xfce 4.4 questions

Erik Trulsson ertr1013 at student.uu.se
Sun Aug 26 14:49:21 PDT 2007

On Sun, Aug 26, 2007 at 02:24:40PM -0400, Richard Deal wrote:
> Thanks for the quick response. A bit more detail would be more helpful; 
> please see my ">>" comments below.
> - r
> Thanks,

A couple of notes about e-mail conventions first:
  A common convention is to mark *quoted* lines with a preceding '>' character
  (this is usually done by the mail program when you reply to a mail.)
  IF you quote somebody who has quoted somebody else then those lines
  will be marked with '>>' etc. 
  Your usage of '>>* to mark *new* lines clashes badly with this convention
  and makes it difficult to see what was added and what was quoted.
  Try to do things differently in the future.

  Also when replying to a post on a mailing list it is usually a very good
  idea to send the reply to the list also and only to the individual
  who wrote what you are replying.  This gives other people a chance to add
  their knowledge too.
  I have add a Cc: back to the freebsd-questions@ list

As for your questions:

A small warning first: Personally I almost never use binary packages,
preferring instead to install directly via the ports system - which gives me
a bit more control over the process, at the cost of it taking longer to
compile and install things.  This means that I have little experience with
the binary packages.

I suspect that your problems with xfce-4.2 where you are missing some
features is due to one of:
a) Those features depend on some optional component that you have not
b) You simply haven't configured xfce4 correctly.
c) You misunderstood the documentation in some way.
d) A bug in xfce itself.
In most of those cases the best place to ask is the xfce developers.

For general information about ports and packages you should read the
relevant parts of the FreeBSD handbook first which explain many things
better than I can:

> - r
> Erik Trulsson wrote:
>> On Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 06:11:42PM -0400, Richard Deal wrote:
>>> Folks,
>>> 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?
>> A 'meta port' is a port which doesn't install anything itself, but just
>> depends on a bunch of other ports so that they can all get pulled in
>> automatically.
> >> Well, as I suspected, but in this case it they don't all seem to be 
> pulled in "automatically". What am I missing? Are there any logs detailing 
> the successes/failures?

If you install via the ports system, then any error messages should be
printed right on the screen.
If something does go wrong the exact wording of any error messages will
be very useful to figure out what the problem is.

>>> 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?
>> No,no.  The point of the ports system/packages is that all the required
>> ports will be pulled in and installed automatically.
> >> Again, to use a local colloquialism: it ain't workin'. Not everything 
> needed is being "pulled in" as you say -- I need help in determining why.
>>> 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?
>> Because you did not use the '-r' flag to pkg_add which tells it to do
>> exactly that?
>> You are right to point that out, and I was remiss not to add that, yes, I 
>> have made several attempts with "pkg_add -r xfce4" and "pkg_add -r 
>> xfce-4.4.1_1". In the case pf 'xfce4', it installs v4.2, which is fine 
>> with me except, as I mentioned earlier, a number of the default features 
>> don't work -- please see my reference to 'xfterm' in my original message.

If you want to use other (newer) versions of packages than what was shipped
with your release than you need to tell pkg_add to look for those. See
for more information on this.

>>> 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/ ?
>> Because they live elsewhere.
> >> Gee, thanks, that's helpful. Clearly, I don't know the proper location 
> -- how about telling me where???

glib-2.12.13  lives in devel/glib20.  It is used by lots of ports/packages
other than xfce so there is no reason for it to live in x11-wm/xfce which
contains only those packages that belong to the 'xfce' (virtual) category.

The directory structure when you download the packages primarily mirror the
structure of the ports tree from which they were created, plus directories
for various virtual categories that do not have directories for themselves
in the ports tree.

>>> 3) Hmmmm....Ok, so then I ran pkg_add 
>>> ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/packages/All/xfce-4.4.1_1.tbz, 
>>> thinking this 'All' directory must have every bloody thing it needs. 
>>> Nope. At this point, I start drinking. Heavily.

Yes and no.  The 'All' directory does indeed contain all the packages from
the rest of the tree (or rather links to them), 

>>> Btw: it was in your Handbook I found the reference to 'pkg_add -r xfce4' 
>>> to install xfce4x (found here: 
>>> http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/x11-wm.html). 
>>> 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 think that is a bug in the Handbook.  Although the port for XFce 4.x is
named x11-wm/xfce4 to distinguish it from the x11-wm/xfce port (which refers
to the older 3.x version of XFce) the package built will be named simply
xfce (plus version number)

>>> 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 
>>> appreciated.
>>> cheers,

<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
ertr1013 at student.uu.se

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list