08 April 2009

X on FreeBSD amd64

I've gotten an amd64 desktop and started running FreeBSD/amd64 on it. I've had an amd64 capable machine before, but chose to run the i386 version of FreeBSD on it so I could use Nvidia drivers and have hardware accelerated graphics. (I think the linux flash player only runs on i386 too, but am not sure.)

So, I installed without issue. I included X in the installation and it worked fine. But, as I often do on new machines, I updated the ports tree and then began to install everything else I wanted and upgrade what I had there already, including X.

Then X wouldn't start correctly anymore. I had run it the first time without creating any config file. But, now it really wasn't happy. It would kind of hang, pointer wouldn't move and even <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<Backspace> wasn't working. (But, the computer wasn't hung. <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<Delete> still worked!) So, I created a config file (using one of those utilities, maybe 'x86config'). Still didn't work right. Then I started the process of changing different, random stuff in the config file to see if it would start working. It wouldn't.

So, I resorted to Go0gle, something I should have done alot sooner. I found this config file out there and it helped solve the problem pretty quickly. These two options in the "Server Layout" section did the trick:
Option "AllowEmptyInput" "false"
Option "AIGLX" "true"

Well, the "...EmptyInput" option rings a bell. :/ I don't really know much more. Is this a quirk of the amd64 platform? (But, if so, why did the release packages work without a config file?) Is this a quirk of the newer version of X?

Answers are hard to find when it comes to X. Be happy with a working config file.



At 13/5/09 06:22, Blogger biniar said...

Considering how the FreeBSD setup process is... in the future would you ever consider installing the ports (applications) that don't need a display first before X? Such items as nmap, ncurses aim (naim), irssi, printer drivers, smb, etc. (These are just examples related to what I use, surely you can think of a lot more!)

Then once you have a work friendly cli environment with editors, compilers, tools, and aliases you move onward to install Xorg. Therefore the setup process with desktop apps might not be as extensive immediately and less problems would occur...

or am I just dreaming... might installing Xorg first be likely to eliminate these types of problems in the future?

At 14/5/09 23:19, Blogger kace said...

Well, X did work fine upon install. It was upgrading it that caused it to stop working.

If your point is that one may have a working desktop computer without X using CLI alternatives, I'd say, "Up to a point." But, for an actually useful desktop, I think you've got to have: 1) multiple, side-by-side terminal windows (and the real estate to support them) and 2) a graphical web browser.

So, yes, for my purposes a useful desktop without X is a dream. :) On any desktop of mine, functional X is the first priority.

At 29/6/09 17:37, Anonymous grypto said...

I realized that too many of the "simple and elegant" wordpress themes out there were just two column black and white with slightly different font-families and column widths. That guy's themes are simple, elegant, and, well, colorful.

Also if there was such as thing as bsd pants, I'd be the first to put them on and take myspace pictures like it was 2005.

At 28/7/10 18:32, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't need a server it is better to install one of the Linux distribution.


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