desktop-installer(1)desktop-installer(1)NAMEdesktop-installer - Quickly configure a FreeBSD desktop system
The desktop-installer script automates the process of configuring a
FreeBSD machine as a desktop system running KDE, Gnome, LXDE, or XFCE.
Other desktop systems exist and support for them may be added in the
This is a post-install script, i.e. one that you run AFTER doing a
standard operating system installation with sysinstall. ( See details
The desktop configuration process requires installing many ports/pack‐
ages and configuring many different subsystems, which can be a daunting
task for all but the most seasoned users.
Desktop-installer installs all the software necessary for the chosen
desktop as well as common desktop-independent packages such as CUPS,
Firefox, OpenOffice.org, etc.
It also configures system services and settings to facilitate conve‐
nient use of CD/DVD drives, USB ports, etc.
This script is meant to provide a middle-ground between totally manual
configuration and complete distributions such as DesktopBSD, GhostBSD,
The post-install script approach has some advantages over complete dis‐
tributions. The post-install script itself is far easier to maintain
and unlike separate distributions, the resulting desktop system is a
nearly pristine FreeBSD system with minimal differences from the
default install. The system can therefore be maintained and upgraded
using traditional FreeBSD command-line tools (pkg_add, adduser, free‐
bsd-update, etc.), or stock tools of the chosen desktop suite.
It also supports all platforms that run FreeBSD, whereas distributions
are limited to the most popular architectures.
To use desktop-installer:
1. Install a basic FreeBSD system.
The recommended install options are a basic user system including:
Docs in your preferred language(s)
All source code
The ports tree
It is best to use desktop-installer on a pristine FreeBSD installation.
Desktop-installer can also be used to upgrade all the software on an
existing system, but there are more possibilities for failure here
since it is impossible to predict what kinds of system hacks it might
encounter. Also, it's generally a good idea to back up your data, wipe
your disk clean, and reinstall everything every few years, since data
on magnetic disks can fade over time and read errors will eventually
Desktop-installer can install software from source or from binary pack‐
ages (pkg_add -r). Binary packages install much faster (seconds per
package, vs minutes per port built from source). However, installing
from ports allows you to have the very latest software, and to control
If you enjoy a simple life, install a -RELEASE version rather than
-STABLE or -CURRENT, and install the ports tree from sysinstall, not
using portsnap or cvs. With a -RELEASE version, ports and packages
will be installed from a snapshot taken when the release was built.
This will mean you're not running the very latest of all the
ports/packages, but the ports and packages will all be compatible with
If you plan to install software from source, you can install the ports
tree by any means. Portsnap will install the latest frameworks,
whereas sysinstall will install a snapshot of the ports tree from the
More adventurous users, and those who want to help the FreeBSD project
by testing the latest software can use -STABLE or -CURRENT, but be pre‐
pared to resolve dependency issues.
If you do not choose to install software from source, desktop-installer
installs most packages over the network using "pkg_add -r", but occa‐
sionally using ports where necessary. (Some software cannot be dis‐
tributed as a binary package for licensing reasons.)
2. Install desktop-installer:
or (if you have a ports tree installed)
or if you want the latest development version of desktop-installer, get
the latest jb-ports from MASTER_SITES and run
3. Run desktop-installer:
a. Run rehash if using a csh-based shell
c. Follow the instructions on your screen.
Too many to document.
Acadix Consulting, LLC