jmlewis at dslextreme.com
Tue Jul 20 11:13:04 PDT 2004
>I am a new user to FreeBSD. Is Windows X an extremely basic windows
>loaded your CD that I purchased from Microcenter onto my computer and I
was not able
>to see anything except a very primitive windows program. If this is what
>I'm fine with it, but if there is more how can I get to it?
Xwindows by it is lonesome is a might boring for my taste. I guess you
should first be asking yourself what is it you will be doing with the
system you are setting up:
Will you be running this as a server and are simply looking for an easy
way to interface with the system?
Are you setting up a desktop replacement?
If you are setting up a server will it be accessible from the Internet or
is it simply a local system?
If you are setting up a desktop what will be your top 5 main uses?
If you are running a server, then the obvious (I didn't like the answer
when I first started either) is do not install X. It takes a lot of disk
space, it does slow down the system, and more software means potentially
more security vulnerabilities.
So why not only run X when you need to actually need to use the system.
Sure, you set your system to not have X running at startup (this is the
default) and only start it when you need it. However, you are still
wasting space, there are still potential security risks, and honestly
running the system from a command line is not all that hard. In addition,
you can telnet into it from your desktop so you would not need a
If you decide you must run a GUI because you are unfamiliar with CLI or
you just like them better pick one of the lighter weight window managers.
Yes, they are boring but you do not need a fancy desktop on a Server.
If you are planning on this being a desktop replacement then I can fully
understand wanting to have a cool desktop. KDE is very popular as well as
GNOME. You can see screenshots on their respective websites.
KDE has a cool feature that if set up allows you to pick your window
manager on login (mind you this causes KDE and X windows to be running at
all times). This would require reading chapter 5 in the FreeBSD Handbook.
This is arguably you greatest source of FreeBSD information. It is a short
chapter to read but does explain quite a lot. I myself had to read the
chapter more then once before I fully understood it. Now I feel very
comfortable using X. No expert but I feel very comfortable.
The one you choose is up to you. I say play with as many as you can and
see which one fits your needs better. You can find many personal opinions
online as to which display manager is better. I have no desire to be
labeled a troublemaker so I will not give my opinions on the subject.
There are also several sites dedicated to customizing the look and feel of
the various window managers.
The community can correct me if I am wrong but applications built for KDE
will run fine on GNOME and vice versa. I think they just may not look as
pretty as they use different API's or something. They still work they just
need their associated libraries and you are good. Therefore, if you fall
in love with the KOFFICE application but prefer the GNOME desktop, I don't
think there is a problem with that (you can also install OPENOFFICE.).
Well enough said. Good luck.
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