Saturday, August 27, 2011

FreeBSD 8.2 on EeePC 901: Chapter 5

I haven't posted on this topic since Chapter 4 last Wednesday.
The reason is that after installing x11/xorg from ports, installing x11/gnome2 from ports is proving mysteriously difficult.
While I did have some problems installing gnome2 from ports on my Desktop, I had nothing like the gravity of the problems I'm seeing on the netbook.
Nevertheless, I'm unable to see which special features of a netbook would exacerbate this type of problem.

In any event, here's a list of some of the obstacles that cropped up and solutions when I found them:

1. Installing xorg from packages (pkg_add -r xorg) seems to install a huge number of outdated dependencies despite using a package site that referred to 8.2-release and Latest. After the install (which took about 30 minutes) I ran "pkg_version -vl "<" which showed perhaps one hundred outdated apps.
To update these, I ran "portupgrade -a" which seemed to go fine. However, when I tried to install gnome2 from ports immediately afterwards, it persistently complained about dependencies where "an older version is already installed".

2. When xorg was installed from ports and then the install of gnome2 attempted from ports, it errored out on the install of sysutils/lsof which seemed to indicate that the source tree was needed for lsof.
Nevertheless, although the gnome2 install had not completed, adding the usual stuff to /etc/rc.conf (dbus_enable="YES", hald_enable="YES", gnome_enable="YES", gdm_enable="YES") actually provided the greeter page and, once logged in, the GUI Desktop. However, FreeBSD in this encarnation was broken in that, for example, "ldconfig -r" gave an error stating /var/run/ is not available.
However, by just creating a /run directory in /var and then issuing the command

/etc/rc.d/ldconfig restart

the problem was solved as running "ldconfig -r" produced a list of 604 shared libraries.

3. Even after solving the ldconfig problem with the gnome2 install from ports, a retry errored out for another reason very similar to that described here.
However, in my case a reinstall of python27 did not resolve the issue.

4. I should mention that every time I tried to install gnome2 from packages I got a "broken pipe" which prematurely terminated the install.

5. From the above, the two essential features to increase the chances of a successful gnome2 install from ports (as an install from packages doesn't seem to be possible on my system) are to install the source tree to the HDD and then install xorg from ports.
I'll post on how this went once it's complete.

To install the source tree from a CD or USB key do the following:
1. # sysinstall
2. In the Sysinstall window that opens choose Configuration>Distributions>src>All
3. Then OK and choose your install medium (I always use Install from a USB drive)
4. The source tree install may take up to 30 minutes.

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