How to install minimal FreeBSD desktop (with i3, Mate and slim)

  • freebsb/ free Unix-like operating system descended from BSD
# download ISO from; during installation, select correct keyboard, ipv4/dhcp, timezone, default UFS file system, ssh service, root password and create new user
$ pkg install -y tmux zsh sudo nano vim

# add user to wheel so that su works, see
$ export USERNAME=<my-user>
$ pw user mod $USERNAME -G wheel

# setting the timezone
$ cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Warsaw /etc/localtime

# setting an alternative keymap in console
$ cat /etc/rc.conf

from FreeBSD CheatSheet

## install xorg/slim, if not vmware then also install 'xorg-drivers'
$ pkg install xorg slim
(if not vmware then 'pkg install -y xorg-drivers')

## configure xorg/slim
$ cat /usr/home/$USERNAME/.xinitrc
# without slim
# /usr/local/bin/i3 or exec mate-session or exec /usr/local/bin/wmaker
# or with slim; see '/usr/local/etc/slim.conf'
exec $1
$ chown $USERNAME /usr/home/$USERNAME/.xinitrc
$ cat /boot/loader.conf
$ cat /etc/rc.conf
# with slim
$ /etc/sysctl.conf 
#Required for chrome

## install i3+dmenu and/or mate
$ pkg install -y i3 i3lock i3status
$ pkg install -y mate-desktop mate

## optional desktop software
$ pkg install -y chromium firefox libreoffice vlc

$ reboot
# without slim you need to login as USERNAME, type 'startx'
# with slim type 'F1' on login to change desktop session

from howto install i3 in FreeBSD
from How-to install freeBSD 10.1 Plus the mate desktop and Installing Mate desktop on FreeBSD-10


# i3 shortcuts; see ~/.i3/config
$mod+shit+e exit
$mod+enter terminal
$mod+e splith/splitv (it toggles), $mod+s stacking and $mod+w for tabbed
$mod+v split vertical, $mod+h split horizontal
$mod+d dmenu

from i3 ref card


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