Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FreeBSD 8.2 on EeePC 901: Chapter 4

OK, I started this chapter, as I mentioned in the previous one, by doing a very large reorganization of my ssd's which mainly featured eliminating LinuxMint as I never really used it and had little or no interest in it as it's very little different from Ubuntu.
So, now I have a 1.7GB partition for Ubuntu /home and a 2.2GB partition for Haiku R1A3 on the smaller (~4GB) ssd. On the larger disk, I have a 4.5GB partition for Ubuntu / and the remaining 10.8 GB is all for FreeBSD 8.2.
To copy the Ubuntu /home from /dev/sdb to /dev/sda, I used Gparted's Copy/Past facility (Gparted from usb-stick). Then. without deleting the "old" /home, I booted to Ubuntu, used the command

# uuidgen | xargs tune2fs /dev/sda1 -U

to change the UUID of the "new" /home (which was the same as the old one) and updating /etc/fstab to refer to the "new" /home.
Incidentally, I posted to the EeePC forums on problems associated with installing FreeBSD on the netbook and got a very useful reply.
Anyway, during the install from usb-stick, I left out the swap slice and reduced the size of /, /tmp and /var in order to maximize the size of /use.
Here's what I ended up with:
300MB for /, 250MB for /tmp, 1000MB for /var leaving 9.35MB for /usr.
Next, I installed nano (using pkg_add -r) and wrote "sendmail_enable="NONE"" into /etc/rc.conf to remove the My Unqualified Hostname error on startup.
Then I installed xorg but this time from pkg_add rather than from ports.
Fetching and extracting ports from portsnap uses up about 550MB of /usr which needs to be considered on this tiny machine.
Additionally, the xorg install from packages took just 30 minutes which was very much faster than the "more than four hours" from ports.
However, installing gnome2 from pkg_add gave problems as it repeatedly stopped because of a broken pipe which is not an unknown problem.

I also tried the PACKAGESITE command to change the preferred site from which packages are retrieved. However, I just couldn't get a site that didn't run into a problem during the install.

Another problem was that there seemed to be a lack of consistency in the package version being used even though I chose
For example, xorg seemed to install perl 5.10.2 while gnome2 seemed to want to download perl-5.12.4 which it then declared to be in conflict with the earlier installed version.
So, I went back to /usr/ports as I've never seen this type of difficulty. Additionally, I wanted to see if I could get through a gnome2 install without frequently stopping to "make clean".

I installed xorg from /usr/ports/x11/xorg which took 4h 45m on my EeePC901 so there's no sign that removing space problems with a much larger /usr improved speed of the install in any way.

After the xorg install (with nano and ports fetch/extract the only other additions), df -h showed the following:

/ 173 MB, 65%
/tmp 12 KB, 0%
/var 99 MB, 11%
/usr 1.2 GB, 15%

The /usr, therefore, has 6.9 GB available for the installation of gnome2 from /usr/ports/x11/gnome2

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