8.0 installation doesn't contain X distributions
smithi at nimnet.asn.au
Thu Dec 10 08:45:36 UTC 2009
In freebsd-questions Digest, Vol 287, Issue 16, Message: 8
On Sat, 05 Dec 2009 19:39:08 +0200 Manolis Kiagias <sonicy at otenet.gr> wrote:
> Nicky Chorley wrote:
> > Hi,
> > I downloaded the DVD ISO for FreeBSD 8.0 (i386) and verified the MD5
> > checksum before burning. With regards to choosing distributions for
> > installation, the handbook says
> > "If a graphical user interface is desired then a distribution set that
> > is preceded by an X should be chosen"
> > and the help for the "Choose Distributions" section of sysinstall says
> > "An "X-" prefixed before a distribution set means that the Xorg base
> > distribution, libraries, manual pages, servers and a set of default
> > fonts will be selected in addition to the set itself..".
> > However, I do not see any distributions listed that are prefixed with
> > "X-". The choices are "All", "Reset", "Developer", "Kern-Developer",
> > "User", "Minimal" and "Custom". Even the "Custom" option has nothing
> > related to Xorg.
> That's correct, these have been removed.
Look, I'm sorry, but I think this is a huge regression, especially if
we're still hoping that people with no prior experience of installing
freeBSD, people coming from Linux and such, for essentially or including
desktop use, are going to have a rewarding installation experience.
> > Is it supposed to be like this (i.e. no distributions containing X are
> > presented on installation), or do I need to download other media from
> > which to install? Note that I'm not asking how to install X and I
> > realise that I can do it post-installation, but I'm just wondering
> > whether I've made a mistake with my download or if the documentation
> > is out of date.
> You've done nothing wrong, the documentation is in need of an update.
> Please file a doc-bug PR.
> Removing X from the distributions is a right step IMO, these are just
> 3rd party packages and it seems confusing if they get installed along
> with the base system.
I think this is taking base-system-only installation purity to excess.
Fine for people installing servers of course, and maybe it will shift
more people wanting a GUI environment towards PC-BSD and such if we want
to discourage these from using FreeBSD as it is (or maybe, was) but even
with my 11 years experience of installing FrreeBSD versions from 2.2
till now, I kept on wondering, how would a newbie fare at this point?
> If you wish to install X during initial installation you can still do it
> when you get to the packages stage. I believe you will need the DVD for
I used the memstick.img (discussed in another thread) and then FTP for
installing packages. I've done this before using bootonly CDs, and it
has advantages and disadvantages; for me it's been mostly positive.
The main advantage is access to all packages. If you know what you
want, and which categories they live in, it's great; an hour or so
picking and away you go (modulo failures with this FTP site or that).
There still exist people with slow net connections and older, slower
kit for whom building everything from source would be very tedious.
The main disadvantage is - access to all packages :) In the case of X,
you and I, developers and most people here know to hunt for the Xorg
meta-port. But the naive or new installer knows of no such thing, and
could beat around in the huge lists of X software for ages, wondering
what's required and what's not to get a desktop going.
The previous basic setup menus in sysinstall for X were not only useful;
I suspect that they are virtually essential for someone, say, coming
from Debian or Ubuntu or such, wanting to try FreeBSD on their system,
or the genuine first-time installer of FreeBSD. sysinstall used to
assume as little prior knowledge or need to pre-read the Handbook and/or
FAQ or follow the lists as possible. Now it's seeming much more firmly
targeted at the already experienced user, and I feel that's regressive.
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