First Look at 9.0 Installer

One of the changes coming in 9.0 is the ability to select multiple desktop environments during installation. Kris completed the code for this late last week and was able to show it off at the PC-BSD booth during Ohio LinuxFest. Here is a preliminary screenshot:

In order to fully integrate the PC-BSD utilities into a desktop manager, the desktop manager must be XDG-compliant. At the moment, the 9.0 installer supports KDE, GNOME, XFCE, and LXDE (not shown in screenshot). In addition to selecting the desktop environment, the user can expand the selection in order to choose which components of the desktop environment will be installed.

Non-XDG-compliant window managers may be added (but won’t fully integrate) or may be made available as PBIs.

We will be looking for testers before the end of this year so we can start finding bugs and submitting bug reports for the included window managers. Leave a comment if your favourite desktop environment/window manager is not listed in this post so it can be considered for inclusion (or a PBI be made if there is not one). Stay tuned for more information on how to become a tester.

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Written by dru. Posted in new features

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Comments (20)

  • Johann Kois (
    September 15, 2010 at 7:21 am |


    One question though: Does this mean Fluxbox will not be there anymore after a fresh installation of 9.X (only as PBI)?

    • September 15, 2010 at 7:47 am |

      According to Kris, Fluxbox will still be included in the base system, although not as an option during this installation screen. It’s really not a full-fledged desktop, and not XDG compliant, but it will still be a choice in the session manager menu for users who want it.

      Note to self, document this in 9.0 Handbook.

      • Przemysław Pawełczyk
        September 15, 2010 at 11:25 am |


        Digress: Another poll, a’la Linux death, pardon, wish list… I hate democracy where everyone has ONE voice and plays against EVERY others. So said I mean I hate democracy in all forms, it’s a dead end road.

        Ad rem. I am fully against diminishing Fluxbox meaning and its role in real computing – not the childish plays with KDE’s icons.

        I read that the main BSD flavors – FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD were destined for – respectively – servers, science, and safety (3Ss). Or something like that, more or less.

        What PC-BSD lacks is science tinge and I have doubt about it. Can you imagine “real” IT students or scientists using KDE?! Without being ridiculed? Moreover, they are not freaks, what they need is processing environment, nothing more! If your answer is Yes – we are decidedly living in different worlds. All the people need is something what will not distract ’em from their tasks.

        As far as I know, both Fluxbox, and IceWM are excellent X start-ups for those who “process numbers”, and are not running for the latest fancy s*** like KDE (which has lately implemented transparency imitating Windows 7, pathetic…).

        So, my voice (alas, only *one* against all those “enlightened” E17s) is for PBIs for Fluxbox and IceWM.

        I need all PC-BSD goodies with the two WMs and with all its icons, and ready to use menus(!). Present Fluxbox implementation is farcical.

        I tell the truth – I will not install PC-BSD until I get Fluxbox or IceWM with full menus.

        Oh, and put the words of Mr Matt Olander from BSD presentations (from YouTube) that proverbial “Mom and Dad will be able to use PC-BSD” among fairy tales (I hate the hype, it come from idiosyncratic and childish “Linux world”), unless the Mom and Dad are within 20-40 years bracket (but at that age they can be happily treated as “users” not “users’ Mom and Dad”).

        Have you taught anybody to full potential of Dolphin with its muti-windows option? I doubt it as the ol’good Norton Commander had two panes only, not dozens.


        P.S. Tell me please, where I should put my suggestion concerning icons for the DE? As for now all the voices about PC-BSD future are divided among wiki, forums, and blog. It is NOT convenience for me(us?), it is a hindrance, as I have to ferret about through all the community outlets.

        Every DE has its own set of icons both for DE and for applications running under its control. You might put the DE and Apps sets into 9.0 Installer instead of stuffing application icons into meta files of the application’s PBI. Linuxes use icons placed in /usr/share/icons and /usr/share/pixmaps dirs respectively. Use the “trick”.

        • Przemysław Pawełczyk
          September 15, 2010 at 11:31 am |

          NOT: What PC-BSD lacks is science tinge and I have doubt about it.
          BUT: What PC-BSD lacks is science tinge and I have NO doubt about it.
          I beg your pardon.

        • September 15, 2010 at 11:54 am |

          Please add a PBI request ( for IceVM so someone can make that PBI.

          As for FluxBox and other integrated desktop environments, we will need plenty of testers who are familiar with what should be included in their favourite DE. We should have a per-DE area set up in the next day or so which will be announced on the blog along with some instructions for testers so that their input can be dealt with as efficiently as possible. There’s lots to say on this matter, much more than can fit into one comment, so watch for future blog posts 🙂

  • Shane
    September 15, 2010 at 7:47 am |

    I use fvwm as it is lightweight and doesn’t steal keyboard shortcuts from the apps I use (mostly blender)

  • Всё о BSD » Новый установщик PC-BSD
    September 15, 2010 at 9:00 am |

    […] новом установщике PC-BSD 9 будет возможность устанавливать несколько DE […]

  • Yurkis
    September 15, 2010 at 9:02 am |

    Where you plane to regenerate strings on pootle server for new installer?

    • September 15, 2010 at 9:17 am |

      Definitely. We’ll blog about the 9.0 menus as they are added to Pootle so translators can start on the new menu screens.

      We’ll also be adding Help text to the PC-BSD menus and I’m just setting up the staging area now for the English text (again, once English is stable, the text will be added to Pootle). I’ll do a separate blog post once the help text staging area is ready.

      • yurkis
        September 16, 2010 at 1:11 am |


  • Brian
    September 15, 2010 at 9:59 am |

    E17 makes a nice companion to a KDE system as a second DE and would be a great fit for the PC-BSD artwork team.

    • September 15, 2010 at 10:44 am |

      Enlightenment is supposed to be XDG-compliant, but we’ve had some problems getting it to fully integrate. We suspect it is a configuration issue so if there are any Enlightenment users available to help Kris troubleshoot the integration, let us know. If it can be fully integrated, it will definitely be included in the 9.0 installer.

      BTW, for users looking for Enlightenment on the current version of PC-BSD, a PBI is available in Software Manager.

      • draconian
        September 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm |

        rasterman.comIsn’t the PBI in the Software Manager of Enlightenment the old E16 version and not E17 which has come a long way as far as development? Even E17/EFL in ports is not the most current from what I understand, but I may be incorrect.

        Their main website:

        Developer Carsten Haitzler’s website:

        • September 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |

          Good, I see you submitted a PBI request for it 🙂

  • September 18, 2010 at 10:57 am |

    This is great. The next step for the installer is to add a boot loader settings page or step to it. That should likely fit in between the Disk and Users steps.

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    May 12, 2011 at 4:27 am |

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