Installing FreeBSD ver. 8.2

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Dec 31 08:26:44 UTC 2011

On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 20:45:37 -0800 (PST), leeoliveshackelford at wrote:
> Good evening, dear FreeBSD enthusiast.  I am a newcomer,
> and have installed FreeBSD 8.2 on a Hewlett-Packard xw4400. 

Excellent choice of OS.

> After many hours of frustration, I am tearing my hair out. 
> I want my system to include an M-Audio Delta 1010LT sound
> card, MIDI over USB driver, X-windows, and Gnome. 

The M-Audio Delta sound hardware is listed in the snd_envy24
sound driver. MIDI over USB... sorry, no experience with that
(only "real" MIDI in ye olden times). X-Window (X11) and
Gnome need to be installed, they are not part of the operating

> The instructions in the handbook and on-disk man do not
> seem to apply to this version of FreeBSD, or at least I
> do not seem to know how to apply them. 

The basic steps should be the same. They have been nearly
the same since 4.0. :-)

> I type "find sound," or "find pcm," or find snd_envy24,"
> or "find x11," or "find gnome," and receive either a
> blank response, or response of "file does not exist" to
> all of these queries. 

That's correct. See "man find" for how to properly invoke
that program. Basically, you use

	# find <start-dir> -name <what>

to find some specific files, e. g.

	# find /usr/ports -name gnome
	# find /boot -name snd_envy24\*

You can add the \* wildcard (* needs to be escaped for the
shell to _not_ expand it!) if you're not searching for one
specific file name.

> All of these items were supposedly installed at the time
> of system configuration, but as to where, I cannot seem
> to determine. 

Installed software will be in /usr/local. You can for example
use the command

	# find /usr/local -name gnome-session\*

to see if the gnome session manager has been installed.

An easier approach is to make yourself familiar with ports
and packages, and how to use the pkg_* family of tools, as
well as how to read the content of /var/db/pkg; for example,
all installed software will cause a directory to be created
in that path, so you can see if it's there:

	# ls /var/db/pkg/gnome*

will list all gnome stuff that is installed. This subtree is
your "catalog of installed things". But it's _much_ easier
to read "man pkg_info" and use that.

It's not the time for a lecture about shell scripting
right now. :-)

Just in case you don't know the correct syntax for any
command, or the purpose or layout of a file, use its
man page. FreeBSD is known for covering all the parts
of the OS with a proper manual page (system binaries
and scripts, configuration files, device drivers,
kernel interfaces, library functions, system operation
and maintenance procedures, and introductions).

> The gnome installation took twice as long as installation
> of everything else.  Where did sysinstall install it? 

Into /usr/local. Gnome is a "heavy beast" with lots of

> How do I get it to start? 

This is covered in the Handbook in section 6.7:

make sure you're running the depending services related
to making Gnome functional. Additionally, in most cases
you'll want to have


in /etc/rc.conf, the system's configuration file.

Also see

> The response to "startx" is "file does not exit."  I realize
> that I may be missing something o
>  b!
> vious. 

It seems that you're missing X. :-)

You need to install the xorg port (or package via pkg_add -r)
along with the driver for your graphics card. If you have
successfully accomplished that, Gnome should be up and

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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