Posts tagged ‘kde4’

PCBSD 8 on an IBM T40

Hello all,

I thought I would share my experiences of using PCBSD 8 on an IBM T40.  I am going to put the information in separate headings, and I am going to document who is responsible for the feature I am talking about by prefacing each line with the responsible party.  If it is a positive experience, the responsible party will be in Green.  If it is a negative experience the responsible party will be in Red.

I am probably going to reinstall and do all this over again with the “snapshot” version and look for any improvements and try to submit any bugs/suggestions to Kris and his team.

IBM T40 Hardware Specs

Intel Pentium M
ATI Radeon Mobility M7 LQ (Mobility Radeon 7500 (fdds)
Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG
Realtek AC97 Audio
Intel 82801DB PRO/100 VE Network Connection
UltraATA/100 EIDE Controller
34 GB 5400 RPM drive

Installation of PCBSD

9:20 AM started boot process
9:25 AM Finished configuring and clicked “Install”
9:37 AM 47% finished
Sorry, I was pulled away for an hour so I don’t know how long hte install took. I did find an install log, but unfortunately it had no date stamps. I rebooted before I realized that the log file itself might have had a timestamp.

PCBSD: So I don’t know how long the install took but it felt too long. I wonder if there are some tricks that can be done to speed this up.  For example, the install could use an image. It could lay down the image, then extend the last partition to fill the drive, and then modify the key files after the image is laid down, add any packages not included in the image.

Boot options

PCBSD: Adding the “Run X in Vesa mode” as item 6 is pretty cool.
PCBSD: Adding the “Run the Display setup wizard” is nice, so you can try to use a different video card post setup.
PCBSD: Single user mode and other boot options normal to FreeBSD still exist.
PCBSD: Splash screen works (this is an x86 box)
PCBSD: The bootup takes too long, there should be some ways to speed it up.

FreeBSD: I like to have a shorter delay when booting. 10 seconds is too long for me. So I added this to /boot/loader.conf

# Boot Options

Post-install Setup

Update: So I reinstalled because I tried a PC-BSD 8-stable snapshot, but ran into a FreeBSD bug, so I returned to PCBSD 8 release.  On Reinstall, the ATI-3D-Enabled drivers worked, so I am editing this to say so.  I am not sure why they didn’t appear to work the first time.  Maybe because I had tried the Radeon settings first, I don’t know.

PCBSD: On first boot, there was a great interface for configuring Xorg.

PCBSD: This has a Radeon card, but there was no option for Radeon, just ATI or Radeonhd and neither worked really.

  • Tried Radeonhd drivers – both normal and 3D failed to launch Xorg.
  • Tried ATI drivers – both worked but I used the one that enabled 3D features.

Note: I found another solution that added 3D features I wanted. See the Xorg and KDE4 Features section.


FreeBSD: Wired networking worked using DHCP without me having to do anything.
FreeBSD: Unplugging the wired network and plugging into a different subnet does not automatically cause dhclient to run again.  So in order to get new IP settings, I had to run /etc/netstart as root.  It didn’t work the first time either, I had to run it again.
PCBSD/KDE4: I couldn’t easily find a network tool to configure WIFI. I finally found it under System Settings.
PCBSD/KDE4: Once I did find the Newtork Configuration tool, it was easy to use and I connected to my WPA2 secured wireless network using a D-Link DIR-615 router.  It worked very well and I downloaded a lot with no hiccups.


FreeBSD/ACPI: Put machine to sleep. Worked fine.
Woke machine up. No mouse. Had to use Ctrl + Alt + F1 to get a command prompt and fix this by restarting the moused daemon.

Note: Added this line before exit 0 in the /etc/rc.resume. This doesn’t resolve the bug, but restarts the mouse so it works, which is a workaround, but workable none-the-less.


PCBSD/FreeBSD: Closing the lid does not put the machine to sleep.

Note: I fixed this by added this line to the /etc/sysctl.conf


After making the above settings, you can run this command to change it in the current booted system so you don’t have to reboot.  But the setting in /etc/sysctl.conf is what makes this persist on reboot.

sysctl -w hw.acpi.lid_switch_state=S3

Random Usability Notes

PCBSD: Ports Console is easily confused with a regular console as Icon Text is not always looked at, I recommend a different icon and naming it Ports Jail. I created this for myself.

KDE4/PCBSD: The fonts were a little off for the four default icons vs the background…but this only seems to be an issue with dark backgrounds.
Shutdown and Reboot works as a regular user by default.
KDE4: After selecting Reboot or Shutdown, there is a hesitation before the shutdown/reboot popup, so I sometimes double click. I don’t like how the shutdown/reboot popup just disappears if a second click occurs with the mouse anywhere but on the shutdown/reboot popup.

Web Usability

Firefox/Flash/FreeBSD: YouTube – Went online and clicked on one of the first videos and it played.

Xorg & KDE4 Features

Update: Do to a reinstall, I noticed that choosing ATI 3D actually worked an enabled 3D features.  I will check on the settings below to see whey they set.
Even though I had a Radeon, only the ATI or ATI 3D drivers worked. The RadeonHd drivers did not work.  Probably because it is an old Radeon and not a new RadeonHd.

Note: I got the Radeon driver to work myself by using the xorg.conf from the ati3d settting and changing the “Device” section to use the settings below. I didn’t make these up on my own, I found them here:

Section "Device"
	Identifier	"ATI Radeon"
	Driver	"radeon"
	Option	"DynamicClocks" "on"
	Option	"AGPMode" "4"
	Option	"RenderAccel" "on"
	Option	"EnablePageFlip" "on"
	Option	"BIOSHotkeys" "on"
	BusID	"PCI:1:0:0"

After doing this, I got much better settings as described below:

Xorg/KDE4: Konsole supports transparency when using ATI 3D.
Xorg/KDE4/3D: Moving the cursor to the top of the screen will do a cool screen where it shows your configured screen in a line from left to right (four by default though I always change to 3).
Xorg/KDE4/3D: Moving the cursor to the top right corner of the screen will do a cool screen where it shows your configured screens in a 3D object (cube or pyramid).

Ctrl + Alt + Backspace is disabled

Ctrl + Alt + F1 does display the terminal sessions and then:

Alt + F2, F3, F4, …, F8 will all take you to one of the open console terminal sessions.
Alt + F9 returns you to your Xorg seesion

KDE4/PCBSD: Alt + F1 does NOT open the start bar. Right-clicking on the Fireball and choosing Application Launcher settings shows no shortcut, so you can configure it if desired. When I install KDE4 the default is Alt + F1, not None, so I assume this is something PCBSD changed.

KDE4: After selecting Reboot or Shutdown, I don’t like how the reboot option or shutdown option just disappears if I click with the mouse on the desktop.

Software Installation

PCBSD: PBIs make installing software fairly easy.
PCBSD: There are not enough PBIs.
PCBSD: The size of PBIs are HUGE, which is by design, they include every library they need to run, but by design or not, they are huge.
PCBSD: I installed Firefox and Open Office and Pidgin post install because there are updated version to those on disk anyway.

KDE4/Firefox: Firefox prompts every single time I open it to be the default browser. Saying yes appears to do nothing. I manually went to KDE4’s System Settings and change the default application for the web browser to be /Programs/bin/ and this issue stopped.

PCBSD: K3b installed perfected first try.

External Media

PCBSD: K3b burnt a DVD (the latest PC-BSD snapshot) without having to perform any tweak, and for those who know how many tweaks are required when using just FreeBSD and not PC-BSD, you know why this is awesome.


Every boot when loading KDE4, the following error displays: The profile “” has been selected but it does not exist.

I plan to update this from time to time with my experiences, so this post is in no way final.

How to install and configure a FreeBSD 8 Desktop with Xorg and KDE?


I realize that PC-BSD exists, but sometimes, you need only FreeBSD without PBIs and you want it to do it all yourself because that is why you came to FreeBSD in the first place; to be an expert user and be able to set everything up yourself.

Requirements for Success
To consider the desktop a success, the user should be able to do the following after installation:

  1. Have a graphical login screen.
  2. Auto-mount CD/DVD and USB drives.
  3. Connect a USB drive and read and write to it.
  4. Browse the web with Firefox.
  5. Create a document with Open Office.
  6. Play an mp3.
  7. Play a DVD

Step 1 – Download the DVD and burn it

  1. To download the DVD, go here:
  2. Click on your platform type. You are probably going to want i386 for a 32 bit computer or amd64 for a 64 bit computer.
  3. Select the DVD and download it.
  4. Extract it as it is compressed into a zip file. Use gunzip on FreeBSD or 7zip on Windows.
  5. Use your favorite burning software to burn the ISO to disk.

Step 2 – Install FreeBSD and include Xorg and KDE4 as additional install packages.

  1. Insert the installation media and boot off it. Wait for it to boot.
  2. First select your Country.
  3. At Sysinstall’s Main Menu, choose Standard.
  4. Read the next screen and hit OK.
  5. Press A to select Use entire disk.
  6. Press Q to Finish.
  7. For the Boot Manager choose Standard and hit OK.
  8. Read the next screen and hit OK.
  9. Press A to select Auto Defaults.
  10. Press Q to Finish.
  11. For Distributions select Custom. (Don’t worry, the Custom is not that hard) and select the following distributions:
    Required – You must have the base system and a kernel. 

    • base
    • kernels | GENERIC

    Optional – You don’t have to select these but I am selecting them.

    • dict
    • doc | en (or you language).
    • games
    • man
    • src | All (Optional, if you plan on having the source so you can work on it an contribute some work back to FreeBSD.)
    • ports
  12. To get back to the Choose Distributions screen, either select Exit or OK.
  13. Hit OK to continue.
  14. At the Choose Installation Media screen choose CD/DVD.
  15. Read the next screen and choose Yes.
  16. Wait for the installations to complete.
  17. Read the Success screen and hit OK.
  18. Choose Yes to configuring an Ethernet network device.
  19. Select you network card type and hit OK. It is usually the top entry. Mine is em0.
  20. (Optional) You may want to say Yes to configure IPv6 these days. All my machines at home support IPv6 now since they are FreeBSD and Windows 7.
    It will try to detect a server, but probably won’t find one, that is just fine.
  21. Choose Yes to try DHCP. Assuming you have a DHCP server (any corporate network or home with an internet connection and router has one).
    The network configuration screen will open with your IP Address.
  22. Enter a computer name in the Host field.
  23. Choose No when prompted if you want the machine to function as a network gateway.
  24. Choose No when prompted if you want the machine to configure inetd.
  25. When prompted to enable SSH, choose Yes if you are going to connect via SSH remotely. Choose No otherwise. I am choosing Yes because I always find a reason to SSH in.
  26. Choose No to have anonymous FTP access to this machine.
  27. Choose No to for configuring this as an NFS server.
  28. Choose No to for configuring this as an NFS client (unless it is going to be and if it is going to be, you would no).
  29. Choose No to customizing the system console settings.
  30. Choose Yes to set the machines time zone now.
  31. Choose No when asked if the CMOS clock is set to UTC (unless you know for sure 100% that it is).
  32. Choose your Region.
  33. Choose your Country.
  34. Choose your Time Zone.
  35. If prompted if your Time Zone looks reasonable, choose Yes.
  36. When prompted if you have a PS/2, serial, or bus Mouse you need to understand that a mouse if almost always only PS2 or USB anymore. If USB choose No, otherwise choose Yes.
    If you choose Yes, then enable your mouse, test it and then exit that screen.
  37. Choose Yes when prompted about the FreeBSD Package collection and if you want to browse it now as this is where we are going to install Xorg and KDE.
  38. On the Package Selection screen, scroll down X11 and hit OK.
  39. On the X11 screen, scroll down and select KDE4. Notice that a lot of other packages are auto-selected as dependencies. This is normal.
  40. Continue scrolling down and select xorg-7.
  41. Now click Ok.
  42. You may want other packages such as bash. Choose them now.
  43. Choose Install and you will see the Package Targets screen. It will only list the packages your selected, not all the dependencies, but don’t worry, all the dependencies will install.
  44. Choose Ok.
  45. Wait for the installation of the packages to complete.
  46. When prompted for adding initial user accounts, choose Yes.
  47. On the User and Group Management Screen choose User and hit OK.
  48. Enter a user name under the Login ID field.
  49. Leave UID and GROUP as is.
  50. Enter a password and confirm the password.
  51. Enter your full name.
  52. In the Member Groups add these groups (without a space, only separated by a comma): wheel,operator
  53. Leave home directory as is.
  54. Leave the login shell as is. (Unless you installed bash and want to use it, then you can change it to /usr/local/bin/bash).
  55. Hit OK.
  56. Back at the User and group management screen choose Exit and hit OK. Feel free to add as many users as you need first, but don’t worry you can add more later.
  57. Read the next screen and hit OK, it is just an informational screen about the fact that you must set a root password.
  58. Enter the root password and hit enter and then enter it again and hit enter to confirm the password.
  59. When prompted to visit the configuration menu for a chance to set any last options, choose No.
  60. You are back at the Sysinstall Main Menu. Select Exit Install.
  61. When asked if you are sure you wish to exit, choose Yes.
  62. Read the next screen, and hit OK.
  63. Whilst rebooting, remove your DVD from the drive so you don’t boot off it (assuming it is first in your boot order otherwise you may not need to do this).

FreeBSD 8 is now installed with all the software needed to make a nice FreeBSD 8 Desktop, Xorg-7 and KDE4. However, there are a few more steps to get Xorg-7 and KDE4 configured.

Step 3 – Patch your new system
Update and patch your system. I already have steps to do this here:
What are the first commands I run after installing FreeBSD
Important: While the ports tree is already installed, don’t skip this step. Updating the ports tree is how you get the latest versions.

Step 4 – Configure Xorg Dependencies

  1. Login to the newly installed system with the username and password you created. Make sure you use the account that you added to the wheel and operators group.
  2. Once logged in, su to root by simply typing this command:
    $ su

  3. After typing su, you will be prompted for a password. Enter the root password.
  4. You now logged in as root. Your prompt should have changed from a $ to a NAME#. For example, I named my system FBSD8 so my prompt looks as follows:

  5. Add dbus to /etc/rc.conf. Either use easy editor, or use the following shell command to add it without using and editor.
    FBSD# echo ‘dbus_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
  6. Enable dbus with this command.
    FBSD# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/dbus start

  7. Add hald to /etc/rc.conf. Either use easy editor, or use the following shell command to add it without using and editor.
    FBSD# echo ‘hald_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf

  8. Enable hald with this command.
    FBSD# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/hald start

  9. Reboot by running this command:
    FBSD# reboot

    Note: It is also common to reboot using this command: (It doesn’t matter which command you use to reboot.)

    FBSD# init 6

  10. Once rebooted, log back in and su to root again.

Step 5 – Configure Xorg
Note 1: 1 and 2 are optional and you may skip them if you want. An xorg.conf file is not longer required. Usually most configurations work without it.
Note 2: If you are using VMWare, you may want to jump to this article and come back: How to install VMWare-tools on FreeBSD 8?

  1. Have Xorg automatically create an xorg.conf file using this command:
    FBSD# Xorg -configure /root/ -retro

  2. Copy the to /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    FBSD# cp /root/ /etc/X11/xorg.conf

  3. Type exit to logout as root. You should go back to the $ prompt.
  4. Create a file called .xinitrc in the users home directory. This file will contain one line.
    $ echo exec /usr/local/kde4/bin/startkde4 > ~/.xinitrc

  5. Run startx to launch Xorg-7 and KDE4.
    $ startx

    Note: If something goes wrong here, your xorg.conf may not have been generated correctly. Reboot (you may have to hit the power button or SSH in to reboot as you may not have console access anymore).

Xorg-7 and KDE4 should now be working.

Step 6 – Enable KDM (Optional) on FreeBSD
Instead of having to login in at a command prompt and run startx, you may prefer a GUI login screen. This can be done very easily with KDM. There is an old way and a new way. Just in case the new way isn’t available to you for some reason, I will leave both methods. Do NOT use both of them.

The new way.

  1. Add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf. Either use easy editor, or use the following shell command to add it without using and editor.
    echo ‘local_startup=”${local_startup} /usr/local/kde4/etc/rc.d”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
    echo ‘kdm4_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf

  2. Start kdm

The old way.

  1. If you are still in KDE, logout. Click the blue K icon at the bottom left of your screen and you can select Leave | Logout to exit KDE.
  2. Use su to login as root as you have done before.
  3. Open the following file with your favorite editor: /etc/ttys. I use Easy Editor or ee.
    FBSD# ee /etc/ttys

  4. Find the following line: (In ee, Page Down three times almost takes me right to this line.)
    ttyv8 “/usr/local/bin/xdm -nodaemon” xterm off secure
  5. Replace that line with this line:
    ttyv8 “/usr/X11R6/kde4/bin/kdm” xterm on secure
  6. Reboot to have the virtual consoles restart. (or make sure Xorg and KDE are not running and run: kill -HUP 1)

KDM should now be working and your system should reboot to a graphic login screen, which is handled by kdm.

Step 7 – Enable CD/DVD/USB mounting
FreeBSD is more secure by default, so something as simple as accessing a CD or DVD or USB drive is not actually allowed by default. You have enable this.

These steps assume that your user is a member of the operator group. Remember above during the installation, I mentioned to make your user a member of both the wheel and operator groups.

  1. Access a shell and su to root.
    Note: The easiest shell to access now that you are in KDE is Konsole. To access Konsole, click the K and go to Applications | System | Terminal. Also you can add the shell icon to your panel by right-clicking on the icon and choosing Add to Panel.
  2. Enable vfs.usermount.
    FBSD# sysctl -w vfs.usermount=1

  3. Configure vfs.usermount to be enabled on boot.
    FBSD# echo vfs.usermount=1 >> /etc/sysctl.conf

  4. Open the following file with an editor: /etc/devfs.conf
    FBSD# ee /etc/devfs.conf
  5. Add the following lines:
    # Commonly used by many ports
    link    acd0    cdrom
    link    acd0    dvd 

    # Allow all users to access CD’s
    perm /dev/acd0 0666
    perm /dev/acd1 0666
    perm /dev/cd0 0666
    perm /dev/cd1 0666

    # Allow all USB Devices to be mounted
    perm /dev/da0 0666
    perm /dev/da1 0666
    perm /dev/da2 0666
    perm /dev/da3 0666
    perm /dev/da4 0666

    # Misc other devices
    perm /dev/pass0 0666
    perm /dev/xpt0 0666
    perm /dev/agpart 0666
    perm /dev/uscanner0 0666

    Note: Yes, I copied these from a PC-BSD install’s version of this file.

    Note: Change to 0660 to only allow users in the operator group to mount drives.

  6. Also you need a devfs.rules file.  Lets create one.
    FBSD# ee /etc/devfs.rules
  7. Add the following lines.
    add path ‘ad*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘acd*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘cd*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘pass*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘xpt*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘ugen*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘usb*’ mode 666 group operator
    add path ‘lpt*’ mode 666 group cups
    add path ‘ulpt*’ mode 666 group cups
    add path ‘unlpt*’ mode 666 group cups
    add path ‘fd*’ mode 666 group operator

    Note: Again, I copied these from PC-BSD.

  8. Tell /etc/rc.conf about the rules section in /etc/devfs.rules
    FBSD# echo ‘devfs_system_ruleset=”Removable_Media”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf
  9. Edit the following file: /usr/local/etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf
    FBSD# ee /usr/local/etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf

  10. Change the xml’s config section from this…
    <config version="0.1">
        <match user="root">
            <return result="yes"/>
        <define_admin_auth group="wheel"/>

    …to this:

    <config version="0.1">
            <define_admin_auth group="operator"/>
            <match action="">
                    <return result="yes"/>
            <match action="">
                    <return result="yes"/>
            <match action="">
                    <return result="yes"/>

    Note: Yes, again, I copied this straight from PC-BSD’s PolicyKit.conf.

  11. Edit the following file with ee: ee /etc/fstab
    FBSD# ee /etc/fstab

  12. Comment out or remove the line for your /cdrom. I usually just comment it out by adding a # sign as shown:
    #/dev/acd0 /cdrom cd9660 ro,noauto 0 0
  13. Restart the computer.

You should now be able to mount CD, DVD, and USB drives. You also should be able to both read and write to them, burn disks, write and format USB drives, etc…

Step 8 – Enable your sound card
I already have an article on this here and it is so very simple.
How to enable sound in FreeBSD 8?

Step 9 – Install Software

We are going to install the following software:

  • Firefox
  • Open Office
  • K3b

Binary Packages

  1. To browse the precompiled package lists, open a web browser to here: 

    My architecture is amd64 so the URL I use is this:

    Hint: Some time in the future you may be on a different version or architecture. If you run this command, it will fail and the output may show you where to go.

    FBSD# pkg_add -r DoesNotExist


  1. Access a shell and su to root as software should be installed as root.
  2. FreeBSD has a binary package for Firefox, so to install it you only have to run one command:
    FBSD# pkg_add -r firefox35

  3. Firefox 3.5 installation notes recommend adding a line to /boot/loader.conf, so use ee and add this line:

Firefox is now installed.

Open Office
Note: Here I describe installing using ports, but there may be a package available. Read this post:

  1. Access a shell and su to root as software should be installed as root.
  2. To install Open Office, run the following commands:
    Note: There is not package as of this moment, so we have to compile from ports and this takes longer. You can check for a package if you want as there may be one sometime after I write this document.) 

    cd /usr/ports/editors/
    make install

  3. Wait…and wait…and wait…and wait…
  4. Ok, when it fails because you have to manually download some items for java, read and follow the instructions:
    IMPORTANT: To build the JDK 1.6.0 port, you should have at least
    2.5Gb of free disk space in the build area! 

    Due to licensing restrictions, certain files must be fetched manually.

    Please download the Update 3 Source from and the Source Binaries from and the Mozilla Headers from

    Please open in a web browser and follow the “Download” link for “JDK US DST Timezone Update Tool – 1_3_21” to obtain the time zone update file,

    Please download the patchset, bsd-jdk16-patches-4.tar.bz2, from

    Please place the downloaded file(s) in /usr/ports/distfiles and restart the build.

  5. While you are at it, get the file from this prompt as well. I am not sure why it is not in the same prompt above, but it isn’t.

    Because of licensing restrictions, you must fetch the distribution manually.

    Please access with a web browser and “Accept” the End User License Agreement for “Caffe Diablo 1.6.0”.

    Please place the downloaded file(s) in /usr/ports/distfiles.

  6. Make sure you followed the instructions, download the files, and placed them in /usr/ports/distfiles. Restart the build using the same command you ran before. If you didn’t know, you can probably press the up arrow on your keyboard to see command history so you don’t have to type it again.
  7. You will shortly be prompted with a license agreement. Please read ever word, pressing the space bar to scroll until the end, before typing yes.
  8. Now wait some more as Open Office and its dependencies continue compiling.
  9. No you haven’t waited long enough.
  10. Ok…no just kidding, wait a little more.
  11. No really. It takes a long time to compile Open Office so leave it running and skip to the next step.

When it is done, you will be able to write documents that are compatible with MS Office.


  1. Access a shell and su to root as software should be installed as root.
  2. FreeBSD has a binary package for K3b, so to install it you only have to run one command:
    FBSD# pkg_add -r k3b

  3. There are a lot of notes about postinstallation steps, so burning a CD is going to be for another day and another document.

Playing MP3s
As for paying I can play MP3s with juK the KDE4 Music player that is installed by default with KDE4.

You should now have the idea and can go installing software that you want.

Playing a DVD

Dragon Player didn’t play the a DVD for me. So I installed kmplayer-kde4. It didn’t play the DVD either. I installed Xine and it worked.

Keywords: FreeBSD X

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