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Installing gnome GUI on FreeBSD 8 [26/Sep/2010]   Step-by-Step guide to install FreeBSD 8.1     Using 'ee' to edit files in FreeBSD  

WARNING: This post has been marked as obsolete and may be incorrect. It is kept for archival purposes only. Most people seem to think installing a GUI on FreeBSD is a difficult task.  Here's how to do it, including little tweaks to make it work even better 😉

Login to your computer as root (or su to root from a regular user)

Use your favourite editor (check my blog for instructions on using 'ee' which is included in FreeBSD) to edit /boot/loader.conf – add the following lines:

atapicam_load="YES" Copy

This will load the linux compatibility layer, and linux procfs compatibility modules (these will most likely be used later when you need to install flash plugins) and also the ATAPI scsi emulation driver.  This is used for cd/dvd recording tools within gnome.

Next make sure that the linux proc folder exists by typing:

mkdir -p /compat/linux/proc Copy

And now we will edit the /etc/fstab file.  Add the following lines if they do not exist already:

proc     /proc               procfs     rw  0  0
linproc  /compat/linux/proc  linprocfs  rw  0  0 Copy

Next, we will tell FreeBSD to initialise the linux compatibility layer on boot-up.  Edit /etc/rc.conf and add:

linux_enable="YES" Copy

Ok, now you're ready to install gnome.  Make sure you're connected to the internet, and type:

pkg_add -r xorg gnome2 Copy

This will install xorg (if needed) and gnome.  It will fetch all dependencies it needs, so it may take a while.  You will be returned to a prompt when it's finished.

Now to help things move along smoothly, you need to find out your computer's hostname and add it to your hosts file...  Run the following command to get your hostname:

hostname Copy

Next edit /etc/hosts and add the following line at the bottom (replace 'hostname' with the output of the above command):  hostname Copy

Now just one thing left to do, and that is to tell FreeBSD to load the gnome components next reboot... Edit /etc/rc.conf and add:

dbus_enable="YES" Copy

reboot, and you will be presented with the gnome login prompt 🙂

  Step-by-Step guide to install FreeBSD 8.1     Using 'ee' to edit files in FreeBSD  
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LOGIN ERROR#123: random error here