xfce 4.4 questions

Richard Deal rl_deal at verizon.net
Sat Aug 25 15:12:02 PDT 2007


I'm trying to install xfce 4.4 on my FreeBSD 6.1 box, (which I just 
upgraded via sysinstall). It ain't workin' and I sure could use some 
help. Full disclosure: I'm new to FreeBSD, although I do have a basic 
working knowledge of *nix fundamentals.

I was able to install xfce 4.2, but the install is broken -- allow me to 
explain. Xfce 4.2  does install, I can start it, but several features 
don't work. For example, according to the docs I should see a menu bar 
(and options) on xfterm, but it isn't there. Several other install 
defaults are busted too. I've reinstalled the OS several times from a 
'minimal' install to 'install EVERYTHING', via the CD, upgrades via 
sysinstall, via FTP. All were successful). I've installed  XFCE4 
according to your docs ("pkg_add -r xfce4") several times, and from 
/usr/ports/x11-wm/xfce4 ("make install clean"), but still the same 
problems. So, I thought I'd try installing a newer version of xfce (4.4).

First question: what is a 'meta port', what does it do and what are it's 
limitations? Can't find anything in your docs that speak to this (nor 
any of the books I have, most notably the recent 'FreeBSD 6 Unleashed'). 
Reading the Ports page of your site, specifically the *xfce-4.4.1_1 
<http://www.FreeBSD.org/cgi/cvsweb.cgi/ports/x11-wm/xfce4>   *metaport; 
'meta' seems to imply "run this and you'll install all the basics you 
need to run XFCE 4.4". Either it doesn't work or I've misinterpreted 
this. Under xfce-4.4.1, it says: "Requires:...." -- do I really have to 
install _every_single_pkg_listed_ BEFORE I install the xfce-4.4.1 
metaport??? If so, that seems a bit much. Why can't there be a single 
manifest file which calls/installs all those required pkg's as a part of 
the metaport installation? In order to install xfce 4.4, do I have to 
manually install each and every file/port/pkg listed there which 
references xfce4.4?

After doing a fresh OS install (6.1) from CD (X-Kern-Developer package), 
followed immediately by an upgrade (via sysinstall/FTP) which included 
an istall of the entire ports tree, I tried several ways to install xfce4.4:

1) downloaded xfce-4.4.1_1.tbz and ran pkg_add against it. It started 
but all I got was "Package <insert_names_here> not found!". If it knows 
what it needs, why can't it just bust out to your ftp site and get it 
and install it?

2) downloaded from your site everything in 
/pub/FreeBSD/ports/packages/x11-wm/xfce/,  which seemed to have all 
those required files. Once downloaded, as noted above I ran pkg_add 
locally. Some packages installed, but most did not because their 
dependencies (such as glib-2.12.13) were not there. If xfce4.4 needs 
glib-2.12.13, why can't it (and any others) be included in 
.../x11-wm/xfce/ ?

3) Hmmmm....Ok, so then I ran pkg_add 
thinking this 'All' directory must have every bloody thing it needs. 
Nope. At this point, I start drinking. Heavily.

Btw: it was in your Handbook I found the reference to 'pkg_add -r xfce4' 
to install xfce4x (found here: 
Well, I searched your site for any package specifically labeled 'xfce4' 
and I couldn't find it. The closest I got was the dir "xfce" under 
ftp.../pub/FreeBSD/ports/packages/x11-wm/. So, having seen your list of 
ports (and the 'package' listed under each), where can I find a complete 
list of packages?

I've cruised many forums for info - nothing truly helpful.

Bottom line, I don't really need xfce 4.4; I'd be happy if 4.2 just 
worked (all of it) on a basic level. I'm trying to learn here, and so 
far the books, the docs, and other FreeBSD articles out there don't seem 
to jibe. I keep reading (my paraphrase): "It's easy! Just run 'pkg_add 
-r package_name' and your done!'.  Maybe this is true for some packages, 
but not the ones I've tried.

I respect and admire the work you are doing, and what you have 
accomplished. I'm not giving up on FreeBSD. Any advice/info would be 


 - r

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