[OpenBSDsupport]

Quick Steps to an OpenBSD Desktop


If you don't like the black screen or you have only one terminal to work with, you can use X to brighten up your day. This can be done out of the box or with some extended configration. The default vga configuration presents a xterm console and works with 256 colours. You could do basic configuration from here instead of the tty consoles.

When installing OpenBSD, make sure to include the X file sets, and answer yes to the X question at install time. Check if kern.machdep is set to 1 in your /etc/sysctl.conf file. If not, change it. You can use sysctl -w kern.machdep=1 to activate it without rebooting.
If you don't know if X is installed, look for "/usr/X11R6" and "/etc/X11". If they are there, X is probably installed.

First you have to get a working /etc/X11/XF86config configuration file. The standard configuration file is setup for vga and can only do 256 colours. It could do more than fine for doing configuring, but if you want to use a nice desktop, you will need to select the right display driver.

You have to know the type, or at least the vendor of the video chip/card, and what your monitor can do.
For keyboard and mouse there is almost noting to do.
If you want to use your "windows" keys, you have to select a 105 keys keyboard.

Most easy is to use the graphical configuration utility /usr/X11R6/bin/xf86cfg. There are also cli utilities like /usr/X11R6/xf86config3.
Be aware that the old X server is also present with his programs and utilities.

You can start X manualy typing X or xinit. You can kill the X server with "ctl+alt+BckSp" if it's not working well.

I you have a working X server, you can install or choose another windows manager. By default fvwm is used, and "..." are present with the base install. For this you have to edit /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession and add lines like shown below to get a list of window managers in your display manager. This configuration file belongs to xdm and is also used by others display managers.

/etc/X11/xdm/Xsession
after failsafe and before "esac"

kde | default)
    /usr/local/bin/startkde
    do_exit
    ;;
gnome)
    /usr/loal/bin/gnome-session
    do_exit
    ;;
icewm)
    xterm &
    /usr/local/bin/icewm
    do_exit
    ;;

Add xdm_flags="" to /etc/rc.conf.local, you can also edit xdm_flags in /etc/rc.conf from NO to "". There are different opinions about both methods. The first is more convenient with upgrades. You can also use another display manager such as kdm or gdm. These steps will be explained elswere.

It is better to not run X as root. It is better to never run as root at all and use sudo instead. So once you created an other user, you will have to use that account to log in.

Some steps to configure a normal user.

Create an account with /sbin/adduser or /sbin/useradd Make sure you add yourself to the group "wheel", this neccesery to use sudo. You could also add yourself to the "operators" group to get access to most devices on your system.

To use sudo you have to edit /etc/sudoers and uncomment

# Uncomment to allow people in group wheel to run all commands
# %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

or
# Same thing without a password
# %wheel ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL




* Please check for spelling and grammatical errors.
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Just a few comments from autors wich can be deleted eventually
original comment from William Backman@:
"Enjoy. It is what I do, perhaps I am crazy. I hope that by putting this out there, people will improve it and show me a better way."

comment from first extender Renzo Fabriek@:
"This has been done (hopefully in a good way), and William Backman@ his words have lost their way in the added content. He has asked for it :)"
If you have things to add or correct please mail it to me at "rfabriek [at] spymac [dot] com" or use the adres mentioned on "openbdsupport.org"