Putting my new FreeBSD 9.3 desktop online ....

William A. Mahaffey III wam at hiwaay.net
Sat Aug 16 16:44:14 UTC 2014

On 08/16/14 11:31, Polytropon wrote:
> On Sat, 16 Aug 2014 09:02:02 -0700, Carl Johnson wrote:
>> "William A. Mahaffey III" <wam at hiwaay.net> writes:
>>> .... someone later suggested some alterations to some of the xdm
>>> config files .... at this point, I've pretty much given up on it, I
>>> just do a console login, then type startx & all is well. I normally
>>> stay logged in for long periods (weeks/months), so this doesn't come
>>> up often ....
>> I had also given up on running xdm with xfce on 10.0.  I copied a
>> running configuration from 9.1 but it refused to work with 10.0.  I
>> tried just a bare xterm and jwm and both work with xdm, so it appears to
>> be xfce.  Similar to others, I just have my .bash_profile run startx
>> automatically, but in my case only when `tty` = /dev/ttyv3.
> I don't know ehy, but this sounds totally wrong. :-/
> I've been using xdm for a long time because it's simple to
> set up, fast, and secure. I have also used Xfce because it
> was easy to set up, sufficiently fast, and had useful features.
> This combination doesn't seem to work anymore. For one point,
> I switched to gdm + Gnome 2 (but gdm doesn't start anything
> that's _not_ Gnome, so a "Gnome only party" there), for the
> other, kept using xdm, but with WindowMaker for my home
> desktop.
> An alternative to xdm with a similar look and feel is wdm,
> the WindowMaker display manager, which almost looks like the
> Solaris/CDE login manager. Maybe it's worth trying this one?
> It even supports easily switching desktops or window managers
> for an account (e. g., login user "foo" and start Xfce session,
> or start Fluxbox session instead).
> Regarding xdm configuration:
> Fiddling with files in /usr/local/lib/X11/xdm sounds terrible.
> I have to admit that I'm using custom settings for xdm, but
> the correct places for such changes probably are /etc/X11/xdm
> or at least /usr/local/etc/xdm (because those are places where
> configuration files are located that are subject to the usual
> versioning and backup processes). I have decided to keep the
> stuff in /etc/X11/xdm (because xorg.conf also is in /etc/X11)
> and create symlinks from the original location to where I
> put _my_ configuration files (which are backed up and under
> version control).
> But I don't use Xfce anymore, nor do I recommend it. Yes, I
> know, this is sad, because I actually liked Xfce (and even
> XFCE, version 3, the nice CDE-lookalike that still runs on
> on one of my backup machines).
> Why did I abandon Xfce? Because it's not "portable enough"
> anymore. It's a "mostly Linux" desktop environment where the
> attempt of running it on FreeBSD leads to despair - it's not
> trivial to set up anymore, and functionality is lacking. If
> you want something lightweight, maybe consider LXDE, or get
> rid of a desktop at all (and use a window manager instead).
> If you want "all the features", go with Gnome. Or if you're
> a KDE person (I'm not), use KDE. It's not that it works
> out of the box in every aspect (as it used to be in the
> good old days), primarily because this is ported software
> coming from Linux, which is a different operating system,
> but chances are good that you get the most things working.
> If you're _really_ good, you even can get automounting to
> run halfway as intended. It's not that _I_ would want to
> use the abomination I've created to make this possible, but
> my users (who wanted a Gnome desktop in a single-user manner)
> seem to be happy with it. I can't even tell you how I did
> it, but definitely not like the Handbook and FAQ told me to,
> because it didn't work. Somehow, I god an automounter port
> involved as well as replacing the umount program with a
> stupid script, but...
> Things got slower, more bloated, crashed more often and
> were unmaintainable in essential or simple parts (like
> changing the mouse cursor to a normal black color, or
> changing keyboard bindings). I admit that this is normal,
> and the logical reason of the software evolution process
> (at least I have been told that this is the truth). But
> I don't like it. When I have newer hardware and newer
> software, I want things to be faster and easier, not
> slower and more complicated. I even want that on the _same_
> hardware - and for _many_ FreeBSD applications and especially
> for the FreeBSD operating system, THIS IS TRUE!
> The more complex modern software becomes, the more complicated
> it seems to get easy things working. Or maybe I'm just too
> stupid. But personally, I learned to prefer simple things
> for simple tasks, and get rid of the "one size fits all"
> desktop metaphor. Not because it's bad per se, but because
> it just doesn't work.
> Summary: Replace xdm with wdm. Replace Xfce with LXDE. Or
> replace the whole stuff with gdm + Gnome 2. Or with KDE,
> if you feel you like KDE.
> So much for today's session of "blame-the-program seizure",
> thanks for your time and attention. I will now receive the
> proper medication and become silent, calm, and ignorant,
> just as the society prefers me to be. :-)

*Hear, hear, hear !!!!*


	William A. Mahaffey III


	"The M1 Garand is without doubt the finest implement of war
	 ever devised by man."
                            -- Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

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