Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Mon Feb 15 19:15:36 UTC 2010

On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 01:12:13PM -0500, tristan wrote:

> i recently installed freebsd on my system. when i sign in to the root 
> account, i get a prompt telling me about the documentation, then a # sign. 
> how do i acess an interactive desktop like the one in windows/mac?

FreeBSD does not twist your arm to use a GUI interface.   For much
server work, that stuff just gets in the way.   So, by default you
have a plain 'vanilla' command line interface.   But, it is all
readily available and some variation is helpful for desktop use.

You need to run X-Windows plus a windows manager.
The Xorg system is the Xwin stuff.
There are many windows managers, some very simple (which I prefer - I
tend to use Afterstep) and some full blown and even rather bloated.
Each has its rabid advocates.  There are also combination window manager/
desktop systems such as KDE and Gnome.

Once you have Xorg and your favorite windowmanager or desktop combo 
installed, you need to configure them and set them up to start on
command or when you log in, which ever you prefer.   By the way, you
can install more than one window manager and/or desktop and switch
between then to suit yourself or to experiment.

So, back to the Handbook and learn about these things.  Once you learn
them, it will be easy, but it will take a bit of fuss to get them
just how you want it in the beginning.


ps. I never did get that 'plain vanilla' thing.  Vanilla is a flavoring 
    ingredient as much as chocolate or cherry. 

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