Simon Hoffmann freebsd at
Sun Jul 11 13:17:05 UTC 2021

Hey David, 

I'd like to add something.

> So, I fired a VirtualBox up again meaning to try to build it on FreeBSD.
> Sadly it didn't work. Not that it didn't compile. It did. The linker
> failed, though.
> Researching why, I came to a conclusion that it's version didn't support
> what I'd needed. OK, I said, an upgrade should fix that.
> Not being small-time I decided to not only upgrade the c++ (g++)
> development platform, but rather the whole operating system. I looked up
> (on Google) how to do it and... I did it. I mean I started the upgrade.
> Pay attention now because here it's where it all starts: the upgrade failed
> in such a way that not only the c++ development platform was unusable, but
> the OS refused to boot. All I'd seen had been a black screen.

Which commands did you use?

I am also new to FreeBSD. I've setup a NAS with FreeBSD last year on 12.0.
A month ago I upgraded to 13.0 without any problems.

I just followed the docs:

In a nutshell:

pkg update
pkg upgrade
freebsd-update fetch
freebsd-update install
freebsd-update -r 13.0-RELEASE upgrade
freebsd-update install
freebsd-update install
pkg-static upgrade -f

All of this is listed with detailed explanations. I was able to perform the update on
first try without any problems.

> Steam started to blow out of my ears, but I still kept it together. OK, I
> said, maybe the upgrade wasn't a good decision anyway.
> Let's start from scratch and install the latest version (13) which will
> automatically solve all of the problems.
> Fired up a VirtualBox, created a new machine using the downloaded (
> file. Booted up with the option 1 (multiple
> users, as it should be the usual case, right?).
> Instead of the expected GUI and some dialogs creating the user account I
> was met with the console demanding username and password from me. What?!?
> The first thing that went through my mind was that if this had been the
> case with a certain Microsoft's operating system, it surely wouldn't have
> had the market share it has today.

I just downloaded the FreeBSD "bootonly" image.

First I was asked whether to run the Live CD or to install. You should choose
I was then asked to choose the installation disk and a network interface.
The next questions was then to specify the root user password.

After this, more questions are asked for timezone, which features to enable etc.

Then, you can directly create an additional user that you work with. The user
creation process is very self explanatory, as it asks each parameter of a user in
natural language.

After this, the installation is finished and you can boot into your system and login
with your credentials.

Time: 5 min.

> After a little research (man, I love the small print!) on your page I came
> up with the account data and logged in. OK, I said, this isn't going to do.
> I need a GUI and some developer tools. Let's install that.
> But, the OS said, you can't do that unless you're a superuser. No problem.
> Tried sudo as I'm used to from Linux. Nope. Tried su. It said: "Sorry".
> What?!?

Sudo is not installed per default, but can be installed with pkg add sudo.

su says sorry if your user is not in wheel.

Sounds to me like you were in Live CD mode?

> Google helped again: in order to do that one must choose option 2 while

Quick question: you are aware of the very detailed FreeBSD Handbook that answers
pretty much every question?
Please take a look at

> booting. Fsck!?! Obviously one must have a BSD degree to use a computer.

No, one must read the manual. BSD is not Linux.

> OK, after a restart (and successful su) I googled about installing a GUI
> (KDE to be exact). Being unpleasantly surprised that, instead of a
> oneliner, one has to buy a new keyboard with an extended life expectancy in
> order to type an equivalent of Tolstoy's War and Peace.
> Man, how hard is it to put something in a shell script?!?

Again, the Handbook is your best friend.

You even have two ways of installing! Using pre-configured and pre-compiled binaries
that can be installed via pkg add, or using ports to configure and build yourself, to
fulfill all your needs. Such wow!

In a nutshell:

pkg install xorg
pw groupmod video -m <user>
pkg install urwfonts
pkg install x11/sddm
echo dbus_enable="YES" >> /etc/rc.conf
echo proc           /proc       procfs  rw  0   0 >> /etc/fstab
echo sddm_enable="YES" >> /etc/rc.conf

I don't know about you, but I count 7 lines of commands, which you can basically
copy-paste. I don't know what type of keyboard you have, but mine can handle a few

Took me about 5 minutes aswell.

> Can't remember what because I shut the OS down and hit a couple of dels
> removing everything even remotely related to FreeBSD from my computer.

You know, you could always ask politely to get help...

> So, before yous geniuses decide to make an OS even remotely usable so that
> an average developer doesn't need to have a doctorate of General BSDvity
> Theory in order to use it, it's Goodby from me Argentina.

Again, the Handbook is your friend.
Right at the top of the page for X11 it says "Users who prefer an installation method
that automatically configures the Xorg should refer to GhostBSD, MidnightBSD or

You do know that for example Ubuntu does come with lots of different ISOs?
There is the Server ISO without a GUI, Desktop ISO with whatever Canonical thinks is
the best Environment, Ubuntu Mate, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu.
It's almost as if you should read a minute beforehand to know which ISO to choose.
Or choose the server ISO and install a GUI yourself, which, you know, requires to
install xorg, a login manager, a window manager......

So, before you genius start to work with FreeBSD again, you maybe should take 30
minutes to read the important parts of the Handbook.
I'm even nice and tell you the important chapters:
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 10 maybe for development
Chapter 24


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