a few newbie questions...

Paul Robinson paul at iconoplex.co.uk
Wed Mar 13 11:43:42 GMT 2002

On Mar 12, Alex Ingram <nuttyxander at nuttyxander.co.uk> wrote:

> Annoyingly I only have a 56k modem connection to the outside world and 
> only the FreeBSD 4.5 installation CD to hand. I've used the ports 
> collection a bit to get a few things, and have set up cvsup to get me an 
> up to date ports collection.

Good idea. If you have a DVD drive, and are happy with packages that are
just a few months old (4.5-RELEASE old), then FreeBSD Services sell a DVD
with all the packages you might need on there, meaning your connectivity
problems shouldn't be too much of an issue any more. In the longer term
though when prices come down, broadband is a must. I have to say, when I was
sat in front of a FreeBSD box without any real connectivity, it lost half
it's utility to me.  I suppose I've just been lucky to have always had
access to plenty of bandwidth.
> install both XFree86 3 and 4 at the same time, which I would guess is 
> not particularly good.

Hmmmm. It depends on quite how you did it, but it will either 'just work' or 
it won't. If it doesn't, get rid of X, pull it back off the CD (preferably 
version 4) and start again. You can still run /stand/sysinstall and go to 
'Configure' to get FBSD to do a lot of the work for you, especially if you 
have a CD with X on it. You might get more luck from 
freebsd-questions at freebsd.org if you send them some output from your error 
messages, and perhaps a copy of dmesg output as well, after you've explained 
your problem. Without more information you're probably not going to get much 
out of us here. :-)
> Also, I realised that sitting with my mp3 collection (All 48 gig of it) 
> inaccessible in FreeBSD was not helping my patience in setting it up.
> So after some playing about I eventually arrived at:
> mount_msdos /dev/ad1s1 /tmp to get my mp3s accessible and ready for the 
> likes of mpg123 and the nice front ends juke and mp3blaster.

DO NOT DO THAT. Right, FBSD's behaviour may differ, but NEVER, EVER put
anything in /tmp on a Unix box unless you are prepared to see it deleted.  
Never mount up an msdos partition into /tmp unless you want strange things
happening. In fact, don't touch anything in /tmp or /var/tmp unless you know
what you're doing. Whoever told you that /tmp was a good place to put your
MP3 collection deserves to be taken out and shot. Or at least barred from
ever having the status of 'Unix Wizard' - if that person already has that
status, please forward his address so we may go and remove his pointy hat
and magic cloak...  :-)

You can mount up your partitions into directories in your home directory for 
this sort of thing. That would probably be the reccomended behaviour for 
doing what you want. And, until you have more 'nix experience, don't put 
anything in /tmp again. Trust us, you'll be glad you followed this advice. 
> Are there any recommended IRC channels for obtaining help? I've used 
> #freebsd-help on efnet without much success, as generally my questions 
> are ignored or answered so curtly that it takes a few minutes leafing 
> through my FreeBSD Handbook (that came with 2.2.8 all those years ago) 
> to get there.

You will be pleased to know there is a more up-to-date copy of the Handbook 
on your installed FreeBSD machine in HTML format. It lives in:


Reading this might have more up-to-date information about X as well. If 
you've been using the old copy, I now understand a little more why you've 
had so many problems. This version is quite a major improvement, especially 
when it comes to X. If you haven't got any other way of reading this other 
than on your FreeBSD machine without X, your text-only browser for console 
mode Unix should probably be lynx. It's in ports, and pkg_add -r should work 
as well. It would be well worth reading this before going any further.
> Finally, is there any simple way to enable resuming on downloads of 
> ports, and cvsup stuff in FreeBSD? My connection has an enforced 2 hour 
> cut-off which makes fetching files over 20MB in size a difficult job at 
> best.

Others have already posted how to adapt the behaviour of fetch. If you can 
afford a DSL modem though, the pricing of wires-only ADSL (if you live in an 
area covered) is getting almost as low as the 'free' ISPs, and you get a LOT 
more bang for your buck. Worth thinking about.

Hope there has been something in here that has helped.

Paul Robinson

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