28. Great instructions ..!
    But somehow things did not work for me even though I followed them as is. I got stuck while installing Xorg and KDE packages from the CD. First of all couple of packages failed to install (eg kdeartwork .. ). I ignored it and moved further and when I tried starting hald and dbus I saw the error as below –

    Starting dbus.
    /usr/local/bin/dbus-daemon: 56: Syntax error: “(” unexpected
    /usr/local/etc/rc.d/dbus: WARNING: failed to start dbus

    Re-tried the whole installation and configuration number of times but every time I see the same issue. I am installing on SunFire x4100 box and doing FreeBSD 8.0 i386 installation.
    Please help.

    Comment by Falguni — August 4, 2010 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

    • Sounds like some type of bug. Does this happen with the 8.1 cd?

      Comment by rhyous — September 10, 2010 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  29. Great How-to, it made my day when I started to use FreeBSD.

    But I’ve an issue at Step 4:
    After adding dbus and hald to /etc/rc.conf, I tried to start them (with those commands “/usr/local/etc/rc.d/dbus start” and “usr/local/etc/rc.d/hald start”) as you recommend it. I’ve the same error for both dbus and hald: “/usr/local/etc/rc.d/dbus: Command not found.” It’s all the same with hald.

    Do you have any idea ?

    Comment by Ashina — September 10, 2010 @ 6:02 am | Reply

    • Sounds like dbus and hald aren’t installed.

      pkg_info |grep hal
      pkg_info |grep dbus

      Install them. Either use Sysinstall or use these commands:

      pkg_add -r dbus
      pkg_add -r hal

      I thought hal and dbus were installed as dependencies when I chose xorg-7 in Step 2, #40. But maybe they aren’t and I installed them separately and forgot to document installing them?

      One of these days I will test this with 8.1.

      Comment by rhyous — September 10, 2010 @ 6:36 pm | Reply

      • Thank you, it worked fine.

        dbus and hald weren’t installed, as you supposed it.

        Comment by Ashina — September 13, 2010 @ 7:21 am | Reply

  30. […] have this.  If you don’t have a FreeBSD desktop, you can follow my guide to build one. How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE? Or you can install and use PC-BSD which is a nice desktop version of […]

    Pingback by Installing Windows 7 into a virtual machine on FreeBSD using VirtualBox « Rhyous's or ::1 — November 5, 2010 @ 5:22 am | Reply

  31. Great how-to! Got me going in no time. Please keep up writing this kind of how-to’s.

    Running in a problem and I can use some advise on it.

    When I enable dbus and hald I always get a “fatal trap 12 (page fault in kernel mode) after some time.
    Looks like dbus or hald is corrupting something but for the time it is running everything looks normal.

    I’m using FreeBSD-8.1-amd64 as a guest on a windows 7 (64 bits) host system. Hardware: i7 Q720 @ 1.60 GHz. The virtual machine gets 2 processors and 4GB RAM.
    All files for the virtual machine are stored on a intel SSD.

    Any sugestion where to look for to tackle this problem?

    Kind regards,

    Andre Steenveld sr.

    Comment by PapaAtHome — November 28, 2010 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

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