Friday, November 19, 2010

FreeBSD set up to workable condition on Dell E520

Having manager to get FreeBSD 8.1 to boot, an essential first step, it was time to set it up to some level of normality as a working OS.
I installed the Gnome desktop environment as described here, but I got a lot of help also from some great YouTube videos such as this and this and this and this and finally this.
One major difference between FreeBSD and the other major OSes (Windows, OS X and Linux) is that in FreeBSD many applications have to be built from source.
So to install compiz-fusion took quite a while during the compilation from source. Even the 3D nVidia driver that I need to get the desktop effects had to be compiled and this didn't work until I had installed the kernel source code.
One essential feature, possible THE essential feature, of an OS for me is a fast and convenient browser. In most other OSes, I use Google Chromium but this presents some build difficulties in FreeBSD that I haven't yet explored.
However, Opera 10.63 is available as a download for FreeBSD and this works fine for me.
However, it doesn't have flash so I can't run YouTube videos or a lot of other stuff as yet. It seems that only the Linux version of Opera, also available for FreeBSD, can include flash as a version of flash for FreeBSD per se doesn't yet exit. Here's a howto on Flash installation in FreeBSD which I'll be trying out in the next few days.

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