I'm trying to install xfce 4.4 on my FreeBSD 6.1 box, (which I just upgraded via sysinstall). It ain't workin' and I sure could use some help. Full disclosure: I'm new to FreeBSD, although I do have a basic working knowledge of *nix fundamentals.

I was able to install xfce 4.2, but the install is broken -- allow me to explain. Xfce 4.2 does install, I can start it, but several features don't work. For example, according to the docs I should see a menu bar (and options) on xfterm, but it isn't there. Several other install defaults are busted too. I've reinstalled the OS several times from a 'minimal' install to 'install EVERYTHING', via the CD, upgrades via sysinstall, via FTP. All were successful). I've installed XFCE4 according to your docs ("pkg_add -r xfce4") several times, and from /usr/ports/x11-wm/xfce4 ("make install clean"), but still the same problems. So, I thought I'd try installing a newer version of xfce (4.4).

First question: what is a 'meta port', what does it do and what are it's limitations? Can't find anything in your docs that speak to this (nor any of the books I have, most notably the recent 'FreeBSD 6 Unleashed'). Reading the Ports page of your site, specifically the *xfce-4.4.1_1 <> *metaport; 'meta' seems to imply "run this and you'll install all the basics you need to run XFCE 4.4". Either it doesn't work or I've misinterpreted this. Under xfce-4.4.1, it says: "Requires:...." -- do I really have to install _every_single_pkg_listed_ BEFORE I install the xfce-4.4.1 metaport??? If so, that seems a bit much. Why can't there be a single manifest file which calls/installs all those required pkg's as a part of the metaport installation? In order to install xfce 4.4, do I have to manually install each and every file/port/pkg listed there which references xfce4.4?

After doing a fresh OS install (6.1) from CD (X-Kern-Developer package), followed immediately by an upgrade (via sysinstall/FTP) which included an istall of the entire ports tree, I tried several ways to install xfce4.4:

1) downloaded xfce-4.4.1_1.tbz and ran pkg_add against it. It started but all I got was "Package <insert_names_here> not found!". If it knows what it needs, why can't it just bust out to your ftp site and get it and install it?

2) downloaded from your site everything in /pub/FreeBSD/ports/packages/x11-wm/xfce/, which seemed to have all those required files. Once downloaded, as noted above I ran pkg_add locally. Some packages installed, but most did not because their dependencies (such as glib-2.12.13) were not there. If xfce4.4 needs glib-2.12.13, why can't it (and any others) be included in .../x11-wm/xfce/ ?

3) Hmmmm....Ok, so then I ran pkg_add, thinking this 'All' directory must have every bloody thing it needs. Nope. At this point, I start drinking. Heavily.

Btw: it was in your Handbook I found the reference to 'pkg_add -r xfce4' to install xfce4x (found here: Well, I searched your site for any package specifically labeled 'xfce4' and I couldn't find it. The closest I got was the dir "xfce" under ftp.../pub/FreeBSD/ports/packages/x11-wm/. So, having seen your list of ports (and the 'package' listed under each), where can I find a complete list of packages?

I've cruised many forums for info - nothing truly helpful.

Bottom line, I don't really need xfce 4.4; I'd be happy if 4.2 just worked (all of it) on a basic level. I'm trying to learn here, and so far the books, the docs, and other FreeBSD articles out there don't seem to jibe. I keep reading (my paraphrase): "It's easy! Just run 'pkg_add -r package_name' and your done!'. Maybe this is true for some packages, but not the ones I've tried.

I respect and admire the work you are doing, and what you have accomplished. I'm not giving up on FreeBSD. Any advice/info would be appreciated.


- r

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