March 14th, 2004, 21:28
13 March, 2004:

The GNOME 2.6 Beta 2 desktop has been released and ports are available. We are currently looking for volunteers to help with testing ports and packages installation as well as provide feedback on bugs, missing features, screenshots, and FAQ ideas. Please send any and all questions and comments to the FreeBSD GNOME Team.

I am compiling GNOME 2.6 ( as I speak, I'll post my impression/screenshots in a few days.

March 14th, 2004, 21:45
look forward to seeing them

March 15th, 2004, 17:56

Being that I love to be on the bleeding edge of technology, and that I have too much time on my hands, I decided to give Gnome 2.5.91 (actually 2.6) a spin.


Here are my systems specs for your perusal, you can more or less guess how things might crawl on your on hardware:

Proc: Celeron 633 mHz
RAM: 512 MB
Vid Card: GeForce4 MMX 64 MB
Storage: 9 GB HDD
Sys: FreeBSD-5.2 CURRENT


My adventure began late friday evenning, after I had scarfed down several slices of pizza and drank several pints of Pepsi. At the time I was feeling rather depressed, by thought of how GNU/Linux gets all the toys and FreeBSD gets all the hand me downs. So off I went hunched over my keyboard looking for a reason not to nuke my FreeBSD partition, mind you I love the ports and `teh' community, most of the time.

I started off by trying to build myself a hot `azz' desktop, something that would make even Steve Jobs jealous. First on the list was E17, alot of you might remember my old E17 thread, and this time same ol' same ol' no build, work. Next I was off to after swimming through several decent icon sets, and the old Linux propaganda machine I was even more disheartened. By this time I decided to take a break and visit some of the news `sitez', I landed on OSNews where Eugina was running an article on Gnome 2.6, all the neat screenshots piked my interest. So I reached for my keyboard, and ran a search for `Gnome 2.6 +Freebsd', and I came up on FreeBSD's Gnome project. I had known about this project before but I gave up after having a hardtime building from CVS. This time however I was going to make it work, even if I had to prop it up with icicle sticks.

I'll spare you the whole install process, but if you know me you, sure as hell know that the install did not go too smoothly. To sum it up for you the install began Friday evenning and end early Monday morning.


After building from the ports, I fired up the XServer and was greeted by a plain vanilla desktop]. Right off the bat you will be able to see the obvious differences between 2.6 and 2.5. Nautilus is no longer the bloated beast it once was, instead is replaced by a minimalistic rox like navigator. My only gripe with Nautilus's new interface is that takes a while to adjust to it's open an new window for every action schpill.

After getting over Nautilus change I ran over to change my background, and lo and behold if there was not another surprise in store. The old backdrop selector is gone, and replaced by a more intuitive selector that stores your desired set of files. Another feature that this selector offers new ways to display your background, such as centered, fill screen, tiled, and scaled.

Another of 2.6's new features is it's file selector, which has been along time coming. The file selector is a much improved version of the old gtk file selector, that allows you to bookmark or add to your favorites some of your most visited directories.

Gedit has some new features such as better highlights, and even utilizes 2.6's newest widgets. However Kate still offers alot more features out of the box, but I can see gedit catching up very soon.

Epiphany is the default gnome browser and it is well intergrated into gnome 2.6, for instance downloads are directly placed under gnome Desktop/Download directory which eases things for alot of the neophnyte users.

Gpdf which is by far my favorite pdf reader has some neat new features such as it's new pane that allows you to wade through documents faster, even bookmark your favorite parts.


This release adds alot of polish to an already well polished Desktop. However this release has alot of stablitiy issues and some times speed issues. In spite of all this GNOME has become my desktop of choice, because of it's integration and ease of use.

March 16th, 2004, 00:18
Thank you socomm, very informative. Have you run KDE 3.2? If you have, how does Gnome 2.6 stack up in speed?

March 16th, 2004, 10:50
Gnome 2.6 runs a tad slower than KDE 3.2.1. I've ran a small test between both DE's boot up, OpenOffice startup, and their default browers startups.

GNOME 2.6:

Boot: ~30 Secs.
OO.o: ~21 Secs.
Epiphany: ~7 Secs.

KDE 3.2.1:

Boot: ~23 Secs.
OO.o: ~22 Secs.
Konq: ~4 Secs.

Gnome is slower this time, but keep in mind that this is a beta release and speed issues will most likely be resolved before 2.6 is released.