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Currenty I am using Ubuntu on my Desktop, but want to give FreeBSD a try. I know that there is a PCBSD but it uses KDE, which I am not a big fan of. So Wondering how to set up FreeBSD with Gnome, possibly in virtualbox. I appreciate if you point me to the right direction. I am an absolute noob in *BSD.

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3 Answers 3

If I recall correctly, when installing a fresh FreeBSD system you can choose to install Xwindows and various desktop managers (gnome and kde spring to mind first).

You could also install either via the ports or packages system.

More information about installing Gnome-desktop is available at http://www.freebsd.org/gnome/docs/faq2.html#q1

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Here is how goes: Get an up-to-date ports collection:

portsnap fetch extract

Get some ports-management tool, as it is not recommended anymore to use them "vanilla" for various reasons. My favorite is portupgrade.

cd /usr/ports/ports-mgmt/portupgrade && make install clean

Then get an up-to-date Xorg by installing the Xorg Metaport:

portupgrade -N x11/xorg

Then get gnome Metaport:

portupgrade -N x11/gnome2

Note that a Metaport is just a port that is used to describe a group of ports. Why portupgrade? It is comfortable and it will make updating and upgrading a lot easier, since it can take care of dependencies contrary to you (or me or probably anyone) messing with port updates manually. There are other port-management tools, like portmaster, but imo pourtupgrade is the most complete.

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GhostBSD is a LiveDVD which includes an installer. While their website could use some work, the distro itself is of high quality IMO.

An older version is available as a LiveCD, and a new version is planned for release after the upcoming FreeBSD 9. That will include a graphical installer which is (prematurely) headlined on their home page. Until then, the text-mode installer works OK, if you allow it to use the entire hard drive.

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