FreeBSD Challenge: Day 06 of 30


Serial Software Hijinks

Today, since time was limited, I wanted to focus on getting most, if not all of my “common” software installed.  Sure I use plenty of power user tools, but the aim was to get the common set installed, such as browsers, chat programs, Steam, word processing, video conferencing, and a few things like samba and CUPS.  For the software below, I did as many installations through pkgng that I could, and cleaned up the rest I couldn’t with ports.

The software conundrum

For tonight my software goal was:

  • firefox
  • vlc
  • VirtualBox
  • wine, winetricks
  • Steam
  • xchat
  • Bitorrent Sync
  • smokeping
  • pipelight/netflix-desktop
  • shotwell
  • Dropbox
  • deluge
  • gnucash
  • libreoffice
  • keepass X
  • puddletag
  • openshot
  • MySQL

There are many others to this list, but I wanted to at least present a common list and get going, to see how things fared.  Most of the software above was installable, nearly hassle free from pkng using common commands such as:

pkg search {package_name}
pkg install {package_name}

Steam, sorta


As said, some were a little troublesome to get going, or installed.  One such program was Steam.  Steam turned out to be a tricky beast, but with the advent of SteamOS due out this Friday, 20131212, ironically Friday the 13th, it was not a massive issue for me.  The dedicated Athlong X2 Trinity CPU, and Nvidia GTX8800 in the living room is doing quite nicely in that department.

In summary though, running Steam through HLS emulation on linuxinator was interesting, to say the least.  I still have to read up on a few things, but on first look it appears its core design is to emulate linux libraries, but I’ve seen it described as “native” execution of Linux binaries, made possible through execution of the ELF file loaded by the kernel.  Should be an interesting read during my lunch tomorrow, including thoughts on execution speed.  Steam, through this (linux-steam port), seemed to pull a list of games, but I encountered some server issues, I’ve yet to resolve.  I hope to get to the bottom of that tomorrow.  I also had trouble running Steam through wine, which I believe is due to a few missing packages.

Hazzah! A larger resolution!

Thankfully, after installing the emulators/virtualbox-ose ports pacakge, which included the guest additions, I was almost there.  Like a “Grade A Scholar,” I forget to add two very important lines to /etc/rc.conf


After rebooting I was off to the races.  The only thing that was missing, was support for an escapable mouse when you move off the screen, which I did not see how to configure just yet.  I was however, finally great to have bidirectional copy/paste, and drag and drop.  I did try checking my config options for the compile, and everything looked ok:

Optionally, you could try removing the configured options and compiling again with (recursive is optional):

make rmconfig  --recursive

Another way to do this, is by reconfiguring the port:

make config
make install clean

I couldn't get any farther for the night, since I wanted to install the reset of my application on the list.  For now, I let the mouse pointer integration slide until tomorrow.   This is really only an issue for Virtual Machine users, as something like this is not normally done when running the OS natively.

Other applications like Bitorrent Sync thankfully have a nice FreeBSD version, which worked out nicely as well and installed just as nicely as it did on Fedora and Arch Linux.  I was quite happy with the selection of common applications in the pkgng database.  At some point I will compare package versions with what I currently have on other systems.

Other Applications, Fresh Fresh Baby

Thanks to sites such as Fresh Ports, getting a nice idea of ports, and required dependencies ahead of time is not all that hard.  Using this, I was able to get Steam at least installed, if not working 100 percent of the way.  Also, I read a little more of the FreeBSD Handbook, which always puts things in a good perspective, when all else fails.

The two things I could not get working was Netflix by way of the pipelight package that works very nicely on several other Linux distributions, and dropbox.  I will have to hunt around for a solution on those fronts.  I did not have enough time to test all my installed software, but there will be plenty of time for that later 🙂


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About professorkaos64

Posted on 20131212, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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