I thought I had subscribed but have had no mail...

Paul Robinson paul at iconoplex.co.uk
Tue Feb 5 12:14:44 GMT 2002

On Feb  5, Natalie Ford <natalie at ourshack.com> wrote:

> I am a basic user that is having to learn on the run how to do all
> this stuff.  I come from a windows background and only know the
> very basics about unix, let alone FreeBSD.
> Could you tell me what commands I would need to type, please?  :)

As I'm not having a good week this week, I was so tempted to reply to you
direct with 'rm -rf /' but that would trash your box and be very, very, very
evil of me. So don't do that.

I will partly answer your query, but here is also some other information
that might help you if you're new to this gig. If you're not sure about how
to do something under FreeBSD, there are several things you can take a look

- man pages
- The Handbook
- The FAQ
- Mailing lists (like this one)

If you've never used 'man' before, try 'man man' on the command line and see
what you get to get a feel for what a man page looks like. Arrow keys let
you scroll (normally, but that's another debate - terminal setup), and it's
'q' to return you to a command prompt. The 'man' man page is not too useful
for beginners, so take a look at the Handbook. The Handbook is on the
FreeBSD website, but it's also in:


in HTML format on your machine. The FAQ and mailing lists are obviously 'out
here' and linked to from the FreeBSD website.

OK, to answer your questsion, you can 'search' related man pages with the -k 
flag, so if I do 'man -k package' I get a list of man pages related to 
packages. One of the items on the list is:

pkg_add(1)   - a utility for installing software package distributions

And on reading that man page, you might see that if you typed:

pkg_add -r mutt

then FreeBSD will try and install the 'mutt' mail client for you from a 
remote source. You get the idea.

With KDE, there is another sneaky, easy way for beginners way to get up and
running but it might not install the latest build of KDE - in fact, I know
it won't - but it will get you started. That is to run /stand/sysinstall
which when started might remind you of when you were installing a machine,
and that's because it is the same program that guides you through a machine
installation - dangerous toys in here, so be careful. However, if you go to
'Configure' then towards the bottom you get a chance to configure X -
'XFree86' - and also setup KDE - 'Desktop' - and FreeBSD will do most of the
work for you.

Either way, the handbook these days is in much better shape than it was 12
months ago (yay Nik and company), and I would strongly recommend you give it
a read through, as it goes through setting up X and so on as well.

Hope that helped. If it didn't, my apologies for the confusing noise in your 

Paul Robinson

More information about the Ukfreebsd mailing list