pkg and packages

Freddie Cash fjwcash at
Mon May 8 16:29:50 UTC 2017

On Sun, May 7, 2017 at 4:14 AM, <scratch65535 at> wrote:

> [Default] On Sat, 06 May 2017 00:11:00 +0200, Sebastian Schwarz
> <seschwar at> wrote:
> >On 2017-05-04, scratch65535 at wrote:
> >> I can't imagine what code could possibly be in thunar and
> >> samba that the xfce desktop would need, (...)
> >
> >Thunar is used to display the icons on the XFCE desktop.  It
> >depends on gvfs, which is used for accessing remote file systems
> >and the trash inside Thunar.  gvfs in turn depends on samba44 in
> >order to access CIFS/SMB shares.
> >
> >Strictly speaking some of these features might be optional.  But
> >as far I know pkg currently doesn't have a concept of optional
> >dependencies.  So it's an all or nothing decision, when building
> >the packages.
> It's really not even "strictly speaking".  They always should be
> separate installs, not ever bundled together.
> What use can someone have for samba who doesn't have any windows
> boxes?
> And since samba is the guy who does all the work to make  the
> freebsd filesystems look non-threatening to windows, why, really,
> is gvfs needed at all?  As far as I'm aware, there's no way,
> short of finding and installing a copy of that old, unsupported
> windows nfs client, for freebsd to access a windows box..

​Samba + GVFS + Thunar doesn't make your FreeBSD filesystems available from
Windows machines.  It makes your Windows file shares available on FreeBSD,
and they show up in Thunar just like other folders.  GVFS uses libsmbclient
and/or smbclient itself to access the CIFS/SMB shares, and abstracts all
that away to make it look like just another folder.​

I'm not sure how Thunar / GVFS would react if you removed support for SMB
shares.  Maybe it just wouldn't show that option in the GUI?  Maybe it
would leave the option in the GUI, but would error out when you try to use

> And thunar doesn't seem to require the desktop (when are icons
> placed on the desktop?  I can't recall ever seeing that), since
> after my desktop was discarded during the general upgrade, the
> panels, icons, and thunar all continued to function as before,
> which since xfce is a modular, loosely-coupled system, was not
> unexpected.

​Icons are placed on the desktop when you place them there.  I don't think
there aren't any there by default.  We use XFce for the desktop GUI in our
schools, and we place a handful of icons on the desktop by default for
students (with a different selection of icons for staff), along with a
small selection of icons in the taskbar as well.

Freddie Cash
fjwcash at

More information about the freebsd-ports mailing list