Desktop, BSD style

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Install x11/xorg-minimal . Then add dbus_enable="YES" to /etc/rc.conf_.

For using fd, add to /etc/fstab_:

fdescfs    /dev/fd    fdescfs   rw    0   0


To configure x11/xdm to start up on boot, edit /etc/ttys_ and change the option on line ttyv8 from off to on:

ttyv8   "/usr/local/bin/xdm -nodaemon"  xterm   on secure

The secure option allows logging in to the root console without a password from single user mode.

Then set up .xsession_ in each home folder, with owner permissions to read and execute, for example chmod 400 .xsession.

.xsession_ requires:

exec /usr/local/bin/<windowmanager>
exec $1

If problems occur, check /var/log/xdm.log_

% less /var/log/xdm.log


Customization files for XDM are located in /usr/local/lib/X11/xdm/_.

The background image can be changed by using a background setting console program command of your choice within Xsetup_0_.

It is important to add an & after adding new configuration commands in Xsetup_0_, or the login screen will freeze up with certain commands.

To change the box logo, edit Xresources_, comment out or reference another .xpm file in the lines xlogin*logoFileName.

The file Xsession_ is responsible for choosing the window manager, it points to .xsession_ in the home directory.


Choose your desktop with ~/.xsession_:

exec /usr/local/bin/<windowmanager>
exec $1

These desktops install with xorg-minimal.

  • x11-wm/ctwm MIT Claude's Tab Window Manager; twm extension
  • x11-wm/dwm MIT Dynamic Window Manager; Minimalist window manager that uses C programming language for custom desktop configuration
  • x11-wm/wmii MIT Window Manager Improved, Improved; Minimalist and dynamic window manager

Desktop programs

Desktop programs start up through the window manager's configuration files, and not through ~/.xsession_.

Be sure you install the programs you need such as x11/xterm , since this is a minimal install to be further customized.

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