38. Installing the X binaries
Introduction to FreeBSD

The X Window System is a graphical user interface designed to run on UNIX. There are many different X Window Systems that you can get, however only XFree86 is available for Free. XFree96 is a volunteer project separate from the FreeBSD project, but included on the FreeBSD CDROM. You can obtain more information from http://www.xfree86.org. From here on out, I will refer to XFree86 as X or the X Window System. Commercial X Window Systems for FreeBSD are availble from www.xig.com.

The X Window System can be installed during a regular FreeBSD install, or done after the system is up and running. X is included in several of the Distribution Sets provided in the FreeBSD install. These include

  • X User

  • X Developer

  • Everything

If you have installed one of these Distribution Sets, the X System is on your hard drive and you can skip ahead to configuration.

During a Custom Install, you can select the X Window System as part of the normal install procedure. If you don't install a Distribution Set that contains the X Window System, you have a second chance to install it during the post-install configuration menu. To install X from the post-install configuration menu, select Distributions and choose the X Window Distribution.

If your system is already running, you can install X from the ports collection. You will need to be root to do this:

  • cd/usr/ports/x11/XFree86

  • then type make install.

The source code will be downloaded from the FTP site and then compiled and installed. This may take a while depending on the speed of your computer.

If neither of these methods are appealing, you can download the source code directly from www.xfree86.org and compile and install it yourself. Good Luck.

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