w00t! I made it: FreeBSD + Xorg + Gnome + Compiz Fusion = cool desktop :)

Here’s some joy for me to share, I finally made it today getting FreeBSD with Gnome and Compiz Fusion on a dual screen setup to work exactly as I wanted. And I’ve got the feeling this is gonna make me consider the definite switch to FreeBSD. The only thing I definitely need now is to get Flash to work (I tried some solution with the linux compatibility flag and the www/linux-flashplayer9 port, but Firefox just flipped)

Here are a few tips if you want to give it a try too:

  • Install Xorg, gnome2-lite and gdm through pkg_add -r, and upgrade them using portupgrade -a. Don’t forget to update your ports tree first. It saved me some time compiling everything from scratch. You can always compile from ports later.
  • Fetch the kernel sources using sysinstall -> Distributions -> src -> kernel and install the x11/nvidia-driver package from ports and add nvidia_load=”YES” in /boot/loader.conf to enable it at boot time1
  • Enable nvidia kernel module by loadiing using kldload nvidia
  • Install and run nvidia-xconfig to write your xorg.conf file
  • add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf (or /etc/rc.conf.local, whichever your preference) :

    hald_enable="YES"
    dbus_enable="YES"
    gdm_enable="YES"
  • Follow the instructions at http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/articles/compiz-fusion/index.html to install compiz.

  • Keep this post at hand if you have trouble with your window manager

Why does it always look like a snap if you have just spent a good few hours getting it to work…?

I’m gonna give this system a few weeks try-out before making a final decision switching to FreeBSD for my standard system. First up is getting Flash up and running, then I’m going to try-out and/or review Gimp/Gimpshop, WINE and maybe some other things I run into along the way. I’ll probably post about it again.

If appreciated, I’ll write a more thorough walk-through on how to install from scratch.

Read the original post & comments at drm.tweakblogs.net.


  1. Of course, if you’re using ATI or Intel graphics, you will need a bit of a different approach on installing the graphics card’s drivers, but I wont be able to help you with that :) 

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