New question on Mate and FreeBSD

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Mon Apr 24 22:17:44 UTC 2017

On Mon, April 24, 2017 4:25 pm, James B. Byrne via freebsd-questions wrote:
> On Mon, April 24, 2017 16:45, Polytropon wrote:
>> On Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:10:10 -0400, James B. Byrne via
>> freebsd-questions wrote:
>>> How does one drop out of slim to the console? I installed FreeBSD-11
>>> on a spare laptop and I am having some difficulty logging on through
>>> slim.  I have installed mate and slim but when I run slim it prompts
>>> for a login and then fails with 'unable to execute login'; or
>>> something similar.
>>> However when this happens I do not know how to get out of the
>>> graphical logon screen without rebooting the system.
>> Solution A: switch consoles with Ctrl+Alt+PF1 / PF2 / PF3 / ...
>> Solution B: do A, followed by "killall -9 slim"
>> This of course doesn't work anymore when you're using sc "as"
>> the console driver, so you must use "vt". This _might_ indtroduce
>> new problems with character sizes, fonts, and locale support. :-)
>> Sidenote: In normal text mode, you use Alt+PF1 / PF2 / PF3 / ...
>> to switch between the virtual consoles, the "Print / Sys Rq" key
>> can be used to iterate through the consoles.
> My usual practice on CentOS is to configure the host to boot into text
> mode and then run startx from the console to start the graphical
> desktop.  I have installed mate on the FreeBSD system but cannot seem
> to hit upon the correct manner to start it.  Well, it sort of starts
> but what shows up is not recognisable as desktop.  This is just
> ignorance on my part.  I had similar problems when I decided to use
> mate instead of gnome when I was testing RHEL/CentOS7.
> However, if someone else has already done this then a recipe with the
> requisite packages and suitable configuration would not be refused.  I
> can live easily without the pretty start up graphical interface if
> that is going to cause other issues.

Here is what I did:

pkg install xorg
pkg install mate

- each of them is metaport that brings a bunch of actual packages. E-mail
me off the list if you want whole list of packages I have on my box.

Then I boot the same as you into "runlevel 3" ;-) In which you can access
multiple virtual consoles as usually (ctrl+alt+[F1,F@,...]). In my
~/.xinitrc file I have:

exec mate-session

I log in as regular user "myself" (that is account that has that
~/.xinitrc file). And as myself I execute the command

exec startx

(I prefer "exec startx" so that if my X session is killed, say by someone
at my keyboard going to virtual console which I started it from and
pressing CTRL+C then he doesn't get my shell, it just quits upon killing x
session and presents login prompt - I believe everybody does that).

That is all, such simple my life is.


> P.S.
> Does PF1 == F1 (function key 1) or does this refer to something else?
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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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