Saturday, March 19, 2011

FreeBSD re-install

Having seemingly totally messed up my FreeBSD install on the Dell Dimension 9200, as I posted yesterday, I had no option but to do a clean install of FreeBSD 8.2-Release from CD.
This used to cause me some grief as FreeBSD simply is not, and isn't meant to be, as user-friendly as Ubuntu. I could probably make some joke about real men using FreeBSD but as that might offend any real women using FreeBSD, I'll resist it.
Here, I just want to note down what I did to fairly quickly get to the GUI Desktop primarily to avoid having to spend days wading through the Handbook if I come back to FreeBSD sometime in the future after a long lay-off.

1. First, I downloaded the FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE-i386-disk1.iso and burned it to a CD at the slowest speed my burner allowed.

2. Then I installed to the existing FreeBSD 100 GB partition on the 9200 taking care to delete the partition and recreate the slice during the install.
The install was straightforward in that I largely chose defaults when there was a choice. However, I did NOT install ports as I understand that ports installed during the install tend to be quite old. When asked to choose packages to install I chose User and Developer.

3. After the install I rebooted to the TTY and used the "pkg_add -r *package-name*" command to install nano, gnome2 and xorg.

4. Next I opened /etc/rc.conf with nano and added the following lines to the file


and then rebooted.

5. The reboot brought me to a fairly basic Desktop but at least it was a fully blown Gnome/X Desktop. Now to get things fixed up here.

6. First install ports using
# portsnap fetch
# portsnap extract

7. Now use ports to install a decent browser (/usr/ports/www/midori) and stop the screensaver showing up and locking the screen every 5 minutes. For this, go to Preferences>>Screensaver and uncheck the box marked "Lock screen when screensaver is active". Then increase the slider for "Regard the computer as idle after" to whatever you want. I chose 1 hour although I'll probably reset that to 15 minutes when I've got everything set up.

8. Now the big one. Check for outdated ports using
pkg_version -vl "<"

and, assuming you have many that are oudated like I got, upgrade the ports using
portupgrade -a

and be aware that this could take a very long time.

1 comment:

  1. That's the beauty of FreeBSD, it's only does what you tell it to do. :)

    Glad to see another FreeBSD desktop user!