[kde-freebsd] FreeBSD 8.2 with pre-built KDE 3.5 package from FreeBSD 7.1 DVD

Schaich Alonso alonsoschaich at fastmail.fm
Sat Jan 19 02:36:51 UTC 2013

On 2013-01-18 01:21:11 Georg Reilinger wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I know that I am not subscribed to this list, but getting on here seems to
> be a somewhat difficult task and I promise that my email won't be a spam
> one :)

Getting on the list is quite easy, just send an email to
kde-freebsd-request at kde.org
with title "subscribe". IIRC you will then be sent a confirmation email that 
requests you to visit an URL.

> My issue is the following:
> As far as I know, FreeBSD has completely dropped support for KDE 3.5.
> Whether it's the ports, or the pkg_add precompiled binaries. Am I right in
> assuming this?

There were discussions on this multiple times on the freebsd-ports mailing 
list in the last two years and I haven't followed them all but AFAIK it's 
unsupported now after having been marked deprecated/broken/ignore for ages.

pkg_* is basically ports without the need to compile things yourself.

> I am currently running a live version of FreeBSD 8.2 with KDE 4.8. The thing
> here is that KDE 4 is simply too heavy for my system. For example: it is
> impossible for me to have two open shells at the same time. Once I exit a
> given shell, I can't open another one due to a lack of resources, even after
> having turned off all the extra stuff - plasma desktop, nepomuk...

The two konsole instances will share almost all of their memory though, and if 
you restart a konsole the new one should claim about the same amount of memory 
than it's precedor did, therefore the cause of this is very likely somewhere 
else (I suspect dbus is to be blamed). When you can't open a new konsole the 
next time, can you try opening a xterm and launching konsole from that xterm? 
The xterm might report some information about konsole's doings that way.

Some analysis...

Did you check the sysctl recommendation in
in the ports collection?

Have you verified you are runing out of resources (i.e. "out of memory" or 
"oom" kernel messages) or are you just suspecting it? What proccesses are the 
largest memory consumers when OOM happens, and what is the kill order of the 
OOM recovery?

Is it only konsole that can't be started or are other kde applications 
affected, too? If not, can non-kde memory hogs (openoffice, evolution, 
firefox, java*, ...) be started? If not, can any graphical applications at all 
be started (by a KDE interface)?

How much phyiscal and swap memory is avaliable to the system?

> As a consequence, I can see myself do two possible things, to have a system
> running with KDE 3.5 once again:
> 1. go back to an older release of FreeBSD and install KDE 3.5 from the
> precompiled binaries that are on the DVD donwload version.
> Judging by the release announcements, this should be 7.1.
> http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.1R/announce.html
> This is something that I don't really feel like doing.
> 2. To be honest, I am quite happy with 8.2 and I would like to keep it for
> some time to come. In other words, is there a way to keep 8.2 and still
> have KDE 3.5 along with it? For example has anyone ever tried to
> install a 7.1 pre-built package (KDE 3.5 in this case) on an 8.2 system?
> Is that possible?
> Any other solutions?

FreeBSD (in theory) has backward compatibily back to the 1990s. Therefore you 
can use elements of FreeBSD-7.1 in a 8.2 installation. If the userspace lacks 
files or symbols inside libraries, is otherwise incompatible, or you "just" 
want to go the safe way to begin with, you can install 7.1 into /compat or 
some other path of your choice and chroot into it. Afterwards install the 
desired packages into the chrooted 7.1 installation and the "host" system 
should be able run them.

There's a wiki entry for running wine in a 32-bit FreeBSD-8 chroot inside a 
64-bit FreeBSD-8 system, in your case it would be a FreeBSD-7 chroot inside a 
FreeBSD-8 system, the procedure to do this is more or less the same (during 
that guide, /usr/src would need to contain FreeBSD-7.1, /usr/ports be the 
"old" ports, and so on).


You will need the COMPAT_FREEBSD7 kernel option (which is enabled by default 
on all official releases and GENERIC).

Given the fact KDE-3 is no longer maintained by the KDE-SC project, the fact 
KDE-3 was just as bloated and therefore (for those days) resource hungry as 
KDE-4 is now, as well as the fact it lacks many "modern" desktop features 
nevertheless, you might want to take a look at xfce4.
While it lacks many features of KDE-4 it's a solid desktop environment, 
actively developed and supported and also has a much lower memory footprint 
than KDE or GNOME.


At this point however I will tell you my Atom D330 can run KDE-4.8 on 
FreeBSD-9 with 512MB physical memory + 4GB swap and it's quite usable. I.e. 
it's still usable with multiple konsole windows open at the same time, and I 
didn't even bother to disable nepomuk, akonadi and their DBMS friends.

OpenBSD and NetBSD still have KDE-3.5 ports in their package management which 
is pkgsrc (Section 3.3.2 of the NetBSD FAQ states pkgsrc can be used in 
FreeBSD too), though I have no idea about the state of those pkgsrc-ports nor 
how well pkgsrc can be combined with ports.

Using pkgsrc on Non-NetBSD systems:
KDE-3 in pkgsrc:

Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) is a project that aims to maintain KDE-3.5 
for some more time, however it seems (to me) that it's very linux/gnu-centric. 
Eventually you might be able to build TDE from sources or use linuxulator to 
run the binaries from the RPM/DEB packages.


Hope something helps,
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