Installing Fluxbox

It's time for us to get a window manager. This will allow us to finally get out of text mode. Our window manager of choice right now is fluxbox, so that's what we'll be using. As root:

cd /usr/ports/x11-wm/fluxbox
make install clean

We want the developer's version, as the stable release is seriously outdated. After that sequence we will be very close to being able to get into graphics mode. Now that we have fluxbox installed, we must get our system to use it (as opposed to the default window manager, which is slightly less than appealing, and very green).

vi ~/.xinitrc

This file contains everything that will be executed about starting X, after issuing that wonderful command "startx".

xset -b

The first line turns off console beeps, which is always nice. The second launched fluxbox. In case you forgot, just hit 'o' to add a new line in vi. Then type in that line. Hit ESC, and finish up with a 'ZZ.' In case you mess up, you can use 'x' when not in the insert mode to delete characters. Now with the moment of truth type:


If all goes well you should be greeted by the joy that is fluxbox.

If all does not go well, you will still be in text mode with a bunch of errors on your screen. They are denoted by (ee). It is possible that there may be some ABI incompatibilities in the current version of X, and if this is the case, the following command should work

startx -- -ignoreABI

If this does work, remember to use this appended commanding for entering X rather than just 'startx.' Hopefully the problem will be resolved soon, so upon updating X components, see if the appended command is unncessary.

It's also possible your mouse will not work when you enter X. If that is the case, hit CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE to manually kill (end) X. That way you can get back into text mode to fix your config. If you feel ambitious try to fix your config based on the errors you get, otherwise try posting to some forums. Also note that it is fine to post to linux forums, as this stuff will be the same as what they are familiar with, and linux has a much larger userbase.

If you're reading on here, I'll assume that you got fluxbox working. So your desktop isn't the most visually appealing right now, and you don't have any graphical applications (save a few such as xterm, which allows you to work as if you were in text mode!). In order to be able to continue our work, you will still need access to the command line, we'll do this via our only terminal, xterm. So right click and bring up an xterm. The last two steps of our install are getting applications and configuring fluxbox. Go ahead and browse our applications section before going on. Either once you finished some installs, or with installs going on the background, you can continue to fluxbox configuration.

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