Is 10.3 i386 jinxed ?

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Sat Apr 30 18:41:21 UTC 2016

On Sat, April 30, 2016 1:13 pm, Manish Jain wrote:
> On 04/30/16 13:05, Manish Jain wrote:
>> On 04/30/16 12:14, Polytropon wrote:
>>> On Sat, 30 Apr 2016 04:26:47 +0530, Manish Jain wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> I have a 5 year old Intel x86 Pentium-based laptop (Gateway NE56R). I
>>>> just finished installing FreeBSD 10.3 (i386) with Gnome on it. I was
>>>> expecting everything to go smoothly but the Gnome desktop is proving
>>>> to
>>>> be a disaster.
>>> This also was my first impression when installing Gnome 2 ("classic
>>> Gnome desktop") on a Dell D630 laptop running FreeBSD i386 10.2
>>> (started
>>> with 10.0). There was some work to do, things to update and to install,
>>> scripts to abuse, crazy things to do... but after that, everything
>>> worked as intended. Sadly I didn't take notes on what I did, but I can
>>> assure you that most of it was not obvious, logical, or acceptable. :-/
>>> How did you install Gnome? Ports or packages? Which version?
>>>> Most of the desktop is trash, half the application icons
>>>> are missing and there are no panels.
>>> You probably are missing some important dependency packages.
>>>> Even keyboard input typed into
>>>> gnome-terminal is not displayed correctly (some of the characters in
>>>> the
>>>> echo go missing).
>>> That _really_ sounds strange.
>>>> All necessary entries (hald_enable, polkitd_enable,
>>>> dbus_enable, gnome_enable) are set to YES in rc.conf. I wonder what is
>>>> wrong ?
>>> Using Gnome is wrong. ;-)
>>>> Is there any way I can get FreeBSD and Gnome working on the laptop ?
>>> Reconsider using Gnome. Check if Lxde or Xfce will work better for you.
> I reinstalled the whole system using xfce as the desktop. While things
> have improved, the system is still not workable.
> 1) The installer 'forgot' to place the boot code on the MBR. I had to
> use live CD + boot0cfg to fix that.
> 2) The first time X started, xfce4-panel crashed
> 3) The second time, xfce-terminal crashed
> 4) The third time, trying to launch firefox rebooted the system.
> Overall, 10.3 i386 seems to have gremlins in the belly. What do I do ?
> Try some linux distro ? This is exactly what I have been trying to avoid.
> BTW, does anyone have any idea where can I get Windows XP drivers for
> the NE56R laptop ? If nothing else works, XP remains my fall-back option.

Hearing all that makes me think that this laptop likely has hardware
problems. I would definitely get some live system CD and check drive smart
status. I also would definitely run memtest86 (leaving it running for 24
hours at lest). memtest86 is not definitive for clearing suspicion about
RAM, RAM errors sometimes manifest themselves only under heavy load
whereas load is almost zero when memtest86 is run. I would check if the
laptop needs cleaning inside. If laptop body is easily flexed, and laptop
was carried around a lot, I also would suspect micro cracks in system
board ("motherboard" is common jargon for it for last couple of decades
;-) One thing I forgot to mention: poor condition of optical drive can
lead to poorly installed system, I guess.

Just my $0.02


> Regards,
> Manish Jain
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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