Installing and Configuring X.org and KDE

General Information

This guide demonstrates the ease of installing Xorg and KDE on FreeBSD 5.x.

Requirements

  1. root access
  2. Internet access or FreeBSD 5.x CD-Rom Discs
    Note: For FreeBSD 5.3 and prior only disk 1 is needed. For FreeBSD 5.4 and later, disk 2 is also needed.
  3. A working FreeBSD installation without Xorg or KDE installed.

Installation

Login and su to root (alternated logging in as root will work but is not recommended).

You may install packages from the CD-Rom or from the Internet. Another option is to install from ports. It is much faster to use the CD-Rom. Be aware that versions 5.3 and previous have Xorg and KDE on the first CD while versions starting with 5.4 have Xorg and KDE on the second CD.

Installing from CDROM

To install from the CD-Rom, put the FreeBSD 5.x CD-Rom in your drive. Remember for 5.4 and later Xorg and KDE are on the second CD.

Mount the CD.

# mount /cdrom

Install Xorg from the packages directory on the CD. Make sure you find the correct package file as the one listed in the command below is for 5.3. The version on your CD may be different.

# pkg_add /cdrom/5.3-RELEASE/packages/x11/xorg-6.7.0_1.tbz

- Xorg will install -

Install KDE from the packages directory on the CD. Make sure you find the correct package file as the one listed in the command below is for 5.3. The version on your CD may be different.

# pkg_add /cdrom/5.3-RELEASE/packages/x11/kde-3.3.0.tbz

- KDE will install -

Note: For a smaller version of KDE and a quicker installation, you can install kde-lite instead of KDE.
# pkg_add /cdrom/5.3-RELEASE/packages/x11/kde-lite-3.3.0.tbz

Installation from Internet packages

Install Xorg by simply running the following command:

# pkg_add -r xorg

- Xorg will install along with all dependencies -

Install KDE by simply with the following command:

# pkg_add -r kde-lite

- KDE will install along with all dependencies -

Note: For a smaller version of KDE and a quicker installation, you can install kde-lite instead of KDE.
# pkg_add -r kde-lite

Installation from ports

Change to the /usr/ports/x11/xorg directory and start the installation Xorg.

# cd /usr/ports/x11/xorg
# make batch=yes install distclean

- Xorg will compile and install along with all dependencies -

Note: Installation from ports may take a long time. It can take a few hours to a few days depending on the speed of you system. The batch=yes setting will automate the installation. Without it, compiling will periodically stop and prompt for settings. batch=yes will accept the defaults or automatically choose yes when prompted. This will allow the installation to continue from start to finish without user intervention.

Change to the ports directory for KDE and start the installation kde.

# cd /usr/ports/x11/kde3
# make batch=yes install distclean

- KDE will compile and install along with all dependencies -

Note: Installation from ports may take a long time. It can take a few hours to a few days depending on the speed of you system. The batch=yes setting will automate the installation. Without it, compiling will periodically stop and prompt for settings. batch=yes will accept the defaults or automatically choose yes when prompted. This will allow the installation to continue from start to finish without user intervention.

Configuration

Make sure to run rehash or hash -r once the applications are installed. Otherwise, you will get an error running the Xorg configuration command. Since you just installed X.org, the command may not be registered with your shell. The rehash or hash -r command will register commands from newly installed ports.

# rehash

- or -

# hash -r

Configuring Xorg with xorgcfg

To configure X.org, run the following command.

# xorgcfg -configure

This will bring up the window.

Select OK and hit enter. You will see the following screen.

This screen will allow you to configure all the settings for X.org. Hit enter to configure your mouse. You will see the following screen.

You don’t have to change the default identifier name. Just hit enter to go to the next screen that prompts for your mouse protocol.

You want to choose Auto, it is already selected by default, so just hit enter to continue. You will be prompted as to whether you would like to enable three button emulation on the screen below.

Select No (unless you have an old mouse with only two buttons with no scroll bar) and hit enter. You will be asked what your mouse device is.

Leave the default as ‘/dev/sysmouse‘ and hit enter.

Note: If you have a USB mouse and your mouse does not work as /dev/sysmouse, try using /dev/usm0 instead. See this guide: http://www.bsdguides.org/guides/freebsd/misc/usb_mouse.php
If you want to enable your scroll bar, you should read the very last entry in the above guide.

You will be taken back to the Main Menu.

Notice the next option, configure keyboard, is automatically highlighted. Hit enter to start configuring your keyboard. You will be prompted for the identifier for your keyboard.

You don’t have to change the default identifier name. Just hit enter to go to the next screen that prompts for your keyboard model.

Note: Look up your keyboard model or just count your keys, the majority of people seem to have 104 keys, and your may be fine selecting the Generic 104-key PC option. However, look through all the options, they have done a great job adding a lot of different keyboards, including laptop keyboards and Internet keyboards.

Once you have found your keyboard layout, select it and hit enter. You will be prompted for your keyboard layout.

Select your appropriate layout for your keyboard. You will be taken back to the main menu. The next option to configure your monitor will be highlighted.

Hit enter to configure your monitor and you will be prompted for a monitor identifier.

You don’t have to change the default identifier name. Just hit enter to go to continue.

Click Next to continue. You will be prompted for your Horizontal sync.

If you know your monitor’s settings, enter them manually. If you are unsure and you don’t have the manual for your monitor, you will have to guess. A good guess may be the following option:

31.5 – 57.0; High Frequency SVGA, 1024×768 @ 70 Hz

If that does not work you can reconfigure X.org again with an alternate setting.

Once you make your selection, you will be prompted for vertical sync range.

Select the appropriate vertical sync (or Vertical Refresh rate) of your monitor. If you are unsure, it is usually safe to choose 50 – 70. If that does not work you can reconfigure X.org again with an alternate setting.

Make your selection and click next. You will be taken back to the main menu. The next option to configure your video card will be highlighted.

Hit enter to begin configuring your video card. You will be prompted for your video card identifier.

You don’t have to change the default identifier name. Just hit enter to go to the next screen that prompts if you want to look at the card database.

Hit enter to select Yes. You will get a long list of cards that are in the card database.

Note: If you are unsure of your exact make and model, but you have a general idea of what company makes your videocard, you can select no and select the generic driver for you vendor. (This is where the VMware driver is found.)

Scroll through the list of cards and find the card that most closely matches your card. Highlight it and hit enter to select it.

Note: If you do not see any video card type that matches your card, then you should select ** Unlisted Card ** and hit enter. If you select Unlisted Card, then you can select the generic driver for you vendor. (This is where the VMware driver is found.)

Once you select your video card, you be asked for a Card Bus ID.

Leave this blank and hit enter. You will now be taken back to the Main Menu.

Note: If you have two video cards, you probably need to enter this setting manually.

Hit enter to configure you screen. You will be prompted for your screen identifier.

You don’t have to change the default identifier name. Just hit enter to go to the next screen that prompts you to select the video card.

If you selected the defaults in previous configuration steps, you will see only one option, Card0. Hit enter to select Card0 and continue. You will now be prompted for the monitor.

If you selected the defaults in previous configuration steps, you will only see one option, Monitor0. Hit enter to select Monitor0 and to continue. You will now be prompted for the screen depth.

Most monitors and video cards can handle the highest setting of 24 bits. If you have a newer video card, a newer monitor, and you found a close match to your video card when you configured it, select 24 bits and hit enter.

Note: If you are worried about what settings your monitor and video card may support for any reason, try selecting 8 bits. You can always configure X.org again and change the configuration to a higher setting.

Once you have selected your screen depth, you will be prompted for your screen modes.

If you know which settings your video card and monitor support, select them by highlighting the option and hitting the space bar.

Note: The highest setting selected will be the setting used. If you are unsure of your settings, it is usually safe to try 800×600 first. You can always configure X.org again and change the configuration to a higher setting.

Once you have selected the settings your hardware supports, hit enter to finish configuring your screen settings. You will now be taken back to the Main Menu. Notice that the next option to configure your layout will be automatically be highlighted.

Hit enter to begin configuring your screen. You will be prompted for a screen identifier.

You don’t have to change the default identifier name. Just hit enter.

This screen informs you that since you have only one screen, mouse, and keyboard, your layout configuration will be automatically created.

Hit enter to finish. You will now be taken back to the Main Menu. Notice that the next option to Write your X.org config will be automatially be highlighted.

Hit enter to save your X.org config and to finish the X.org configuration. You will be prompted save your X.org configuration file.

Leave the default location /etc/X11/xorg.conf and hit enter to save. You will be taken back to a command prompt. X.org is now configured, however, we still need to configure the user settings to use KDE when Xorg is launched with startx.

Auto-creation of xorg.conf

Note: Auto-creation using Xorg -configure has been known to lock, black screen, or reboot a computer. For this reason it is not the suggested method. It can be useful, however. For example, it auto detects the video card driver. You do not need to do the step in this section if you used xorgcfg -configure to create a xorg.conf.

Log in and su to root, then run the following command:

# Xorg -configure

This will auto detect the settings needed to create a configuration file for Xorg and save it as /root/xorg.conf.new

Copy /root/xorg.conf.new to the /etc/X11 directory as xorg.conf

# cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf

X.org is now configured, however, we still need to configure the user settings to use KDE when Xorg is launched with startx.

Configuring User Settings to Run KDE when X is started

Make sure you are logged in as the user in question. Use the following command to create an .xinitrc file in your user directory that will tell X to load KDE when you run startx.

# echo "exec startkde" >> ~/.xinitrc

Note: The .xinitrc is the file that tells X what windows manager to load.

Now simply run startx.

# startx

Xorg should launch bringing up KDE.

Note: The first time KDE launches you will be prompted for some basic configuration information.

Configuring FreeBSD Booting directly to an X login using KDM

Login and su to root. Now we want to edit a single line in /etc/ttys so that it when we boot up KDE's kdm utility will be called by ttyv8. Open /etc/ttys with a text editor such as ee or nano and find this line:

# ee /etc/ttys

ttyv8 "/usr/X11R6/bin/xdm -nodaemon" xterm off secure

Replace this line with the following line:

ttyv8 "/usr/local/bin/kdm" xterm on  secure

Note: As an alternative to using and editor, use the sed command:
# sed -i .bak '/ttyv8/s/X11R6/local/' ttys
# sed -i .tmp '/ttyv8/s/xdm -nodaemon/kdm/' ttys
# sed -i .tmp '/ttyv8/s/off/on/' ttys
# rm ttys.tmp

The first command will create a backup of your original /etc/ttys file and modify the current /etc/ttys file. The next two commands modify the current file and since we don't want to overwrite the backup file, we use a .tmp file and then delete it.

Now simply reboot and your FreeBSD box should boot to a GUI KDE login screen.

Note: If you do not want to reboot, you can do the following command as root.
# kill -HUP 1

See The following Guide for information on CD-Rom icons in KDE that will automatically mount a CD-Rom as a user.

http://bsdguides.org/guides/freebsd/beginners/kde_cd_icons.php

Troubleshooting X.org

If after running startx the computer hangs, or nothing happens, or if it starts and errors out, you may want to go back and reconfigure X.org with lower settings.

To see the log file for X.org, do the following command

# more /var/log/Xorg.0.log

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