Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 08:55 UTC, submitted by Timothy R. Butler
FreeBSD There are several tasks to which we must attend before actually making use of our freshly installed FreeBSD system. Immediately upon reboot, you will find yourself in the console. While it is possible to setup and use the graphical login managers -- kdm, gdm or others -- it is important to note that this uses extra resources. One of our assumptions is that you might not have all that excess horsepower, so we'll stick with the console login for now. Read more at OfB.biz.
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Login manager
by AVL on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 09:41 UTC

I don't see how a login manager has a negative impact on the performance of a modern desktop system. I know it never bothered me.

RE: Login manager
by Anonymous on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 09:52 UTC

> I don't see how a login manager has a negative impact on the performance of a modern desktop system. I know it never bothered me.

Technically, yes - by running any program, it consumes resources. But like you say, I hard notice (if at all) any performance lose by running a server in graphical mode (init 5) compared to console mode (init 3).

RE: Login manager
by Matthew Baulch on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 09:53 UTC

> I don't see how a login manager has a negative impact on the
> performance of a modern desktop system. I know it never
> bothered me.

I agree also. XDM, GDM and KDM don't seem that slow (or memory intensive) to me. The only reason I don't use a login manager is because I don't always need to run X upon booting of my machines.

> Technically, yes - by running any program, it consumes
> resources. But like you say, I hard notice (if at all) any
> performance lose by running a server in graphical mode (init 5)
> compared to console mode (init 3).

Don't mean to be picky here but this article is about FreeBSD, not Linux. None of the BSDs use the SysV init system (with runlevels). To run GDM on FreeBSD, simply type "echo /usr/X11R6/bin/gdm > /etc/rc.local".

Login Manager, XF86cfg, firewall
by Manik on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 10:21 UTC

Since it is a desktop installation, one must be very scarce on resources to make the economy of a login manager. I would say that in such case, your hardware is definitely not for a desktop machine.

I don't see either why you wouldn't use xf86cfg to configure X. It is much less complicated than editing a file, even in pico. When X is running, it's easier to edit the sais file and add the required lines.

Explaining how to set up the firewall: now that is a good idea. That part is always left aside, and most newbies do not know how to do it.

weird how to
by Brad on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 11:07 UTC

from the very start this guy seamed odd. I will never understand why people care about something using some resources. You can just turn your computer off or run it with no OS on it and save lots of resources. Unless a app is crushing your computer or hurting you in some way there isn't much of a reason to worry. We arn't in the days of limited RAM, HD and CPU power, we have a excess of everything and it's all cheap. Furthermore worrying about resources and helping new people seam like two completely seperate topics. If your just trying to get something up and running, your not going to be worried about uses a extra few megs of ram.

I think he makes a lot of random assumtions and not much talk of options. Like just talking about using KDE and no mention of things to do for Gnome or that it exist. Or how getting mail was the first thing one would do once they got KDE going.

Login manager
by Tyr on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 11:38 UTC

To enable GDM in FreeBSD 4.9 (probably the same on 5.x) :
(As root)
Add user gdm, group gdm with script :
# adduser
# cp /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh.sample /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh
# chown gdm:gdm /usr/X11R6/share/gnome/gdm
# chmod 0750 /usr/X11R6/share/gnome/gdm
# reboot

RE: Tyr (IP: ---.telenet-ops.be) - Posted on 2004-01-03 11:38:28
by ChocolateCheeseCake on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 13:17 UTC

To enable GDM in FreeBSD 4.9 (probably the same on 5.x) :
(As root)
Add user gdm, group gdm with script :
# adduser
# cp /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh.sample /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh
# chown gdm:gdm /usr/X11R6/share/gnome/gdm
# chmod 0750 /usr/X11R6/share/gnome/gdm
# reboot


True, however, one has to adjust the PAM information in accordance to the guild provided in the gdm manual ( man gdm ).

Hmm. That one should be in the FreeBSD handbook. IIRC (yeah, I'm too lazy to check right this minute ;) only xdm and kdm were covered there.

Wow, sounds difficult. I'm glad Windows XP does all this stuff for me.

[i]To enable GDM in FreeBSD 4.9 (probably the same on 5.x) :
(As root)
Add user gdm, group gdm with script :
# adduser
# cp /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh.sample /usr/X11R6/etc/rc.d/gdm.sh
# chown gdm:gdm /usr/X11R6/share/gnome/gdm
# chmod 0750 /usr/X11R6/share/gnome/gdm
# reboot

True, however, one has to adjust the PAM information in accordance to the guild provided in the gdm manual ( man gdm ).

RE: Anonymous (IP: ---.client.attbi.com)
by Sure on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 14:21 UTC

Actually MS Windows XP doesn't do this stuff for you. Just go ahead and try to setup GDM in MS Windows XP and see how far you get.

Some people...

@ Sure
by Manik on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 14:24 UTC

How clever!

RE: Windows XP
by rycamor on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 14:27 UTC

"Wow, sounds difficult. I'm glad Windows XP does all this stuff for me. "

Oh of course; but to get a usable Windows XP system, you also have to actually install some software ;-) (and spend an unreasonable amount of time fretting about security and figuring out which services to turn off). My FreeBSD installs *include* the software. And there are now over 10,000 choices (http://bsd.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/12/31/1725213 ).

"Wow, sounds difficult. I'm glad Windows XP does all this stuff for me."

I know that others have already said what I am about to say, but here goes anyway. Windows does not do that for you.

Silly Attbi Troll.

Re: xf86cfg
by enloop on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 14:57 UTC

Dunno about the author's experiences, but I've always found xf86cfg to be a bit flaky. I always use xf86config to configure XFree manually, then edit in my tweaks. I've also seen more than a few canned setups that don't actually do what they say they're doing, e.g., not including all the font directories or listing nonexistent directories.



RE: xf86cfg
by Noob to the bone on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 15:11 UTC

This article is part 2 in a series. Read part 1 in order to find out how the writer originally set up XFree:

http://www.ofb.biz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=272

Silly geeks
by Anonymous on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 15:40 UTC

Yes, windows does set up a graphical login screen for me. Microsoft understands that this is a task for a programmer, a computer nerd, not a normal person like myself.

Nice try Silly Attbi Troll, trying to change the subject.

"a normal person like myself"

Furthermore, that's debatable ;)

RE:xf86cfg
by Jack on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 16:18 UTC

Try 'xf86cfg -textmode', in my experience it is alot more useful.

RE: Anonymous (IP: ---.client.attbi.com)
by Sure on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 16:31 UTC

>>Yes, windows does set up a graphical login screen for me. Microsoft understands that this is a task for a programmer, a computer nerd, not a normal person like myself.<<

Well, of course does MS Windows set up a graphical login screen, you should expect this after 10 years of development, but that is not what we are talking about right now. We are talking about graphical display managers. Maybe you want to take a look at this webpage for an explanation of the concept "Display Manager", especially in the section called "Overview":

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/x-xdm.htm...

There has been a very nice explanation on www.debian.org but somehow i can't find it anymore. Maybe the server ist still down.

Cheap Trick with XFree86
by Anonymous on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 17:04 UTC

Ok, here is a cheap trick for setting up x quickly.

step 1) XFree86 -configure
step 2) cp XF86Config.new /etc/X11/XF86Config
step 3) /stand/sysinstall and setup up the rest of the gui.

The benefit here is that it will do all the hardware detection for you and put all the options into the file. If I remember correctly doing xf86cfg and doing the graphical thing may not put all possible options into the XF86Config file. Ram (for your graphics card) may or may not appear in the file.

ps: Step 3 you could use xf86cfg --textmode if you do not want to go back into /stand/sysinstall and work you way into the menus.


Dislcaimer: I just woke up.

"Ram (for your graphics card) may or may not appear in the file."

In my experience, on both my own machines as well as those of my friends, adding an uncommented line for RAM while using an nVidia driver is a bad idea, be it 'nv' or 'nvidia.' I've found that this consistently causes lockups, and not the ctrl-alt-backspace fixing variety.

Has anyone else noticed this? If it is, is it FreeBSD or nVidia specific?

RE: Anonymous (myself)
by Anonymous on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 17:30 UTC

Sorry Kingston,
I just woke up. Sometimes the auto detect on RAM is left out of the config file for various reasons. For ex: s3v driver, sometimes the autodect for ram will detect 4 megs vs 2 megs incorrectly. In my case (for that driver) it is left out of the config file due to the autodetct issue.

I cannot comment on the nVidia chipset (have not used it).

I left out of my cheat x trick; edit the monitor settings and x should be up and running. And since all options are in the config file; it nice for tweaking it later (modline and etc).

Drivers
by marcel on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 18:11 UTC

I wonder if FreeBSD supports USB2.0 devices.

Does it work with recent tv-cards based on saa7134?

Linux works because it has more drivers. FreeBSD is lacking drivers to be a good desktop alternative.

Re: Drivers
by enloop on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 20:26 UTC

Thst's a silly thing to say. If FreeBSD supports my hardware, why would I care if it doesn't support other hardware?

re: marcel
by Anonymous on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 22:01 UTC

"I wonder if FreeBSD supports USB2.0 devices."

Yes. FreeBSD 5.1 does support USB 2.

And as far as FreeBSD lacking drivers to be a good desktop alternative, that depends on what drivers you refer to. FreeBSD actually supports more wireless NIC cards than Linux does. And it will do it out of the box without a kernel recompile, or even having to mess around with loading modules.

And given the popularity of wireless networking in homes these days, that's pretty important.

Also, chances are that if you are using FreeBSD or Linux, you are also aware of driver issues (neither system supports anywhere near the number of devices that Windows does). Given that, both Linux users and FreeBSD users tend to take the HCL with them when they go shopping. So it's not really an issue. You just make sure you buy hardware that is supported.

freebsd newb
by tony on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 22:32 UTC

I am also a freebsd newb. But i believe the documentation provided on freebsd.org is sufficent. I've read the manual and the parts that pertained to my section and so far its been going smooth. I don't see a need for a doc other then the one provided by the freebsd people.

RE: Anonymous (IP: ---.mn.client2.attbi.com)
by Socket on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 22:57 UTC

>>(neither system supports anywhere near the number of devices that Windows does)<<

Can we agree that *BSD and Linux support hardware, while Windows is supported by hardware?
I mean, the manufacturers write drivers for Windows driver API, therefore they support Windows. The hardware actively seeks to work with Windows. It is opposite with Linux - with some exceptions like NVidia.

Total bullshit?

re: Socket
by Anonymous on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 23:25 UTC

"Can we agree that *BSD and Linux support hardware, while Windows is supported by hardware?"

Yes, I think we can agree on that.

I think my basic point is that it doesn't really matter whether FreeBSD or Linux supports more hardware, and that doesn't make one more or less suitable for a desktop OS then the other one. Because neither one supports enough hardware to make it so that you don't have to take the HCL with you when you go shopping. (You can automatically asume that your new hardware will work with Windows. You can't do that with Linux or FreeBSD).

I do agree that Linux is more suitable as a desktop OS than FreeBSD is. But what makes that true is the fact that GNOME and KDE are more likely be up to date on Linux than on FreeBSD. They are also more likely to be less buggy, and have all features implemented than in FreeBSD. Because FreeBSD tends to be focused on the server, GNOME and KDE ports often tend to be slow going.

re: Socket
by Jamie Burns on Sun 4th Jan 2004 00:24 UTC

Why do you troll so much? And what version of Gnome to you consider to be "up to date"?

FreeBSD supports GNOME 2.4.1 and GNOME 2.5.1.

http://www.freebsd.org/gnome/newsflash.html

re: Jamie
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 00:53 UTC

Oh give me a break. Have you tried the GNOME applets, and seen how many of them are buggy and crash in FreeBSD? (That is the ones that it actually implements. Many of them don't even exist in the FreeBSD install of GNOME that exist in the Linux version).

I like FreeBSD, and I use it a lot. But lets be honest. When it comes to supporting desktop environments like GNOME and KDE, FreeBSD usually lags quite a bit behind Linux.

this isn't slashdot
by jared on Sun 4th Jan 2004 01:26 UTC

Linux works because it has more drivers. FreeBSD is lacking drivers to be a good desktop alternative.

This is a FreeBSD thread and Linux is only mentioned in passing in the article and thus has no relevance here. We do not need another stupid arguement that degrades into "well for my needs X is better". Why must you post this garbage?

I like FreeBSD, and I use it a lot. But lets be honest. When it comes to supporting desktop environments like GNOME and KDE, FreeBSD usually lags quite a bit behind Linux.

Then use Linux, go read slashdot and leave us alone.

jared

Not true
by Ricin on Sun 4th Jan 2004 01:42 UTC

A comment wrt "When it comes to supporting desktop environments like GNOME and KDE, FreeBSD usually lags quite a bit behind Linux."

The ports get updated quite quickly but both KDE and Gnome are developed ON and FOR linux, that's why some newer stuff may not work initially. And usually in time KDE/Gnome's minor releases clean up the stuff for other *NIXes such as BSD and the ports in question might get more patches by their maintainers or by other committers. That's the perceived lag IMHO.

It's a bit one sided to blame merely the other *NIXes (BSD but others as well) for having to deal with Linuxisms in 3rd party software. By the same argument wine lags behind winXP.

The Gnome3 and KDE4 should have *NIX portability listed next to "being able to better (visually) integrate with eachother" on their wishlist. It's just as important really.

What Linux and FreeBSD zealots have in common...
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 01:47 UTC

"Then use Linux, go read slashdot and leave us alone."

Neither one can stand critisism of their perfect operating system that had no drawbacks whatsoever.

RE: What Linux and FreeBSD zealots have in common...
by jared on Sun 4th Jan 2004 02:18 UTC

Neither one can stand critisism of their perfect operating system that had no drawbacks whatsoever.

Nope, just can't stand people that habitually post about Linux on threads about other nixes. I find it equally anoying when the thread is about Solaris.

Don't take it personal.

Jared.

re: Jared
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 02:23 UTC

"Nope, just can't stand people that habitually post about Linux on threads about other nixes. I find it equally anoying when the thread is about Solaris."

Well, perhaps if you had read my other post, you would have seen that I was responding the invalid critisism that FreeBSD is not as good as Linux on the desktop because it doesn't support as much hardware. I saw that as an invalid criticism.

Desktop applications in FreeBSD
by MeatBone on Sun 4th Jan 2004 09:46 UTC

If some reader is in doubt whether FreeBSD has their favourite desktop software available and whether it is as up-to-date as in their favourite Linux distro, then you can take a look at Fresh Ports, a site that lists the latest changes to ported applications in FreeBSD:

http://www.freshports.org/categories.php

X Config and Updating Desktops
by Jud on Mon 5th Jan 2004 19:05 UTC

X Config:

I use and like (for various reasons) Windows 2000, Gentoo and now Slackware Linux, and FreeBSD, and have nothing at all against GUI config tools. In fact, before I tried *nix I thought folks who preferred editing text config files were pretty wacky. But somehow, the more automatic the X config the worse it works on my perfectly ordinary hardware (Samsung 19" CRT, ATI Radeon). A live eval of SuSE went through a complete automagic config, at the end of which I had a bouncing "out of range" notice on my monitor and a computer that had to be reset because it wouldn't reboot with Ctrl-Alt-Del. Slackware's install and tweaking in KDE took a little bit of doing but eventually worked out quite nicely. Graphical xf86cfg somehow never seems to work for me. But it always turns out that the very best setup I can get is xf86config followed by a little hand-editing of the config file.

Updating desktops:

I prefer lighter-weight desktops like XFCE4 to GNOME or KDE. Though the XFCE4 FreeBSD port is kept very well updated, if you want the latest, I've had good success compiling XFCE4 on FreeBSD from the CVS source. GNOME and KDE have so many pieces that it seems to me it would be impractical to try to duplicate all the work that goes into the FreeBSD ports.