Re: Is there a particular order in which things should be done?
From: Kevin Kinsey (kdk_at_daleco.biz)
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 12:16:18 -0600 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>I am a beginning FreeBSD/UNIX user and have recently installed
>FreeBSD-5.3-RELEASE, Xorg, and KDE on a Pentium II Celeron 330
>MHz custom made PC.
Cool. Or is that, "kewl" ? Regardless, Welcome to FreeBSD!
>Everything seems to be working ok for now,
>but I feel completely overwhelmed because there is a tremendous
>amount of info to learn.
That's probably a normal feeling. What you get from FreeBSD
is a stable, versatile and highly-customizable, relatively fast and
secure, high-performance powerful operating system with great
documentation and a (mostly) friendly, knowledgeable user community.
The price you pay is something like this: you must learn to use
the system instead of assuming that you can just have a "clicky
Wizard" for every task, you must read the docs, you must use
your intellectual power and personal "people skills" to join the
community. Once in a while you will have to solve problems that
seem pretty confusing, far-fetched, or unorthodox.
But, it will be *your* machine.
So far, you seem to be on the right track. You kinda sound
like you think you need to reinstall your system. But, you
say, "Everything seems to be working ok for now" .... so,
I wouldn't. Read on if you have the time...
>Yesterday, when I logged out of KDE and
>back into command mode, I noticed a line in the output produced
>during KDE bootup (is that the right lingo?) that my machine thinks it
>is badly misconfigured. The exact message was "could not find local
>host, your system is badly misconfigured".
Well, that is a problem, but only a small one in terms of
fixing it. "Badly misconfigured" simply seems to mean,
in this case, that this simple item is real important to KDE. And,
indeed, it's pretty important to the whole system, but it's not a
big deal for you, most likely.
The computer needs to be able to find "localhost", because that
is him/her/itself. (Does a computer have a gender ... hmm, weird.)
Do you have a file under /etc entitled 'hosts'? If so, it should have
something like this in it:
# In the presence of the domain name service or NIS, this file may
# not be consulted at all; see /etc/nsswitch.conf for the resolution order.
::1 localhost localhost.my.domain
127.0.0.1 localhost localhost.my.domain
Now, note also the commented paragraph. In my setup, /etc/nsswitch.conf
hosts: files dns
So, the resolver will check the "hosts" file first, and then check DNS.
When it reads /etc/hosts, it will discover that "localhost" is on the
loopback address (127.0.0.1).
>Here are my questions for
>this forum. I preface my questions by saying that what I did was boot
>from floppies and install via FTP. All at once, I installed FreeBSD
>with Xorg and all of its fonts, Perl, Postfix, and every file in the KDE
>directory, and something else that I've already forgotten.
Well, cool. That's a lot of work to do all at once.
You could even pat yourself on the back. I've been using FreeBSD
almost 4 years and still haven't installed some of that stuff ;-)
>Since I am
>a beginner, I expect I will go through the installation procedure a few
>more times, but maybe I can be more efficient about it in the future.
>So here is my question, in the future, what recommendations would
>the community make about correct order of operations for installation
>and configuration, and for confirmation that the install and
>configuration are "correct"?
Well, it depends on what you want. For example, for an ftp server,
I just install FBSD with nothing, basically (e.g., the "base system").
I've setup a couple desktop machines, and I'm beginning to think
that the best thing to do is clone disks, or just make big tarballs
of everything on the "master", install base on the "slave", and
then untar everything into place, reboot, and change the important
stuff (/etc/rc.conf and so forth).
You could install base and then install "instant-workstation" from
ports. It's a meta port that installs a set of stuff that one guy
(who's quite smart) thinks should make a good workstation.
Be forewarned, his ideas and your ideas probably aren't the
same. For one, he doesn't care much for "eye candy", so you'll
never find him running GNOME or KDE, I don't think.
What this is really all boiling down to is that FreeBSD is so
versatile and highly customizable that there's no one way to
do anything. A long-time "Unix" maxim is "tools, not policy."
If you want a GUI, there are two or three ways to install one
and dozens of window managers and/or preset environments.
Plus, each app you add creates new facets to the environment
you already have. If you want a CLI text editor, there are about 57
varieties waiting for you to install, for free.
What I would really "recommend" is that you find something that
works for you, maybe take notes on the procedure, and then alter
them as you learn new things that would impact your installation
And, really, I find myself reinstalling that Much-vaunted-other-o$
quite a bit more often then I reinstall a BSD. It's pretty much just
HDD failure or a major version bump (such as the recent introduction
of 5.X as a "production version", and really it was probably *possible*
to just move from 4.X to 5.X in place). In FreeBSD, reinstalling is
generally *not* the solution, as we've become accustomed to think
from (many of us) using other OSes.
I'm sure someone has pointed you toward (or you discovered for
yourself) the Handbook (www.freebsd.org/handbook). It really
is the user's best friend ... especially for us "newbs".
Once again, Welcome!
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