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Old 11th June 2008
Redroar Redroar is offline
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Default HAL on FreeBSD?

Hey all.

I'm not currently running FreeBSD, but in the planning stage of moving to it. I'm one of those people that likes to get everything figured out ahead of time, and then get through configuration quickly. Right now I'm in Arch Linux, but I plan on changing that soon.

I plan on using FreeBSD as a workstation with Openbox, X.org, Zsh, and as of yet I'm undecided about the File Manager.

I have heard....not so good things about HAL on FreeBSD. It seems to work well enough on Linux, but it sounds like it's core is so tied to the Linux API that the port just has issues with the FreeBSD API. I want to have some form of relatively easy mounting through my file manager, and I know of several I enjoy using that work with HAL, but not so many that work otherwise.

I have read that Thunar has some sort of removable media support on FreeBSD that doesn't require HAL, but I can't get much information about it. Does anyone know how well that works? I also know that with configurable actions I can probably use Thunar without any sort of internal volume management, but that is kind of a last ditch option for me...mostly because it quickly becomes a nightmare when using multiple partition USB drives.

I also know that the DesktopBSD traymounter is supposed to be pretty good, except it seems the only way to get it is by downloading ALL the DesktopBSD utilities, which I don't want.

Finally, if I do need HAL for what I'm looking for, is it reasonable to force it not to use policykit? I don't have any need for policykit (considering I'd end up just opening up the HAL rules anyway), but I don't know if it's something necessary for it to work on FreeBSD.

Phew...thank you for any help here. I like Linux, but FreeBSD looks a lot more organized, and the code seems tighter. Plus there isn't that whole 'GPL' thing...
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Old 11th June 2008
davidgurvich davidgurvich is offline
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I've had issues with hal on freebsd. I ended up allowing everything for a particular group in PolicyKit.conf. Once you do that automounting works well.
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Old 11th June 2008
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Just out of curiosity, what kind of issues did you have?
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Old 11th June 2008
davidgurvich davidgurvich is offline
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Incomplete permissions for mounting purposes, detects the drive, pops up a window asking what to do, and fails to mount. I would guess that hal is working, but PolicyKit has issues.
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Old 11th June 2008
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@Redroad

this FAQ may be helpful:
http://freebsd.org/gnome/docs/halfaq.html
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Old 11th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgurvich
Incomplete permissions for mounting purposes, detects the drive, pops up a window asking what to do, and fails to mount. I would guess that hal is working, but PolicyKit has issues.
This is partly why I was wondering if it could be built without PolicyKit.

vermaden: Thanks for the link. It seems that most of the work is configuring PolicyKit, as well as most of the problems....This is going to be a single-user workstation (so no need for PolicyKit), and I was wondering if anyone has tried building it without PolicyKit. I might give it a shot, and it may fail epically, but I'll report back about it if I do.

But also, what kind of experience has anyone had with the built-in Thunar volume manager on FreeBSD? It seems like just the thing I need, but I know almost nothing about it.
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Old 14th June 2008
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Thunar Volume Manager still needs HAL to work. I'm an Xfce user, and I'm trying to set it up now.
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Old 14th June 2008
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It works on this end, very nicely. I will be posting a guide for it soon.
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Old 14th June 2008
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According to this HAL is not completely necessary. I know that it is required for automounting, but I don't need automounting. I just would like an easy graphical way to manually mount. With experimentation, I have found that the custom right-click context menus you can make with Thunar can do just that. I have been trying FreeBSD 7 in a VM and HAL is causing nightmares. I think that I will go without it.

But I like the custom menu things. Just turn on vfs.usermount, make a ~/.mnt/<devices> directory, and some custom context options and it looks pretty easy.

Thanks all for the help.
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Old 14th June 2008
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That's weird. Thunar Volume Manager was modeled after Gnome Volume Manager, and I find it hard to believe that HAL is not needed, but since that's official documentation, I'll believe it. However, there is this pesky line:

Quote:
Thunar supports removable media if it was built with support for HAL, or if you are using FreeBSD. Note however that on FreeBSD 6.0 or newer, it is suggested to use HAL rather than the native support provided by Thunar.
What kind of errors are you getting? For me, setting up HAL was a breeze on FreeBSD 7. Getting PolicyKit configured properly is really the only thing that may require multiple tries. I'm going to post a guide soon. That might help you.
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Old 15th June 2008
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Whenever it polled acd0 it sent an error to all terminals, every couple of seconds. It couldn't be stopped by sending all output (stdout and stderr) to /dev/null; it was coming from the kernel. If /dev/acd0 was removed, then it worked. It's possible that the optical drive Virtualbox provides simply does not like HAL, but I won't know until I use it "for real."

I've read the FAQ on FreeBSD.org, so I know how to configure PolicyKit for this purpose...and honestly, for a multi-user machine, PolicyKit is a really neat tool. I don't see much use for it on a single-user machine, but I can deal with it.

I should be getting it installed sometime in the next couple weeks. I am under crazy working hours until next Saturday (8AM/10-11PM) so I definitely won't get it done until after then.
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