Installing Gnome on FreeBSD 8.1


For installing Gnome desktop environment in FreeBSD 8.1, the following steps can be used.

Installing X11

Xorg is the default X11 implementation for FreeBSD and can be installed using the following command as the root user

# pkg_add -r xorg

After installing add the lines to /etc/rc.conf as follows

moused_enable=”YES”
dbus_enable=”YES”
hald_enable=”YES”

Check the installation using the following command as an unprivileged user

$ xinit

If the setup is working, there should be a minimal X session running. Press CTRL+ALT+F1 to move to the first terminal in which the command was executed. Press CTRL+C to stop it.

To create a xorg.conf.new file run the following command as the root user.Reboot the server after installing Xorg if the following command doesn’t work.

# Xorg -configure

A file named xorg.conf.new will be created in /root. To check the file created run the following command as root

# Xorg -config /root/xorg.conf.new -retro

If the configuration is working properly, a background with mouse cursor is seen. Press CTRL+ALT+F1 to move to the first terminal in which the command was executed. Press CTRL+C to stop it.

Copy the file to  /etc/X11/ as xorg.conf as the root user using the following command

# cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Installing URW fonts

URW fonts can be installed by using the command

# pkg_add -r  urwfonts

Add the following line to the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf under ‘Section “Files”‘

FontPath "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/URW/"

Installing TTF fonts

TTF fonts can be installed by using the following command

# pkg_add -r ttmkfdir

Check whether the following line is present under ‘Section “Files”‘ in /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Add the following line to the ‘Section “Modules”‘

Load  "freetype"

Enter the following commands now

# cd /usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/
# ttmkfdir -o fonts.dir

Installing Gnome

Gnome packages can be installed using the following command as the root user

# pkg_add -r gnome2

The gnome installation can be checked using the following command as an unprivileged user

 $ xinit /usr/local/bin/gnome-session

Now, to make the system boot into GDM

Add the following line to /etc/rc.conf file

 gnome_enable="YES" 

And add the following line to /etc/fstab file

 proc        /proc       procfs       rw      0     0  

Reboot the system, it will boot into GDM.

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