FreeBSD 8.0 and KDE 4.4

Continuing on from my last post, it was really quite simple to get KDE to run after I closed that post.  in fact I only had to type in 2 lines and the second one ran KDE.


  1. exec /usr/local/kde4/bin/startkde4 > ~/.xinitrc
  2. startx


BAM! that was it, finally!! after 2.5 years of trying I could not believe it was so simple… and then I noticed… I had no KB or Mouse… I did not know it was possible to be so happy and so sad at the same time…


You can search the inet any way you want and you’ll find out that running “X -configure” will generate your file that you then have to move to “/usr/local/etc/X11/xorg.conf ”   one more item to note, when you test this, make sure you type “X -retro” or “Xorg -retro” else you will just get a blank screen.

*****WARNING*****ok, now that I got your attention, you must run the following command before attempting to use your xorg.conf in the previously mentioned location or you will lock your system up and have to hit the power button. “sudo chmod root:wheel /usr/local/etc/X11/xorg.conf”  if you do not have sudo installed, you have 3 choices.


  1. login as root (something I never do except to add my user id to the sudoers file)
  2. type “su –” and switch to root
  3. login as root and type “pkg_add -r sudo” then either add yourself to the wheel group or add yourself to the sudoers file


there are several ways to add yourself to the wheel group, the only one that sticks out in my mind right now that I can vouch for is “pw moduser [username] -G wheel [username]” this one sets your group to wheel AND your default group [username], if you skip the second [username] you will no longer have access to any of your own files or you can type “pw groupmod wheel -m [username]” should do the same, to add yourself to the sudoers file you need to type “visudo” then you will be in vi, here is what to do if you don’t know vi.


  1. press “/” (initiates a search)
  2. type “root” (tells vi what to search for)
  3. press enter (begins the search process)
  4. press “n” (takes you to the next instance of “root”)
  5. press “o” (creates a new blank line under the current one and starts editing)
  6. type [username] [tab]ALL=(ALL) ALL”  (make sure you use caps on the “ALL”, this allows [username] to use sudo)
  7. press ESC (stops edit mode)
  8. press “:” (informs vi you wish to enter a command)
  9. type “wq!” (tells vi to “write” the current file to disk and “quit” vi “NOW”
  10. press enter (executes the command you have entered


Now you will no longer have to log in as root on your machine, or su to root again.  Back to my problems…  So, I ran the dreaded -configure command (dreaded because after running it on any system in the last 2-3 years the only result I have ever gotten is the blank black screen syndrome) and of course, I got exactly what I was expecting… a blank black screen when I tested X with that config file.  This is the reason I did not switch to FreeBSD instead of windows back when FreeBSD 6.1 was released, I could never get beyond this point.  Well, about a days worth of inet searching and I have come across some useful information that “worked” for several users.  Nothing worked for me (feel free to search the issue and you’ll get a lovely list of others having this issue, some getting off easy, some giving up, some finding alternate ways to do it.)  about 15 minutes ago (not that you will know when that was based off my posting time, but it makes sense to say it that way…) I found a lovely forum post on, now when you look at that post you may not be surprised by what you see there, it is fairly common troubleshooting and common knowledge about the workings of FreeBSD and; HOWEVER!!! and here is the kicker, it has in it a code snippet of the ever elusive “ServerFlags” section of  xorg.conf, something that apparently is not auto generated and really is not documented well (additionally other posts I saw told you to stick it in the “ServerLayout” section, which only causes X to crash without loading.)  I added the following to my xorg.conf file:


  1. Section “ServerFlags”
  2.                 Option “AllowEmptyInput” “off”
  3. EndSection
  4. Section “InputDevice”
  5.                 Identifier   “Keyboard0”
  6.                 Driver         “kbd”
  7.                 Option “XkbOptions” “terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp”
  8. EndSection


Now, if you ran “X -configure” lines 4, 5, 6, and 8 should already be in there.  Lines 1 – 3 allow my mouse to work in X, and line 7 allows me to hit ctrl+alt+bksp to exit X and both worked!!  So I quickly exited X and tried “startx” and sure enough, KDE loaded, I could see it, and my mouse worked!!  hot dog!!


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