So you want to build a system which doesn’t use KDE and GNOME as your desktop environment. Your reason? Your hardware could be old, you don’t have “big” RAM, or you just want to build a system from scratch. This guide will help you in setting up a FreeBSD system that is light on resource and is ideal for the “not so powerful” computers you have.
First, you have to download the first disc of FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE i386 at
It is a 650MB disc image that you will burn and use.
After burning it to a disc, you will now set your BIOS primary boot device to your CD/DVD drive and start the installation.
I will not cover the entire installation process as it is covered at
After you have successfully installed FreeBSD, you will now add the necessary packages to have your desktop ready. You will need an Internet connection here. With root privilege, type the following commands to install packages. (xorg – your x window system, fluxbox – your window manager, fox-filer your file manager, abiword – your word processor, gnumeric – your spreadsheet, firefox3 – your web browser, xine – your multimedia player, eterm – your transparent terminal, zip, unzip, and unrar for your archiving tools). You can add more packages that you want to.
# pkg_add -r xorg
# pkg_add -r fluxbox
# pkg_add -r rox-filer
# pkg_add -r abiword
# pkg_add -r gnumeric
# pkg_add -r xine
# pkg_add -r zip
# pkg_add -r unzip
# pkg_add -r unrar
# pkg_add -r eterm
# pkg_add -r firefox3
After installing all the package (a lot of patience needed here, sigh…), you must configure your X Server. With root privilege, type the command below
# Xorg -configure
# cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Then you have to create your .xinitrc in your home dir.
# touch ~/.xinitrc
# echo “fluxbox” >> ~/.xinitrc
Then modify your rc.conf and add the following lines
Restart your system
shutdown -r now
Then start your Fluxbox after logging in
You need to edit your fluxbox menu to include all the packages you have installed. (this is not included in this tutorial)
Google for configuring fluxbox menu, and setting up Eterm.
Here is a working code that reads the content of a text file and displays it.
The program is console-based. You can modify it to ask for the location and name of a particular text file you want to read.
Click the link below to see the java code.
Canonical (the big company sponsor of Ubuntu ) will be having another great webinar. It’s all about Ubuntu’s enterprise cloud. If you are interested in the topic, you might want to register now.
The webinar will be on August 12, 2010 at 12:00 BST London (Aug 12, 7:00PM Philippine time) and 14:00 EDT (Aug 13, 2:00am Philippine Time)
Choose the time you are comfortable with. See you there!
You can register here at http://www.canonical.com/webinars/ubuntu-enterprise-cloud-a-guide-to-effective-cloud-management
Check out my article in this issue, entitled Making the Unknown Giant Visible and Known
The August 2010 Issue of BSD Magazine is out now!
Download your copy here http://download.bsdmag.org/en/BSD_as_operating_system_BSD_08_2010.pdf
Introduction to MidnightBSD
MidnightBSD was founded in 2006 by Lucas Holt. The project is a FreeBSD 6.0 fork with an emphasis on creating a desktop focused BSD.
While there are other BSD desktop projects (most notably PC-BSD and DesktopBSD), we wanted to create an entire desktop centered BSD from the kernel all the way up to the standard applications. We want a BSD that a grandmother could install and use.
– Lukas Holt, Caryn Holt
The FreeBSD Ubuntu challenge
FreeBSD makes a great server, but can it rise to the challenge of running Compiz as a workstation?
One of the many criticisms of Open Source software (indeed even FreeBSD) is that it is not ready for the desktop.
– Rob Somerville
Network monitoring with Nagios and OpenBSD PART 1
So our OpenBSD-based network now includes redundant firewalls, domain name servers, a mail gateway and a web proxy cache. (Read previous issues of BSD Magazine) All the services provided by these machines are particularly critical and can’t afford even minimal downtime. Redundancy may give us the time to recover a failure before having angry users trying to knock down our door, but it doesn’t free us from the responsibility to detect and solve ongoing problems.
– Daniele Mazzocchio
Replacing Microsoft Exchange Server
Installing set of open-source programs without lack of functionality Instead of Microsoft Exchange Server. This way Groupware-part will be replaced on Horde Groupware.
– RASHID N. ACHILOV
Maintenance Systems over BSD
I was talking in previous articles about how to run applications widely used in the Industry that can be supported by BSD apart of classical IT services.
As clear example of this is SAP Suite. SAP covers all possible asset management to control the cost related to production and also maintenance but as per tighted cost in investments today, the Plants must run 24/7 with maximum reliability and productivity possible.
– Joseba Mendez
Low Resource PCs with FreeBSD
FreeBSD is my pick for best modern operating system to use on older PCs. I can’t believe how many used PCs end up as landfill while students, educators, low income families and others go without a computer at all.
– Laura Michaels
Making the Unknown Giant Visible and Known
FreeBSD has the moniker Unknown Giant. I confirm that it is true in my place. I have asked system administrators, computer enthusiasts, and hobbyist about FreeBSD and they didn’t even know what I’m talking about.
– Joshua Ebarvia