Why mkdesktop works the way it does (Continued from "Re: FreeBSD (GhostBSD) Question?")
bourne.identity at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 22 19:40:39 UTC 2020
On 2020-07-22 22:35, Pete Wright wrote:
> Okay, so I bit. Manish, I started using your 'mkdesktop', but I stopped.
> No matter what I do, it wants to give me all kinds of what the Doze
> world calls 'accessories'.
I am sorry that you felt disappointed with your first blush with
mkdesktop. As the writer, I think I can offer reasonable defence for the
First of all, as noted in `man mkdesktop`, mkdesktop is best suited for
running right after you have installed FreeBSD. In other words, it picks
up where the FreeBSD installation signs off, and continues further to
get a whole desktop on the user's computer - with pretty much the same
interface as the FreeBSD installer itself.
It would be useless to write a program to simply install a desktop
meta-package. If installing the meta-package was all that was needed,
the user could simply type in `pkg install gnome3` (or some such
command). Does it make sense for the user to run `mkdesktop gnome3` when
he/she could equally well run `pkg install gnome3` ?
The idea behind mkdesktop is to do everything possible for the user such
that he gets not just the desktop, but also the entire, correct system
configuration in one shot. This has to be done for two distinct kinds of
1) The seasoned FreeBSD campaigner
2) The FreeBSD first-timer
For such an application, the very first thing to be ascertained is the
GPU type (so that kld's are set to be loaded as required). That is what
my program does. (If the user does not want graphics configured, he/she
can use 'Other' - I will now change that label to 'Other/Ignore').
The second step mkdesktop takes is a deliberate sidestep: forcing the
toor account to be set up properly. First timers definitely never know
about the toor user account and why it is better to su not to root but
to toor. Seasoned campaigners often forget this facility and merrily
switch root's login shell to bash/zsh instead.
The third step is the actual desktop installation, which I do not think
you would have a problem with.
Fourth, I give the user a chance to add a normal user account, which
again should be agreeable considering that only a normal user can login
with the X display manager.
The final (and perhaps most debatable) stage is the fifth, where the
user is prompted for Wine and Linuxulator. Wine is prompted for as a
nicety that targets first-timers who might like to have their Windows
programs running under FreeBSD readily. Linuxulator is prompted for
because, at the finish, system files are going to be configured anyway -
and the configuration will go one way if Linux emulation is needed, and
another way if not.
You might yet have reasons to disagree with my implementation, but I
just tried to write the program to make things least painful in the
context of FreeBSD desktop installation for both kinds of folks.
Maybe - and I do hope so - you will find mkdesktop of more use the next
time around. As of now, I humbly solicit your feedback on what
'accessories' you found of greatest bother.
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