Sunday, August 21, 2011

Installing FreeBSD 8.2 on my netbook Chapter 2

To see where I left things yesterday, have a look at this post.
On this EeePC 901, which has only 20GB of SSD space on two SSD's (4GB and 16GB), space is at a premium. I already had Ubuntu Natty, Haiku R1A3 and LinuxMint 11 on this machine together with Ubuntu Ocelot (in Beta).
So, as I knew FreeBSD was not small, Ocelot had to be sacrificed leaving me with 4.5GB of space for FreeBSD.
During the install from the USB stick, I just accepted the Automatic slicing of the partition that FreeBSD decides resulting in a /usr slice of just 2.6GB.
Well, I have Ubuntu running on this machine, with Gnome, Xorg and Compiz and the / partition has only 3.0GB used.
After the install (without installing ports from the USB stick), I was easily able to boot to FreeBSD 8.2 through Grub2. Of course, no GUI Desktop was available as I hadn't installed xorg or Gnome2. However, "df -h" showed /usr had 750MB used after installing ports through portsnap.
After installing nano through ports and using it to add the line
to /boot/loader.conf to get rid of the "Unqualified hostname" error., I set about installing first /usr/ports/x11/xorg.
However, after about three hours the compile errored out saying that write space was not available.
Sure enough, "df -h" told me that /usr, all 2.6GB of it, was completely full. Indeed, it said it was 109% full presumably because a lot of stuff was still in RAM ready to be written to /usr.

OK, so I needed more rearranging to increase the FreeBSD partition size and I got it to 7.8GB. Also during the install I cut back on the generous sizes the installer (in Auto) gives to /, /var, /tmp and swap leading to a /usr of 4.9GB.

This time /usr/ports/x11/xorg installed without problem and now /usr had 1.2GB used. But as my previous 2.6GB /usr had run out of space during the install of xorg, it seems a huge amount of "cleanable" stuff is generated by the installer.

I should mention here that installing from ports on the netbook seems very much slower than it is on my Desktop machine. On the Desktop, install of xorg took about 1 hour whereas I had to leave it overnight on the EeePC 901 (the length of which was at least 3 hours).

Next, I started the install of /usr/ports/x11/gnome2 and this proceeded well for about 8 hours when, once again, it ran out of write space. "df -h" showed the 4.9GB of /usr to be 109% full with 5.25GB of content.
So, I went ahead and did a "make clean" which proceeded nicely and brought the content of /usr back to 2.4GB which means that nearly 3GB of useless stuff must have been present.

Now, I just had to issue the "make install clean" command again for the install to resume, apparently, where it had left off which is nice.
Nevertheless, it did stop again after about an hour, seemingly when trying to install brasero, although as I couldn't roll back the terminal output I can't be sure what exactly went wrong.

What I did was to, once again, run "make clean" which brought /usr down from 3.7GB to 2.2GB.
After this, "make install clean" proceeded without problems and certainly went through the brasero install without difficulty.
As of now, it's been running for about 4 hours and I'm about to leave it overnight so there'll be at least a Chapter 3 in this saga.
In total, up to now, I've been installing gnome2 for 16 hours.

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