gnome2 over an ssh2 connection

Loren M. Lang lorenl at
Wed Apr 20 04:01:31 PDT 2005

On Mon, Apr 18, 2005 at 09:46:10PM -0700, Joshua Lewis wrote:
> I connect to my FreeBSD system from a PowerBook and was wondering (mostly
> for fun) if I can run Gnome2 or KDE or something within a Terminal
> connection on my PowerBook.

Yes, but you need an X server for your power book.  Apple has a copy of
XFree86 available on their website, I'd recomend installing it.

> I can manage my FreeBSD system fine from a CLI but thought it would be fun
> to run Gnome or KDE.

Yea, you could run a whole Gnome or KDE desktop over ssh, but it might
be a little slow.  I'd recommend using VNC or running a local KDE or
Gnome desktop on the powerbook and only remote the apps you need to.

> Is what I am mentioning even feasible? Right now after following the
> handbook for installing gnome2 ( Installing GNOME) I startx and get
> an error Fatal server error:
> xf86EnableIO: Failed to open /dev/io for extended I/O.

You can't run startx over ssh.  startx is used to start the X server and
the initial clients, but you need the X server to run on the power book
where the mouse and keyboard is, not the freebsd box.  That's why you
need to install X on the power book.  All the clients like the KDE
desktop and xsolitaire can be run off of the freebsd box, but the X
server is the program that access the display, mouse, and keyboard and
so it has to run on the machine your in front of.

> If I am just loony let me know otherwise if what I am trying to do is
> feasible I will ask the gnome mailing list.
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I sense much NT in you.
NT leads to Bluescreen.
Bluescreen leads to downtime.
Downtime leads to suffering.
NT is the path to the darkside.
Powerful Unix is.

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