Chris Whitehouse wrote:
>> I am following this discussion too.
>> I was actually thinking of some less drastic method to make a FreeBSD
>> desktop easier to build and less time consuming.
>> Currently there are at least two projects based on FreeBSD that offer
>> reasonable BSD desktops without lots of manual setup: DesktopBSD and
>> PC-BSD (PC-BSD actually had a version release yesterday).  The problem
>> is both projects focus on KDE. I would like to have a choice between
>> XFCE, Gnome and possibly some light WMs i.e. fluxbox.
> My motivation also, plus energy considerations. I was rolling my own
> using icewm but have recently been using PCBSD. I like PCBSD very much
> but I would go back to my previous setup with this project.
>> I like to build my own packages, and have put together a spare machine
> Are you using the tinderbox port or do you build in the machines own
> environment?

I am using ports-mgmt/tinderbox
In the past I was using a simple setup: I would install the ports,
create the packages with pkg_create and then delete /usr/local and restart.
>> just for this purpose. It is no speed daemon (P4 2.5Ghz, 2G DDR2 RAM)
>> but it is stable and always available. What I intend to do - and I am
>> close to this - is start building package CDs (or DVDs) that people can
>> download and use in the following way:
> Would each CD contain all the available packages or do you have some
> idea to only distribute changed packages?

The purpose is for every CD to be self contained so it can be used for
clean installs.
Creating incremental CDs would be fairly easy, but will increase the
number of CDs to carry around.

>> - Perform a base install of FreeBSD with *no* additional packages
>> (except maybe the linux binary compatibility)
>> - Insert the CD/DVD and run a dialog(1) based sh script with options to:
>>     - Install packages
>>     - Configure X and DE / WM
>>     - Configure shell (i.e. startup files etc)
>>     - Configure sound card
>>     (and more)
>> All these packages would be build from the same ports tree so they would
>> be in sync. There should be regular (bimonthly?) updates to the CD
>> itself.  Everyone building a new system can use the latest CD, and
>> anyone who installed a system using a previous version could use the
>> same CD with portupgrade -PP (after setting PKG_PATH, PKG_FETCH etc).
>> This can actually be one of the menu options.
>> Taking this one step further (using your ideas), I could also distribute
>> the ports tree (and probably /var/db/ports assuming the ports do not use
>> default options) along with the packages, so anyone wishing to compile
>> more stuff could use this same tree knowing it will be in sync.
> This achieves pretty much exactly what I was hoping for! Fantastic. I
> had assumed default
> configs though because I imagine the ports people have reasons for
> choosing them.

Yes, default configs would probably be best when redistributing to lots
of people.

>> I intend to build a prototype of this soon. It will contain XFCE,
>> firefox, thunderbird, vlc, bash, openoffice, Xorg and few more
>> packages.  If it generates enough interest in the community, we will
>> then decide the final set of packages etc for the regular releases.
> Exactly. gnome and kde?

Sure.  I'll do a test run with XFCE and we can discuss details afterwards.

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