Thursday, August 25, 2011

DNS servers, keyring password request and conky freeze in FreeBSD

Yes, while plugging away installing gnome2 from ports in FreeBSD on my netbook, I decided to try to get rid of some minor annoyances in the the same OS on my Dell E520 Desktop.
First was that even though I specified one of the OpenDNS servers in the network config section of the FreeBSD installer, according to /etc/resolv.conf the only DNS server was
But, this is easily overcome by prepending the required DNS servers in /etc/dhclient.conf as explained here for Ubuntu (where the file is /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf).
Watch out for that semicolon at the end of the added prepend line. Without it, nothing happens as I discovered unintentionally but forcefully.

After setting up FreeBSD 8.2 on the Desktop for autologin, at every boot I now got a request to enter my keyring password. This essentially eliminated the benefits of autologin as I still had to type in a password.
Again, this is easy to resolve as explained here.
Just cd to /usr/ports/username/.gnome2/keyrings and remove the file login.keyring by

rm ~/.gnome2/keyrings/login.keyring

Then the next time you're asked to enter the keyring password just use a blank password and the unsafe option.

Finally, despite the precautions of starting, killing and then restarting conky, it still persists in freezing after perhaps an hour.
Of, course, I can get it going again by killing and restarting but this is neither convenient nor elegant.
This Ubuntu thread addresses a similar problem and suggests the problem may be due to calling url's during the running of conky.
However, commenting out the External IP script-call which calls made no difference, it still froze with what seemed a similar frequency.
Now, when I started conky from a terminal, when it froze the error it gave was "Connection lost to Server: openURL"
Possibly this suggests that the freeze is indeed related to url calls. But, the only ones my .conkyrc calls are the above-mentioned and those associated with ConkyForecast.
More work required here.

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