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Old 5th September 2009
st89 st89 is offline
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Default GNOME

Hi all,

I followed these instructions from openbsdsupport to install gnome (altered for 4.5):


A fresh install of OpenBSD does not include any graphical environment beyond the basic XFree86 (soon to be Xorg). If you want to run Gnome you must add it yourself. Fortunately, Gnome and it's graphical login manager (gdm) are available in the ports and as packages. Assuming you have a working XFree86 config (not explained here) perform the following steps to install Gnome and gdm.

These steps are written for OpenBSD 3.6. Other version might use different versions of the Gnome software so the package names may change.

1. Locate your OpenBSD mirror. A list of Mirrors is available at *web address*

2. Install the gnome software. This can be done via the ports which is the long way and not recommended, or as a package. To install the required packages, do the following.

# pkg_add *web address*

Where someopenbsdmirror is you local mirror and ARCH is you machine architecture. Look in the /pub/OpenBSD/3.6/packages/ directory to find the name of the folder that matches your machine architecture.

This will take some time (depending on your internet connection speed).

3. Once this is done you can launch gnome manually, but most people will want it launched automatically by some graphical login manager. Gdm, which is the Gnome login manager, is a fine choice and it's available as a package. To install it, do the following.

#pkg_add *web address*

4. Once this is complete you have everything you need to run Gnome and gdm. You most likely want gdm launched at startup and there are a variety of ways to do this, but a simple way to do it is to add the following line to the end of /etc/rc.local

/usr/local/bin/gdm -nodaemon &

5. Remember to add /usr/local/bin to your PATH environment variable if it is not already there or Gnome will fail to launch.
Yet when I reboot it says "/usr/local/bin/gdm not found". Any ideas as to what this might be (seeing as though it is installed?).

Thanks in advanced for any help!
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Old 5th September 2009
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
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Posts: 6,472

Avoid 3rd party "how to" documents; they are usually:
  • out of date by the time you read them
  • written by newbies, who are justifiably proud of their achievements
  • written without taking the wide variety of architectures and circumstances into acount
  • may have poorly explained, misleading, or incorrect assumptions.
Note that in this case, the document is four years out of date. One of the many operational changes since the document you are trusting was originally written was the placement of the main gdm executable. (Hint: it isn't found in /usr/local/bin, it is stored elsewhere.) That change happened May 18, 2007, by the way.

Your most appropriate resource, st89, is the OpenBSD FAQ, followed by the OpenBSD man pages. I refer you to FAQ 15, on the ports/packages system, and to the man pages for pkg_add(1) and pkg_info(1). For the latter, I recommend the "-L" option, which will show you the list of files installed by any particular package.

The Project members, and the community of users, spend a lot of effort making sure the OS documentation is helpful and correct; they (and I) hope you will take advantage of it.
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Old 5th September 2009
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
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Posts: 6,472

Ah, yes, one more hint ... when you installed gdm, you should have seen a message with guidance for the admin on configuration. That message includes the current location of gdm, too.

That pkg_info man page can tell you how to read the message once more.
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Old 8th October 2009
IronForge IronForge is offline
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Default A few more questions

Greetings to all:

Thanks, jggmi - I'll read up on the "pkg_info -L" myself later this week.

I've a couple of GNOME related questions:

1) GDM - I've downloaded xfce and WindowMaker to check them out. xfce shows up on as an option on my gdm; but WindowMaker doesn't - I need to "exec wmaker" on the Failsafe Terminal to call it up.

I've an older machine, so I'm actually enjoying the performance increase xfce is giving me.

Q:What's the proper way of "adding" Window Managers and Desktop Environments as an X option for the GDM? (edit - yeah, it's probably in the pkg_info somewhere;but if it's on top of someone's tongue...)

2) When logging off from GNOME, I've been getting a message indicating that an "Unknown" process is still on; and wants me to either Log off anyway, Cancel, or Lock my Window. Noticed that we don't have the GNOME System Monitor available in this port, so I don't know which process this is a result of.

Q: Which tools would help identify these "Unknown Processes"? The GNOME Logout warning won't allow me to call up more info on that process.

Thank you.
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