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For NetBSD7 see:

https://slice2.com/2016/01/30/howto-install-the-xfce-4-12-desktop-on-netbsd-7/

This is an update to a previous post here: https://slice2.com/2013/10/10/howto-install-the-xfce-4-desktop-on-netbsd-6-1-2/

For a lightweight functional desktop, install XFCE. As root perform the following steps. This covers 32 and 64 bit x86 hardware. Since NetBSD essentially runs on everything, simply adjust the repository path to your architecture from the list here: http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/NetBSD/

1) Setup your binary repository.
> mkdir -p /usr/pkg/etc/pkgin
> touch /usr/pkg/etc/pkgin/repositories.conf
> vi /usr/pkg/etc/pkgin/repositories.conf and add path:

For x64
http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/NetBSD/amd64/6.1.5/All/

For x32
http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/NetBSD/i386/6.1.5/All/

2) Add the NetBSD ftp server to your host file. This is for convenience and can be removed when done.
> vi /etc/hosts and add:
199.233.217.249 ftp.netbsd.org
> wq!

3) Export your path.
Note: I don’t know why the encoded quote characters keep appearing after /ALL/ in the path statements below. It must be an html coding issue and I’m not a developer. Just make sure that at the end of the path statement it ends with /6.1.5/ALL/” with no trailing characters. In other words, it should look like the paths depicted in step 1 above only it must end in a ” character.

For x64:
> export PKG_PATH=”http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/NetBSD/amd64/6.1.5/All/”

For x32:
> export PKG_PATH=”http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/NetBSD/i386/6.1.5/All/”

4) Install the latest version of pkgin on your system.
> pkg_add -v pkgin-*

5) Update the pkgin database and install XFCE.
> pkgin update
Database needs to be updated.
proceed ? [Y/n] y

> pkgin install xfce4
calculating dependencies… done.

nothing to upgrade.
89 packages to be installed: pkg-config-0.28 p5-Business-ISBN-Data-20120719.001nb2 icu-53.1 jbigkit-2.1 py27-cElementTree-2.7.8 libIDL-0.8.14nb4 p5-Business-ISBN-2.07nb1 p5-ExtUtils-PkgConfig-1.13nb3 p5-ExtUtils-Depends-0.304nb3 xcb-util-0.3.9nb1 p5-glib2-1.304nb1 usbids-20081118 policykit-0.9nb16pciids-20091229 libvolume_id-0.81.1nb1 hal-info-20091130nb3 p5-URI-1.64 ORBit2-2.14.19nb4 iso-codes-3.11.1nb1 psutils-1.17nb5 pixman-0.32.6 lzo-2.08xmlcatmgr-2.2nb1 orc-0.4.18 gstreamer0.10-0.10.36nb7 gobject-introspection-1.40.0 tiff-4.0.3nb6 harfbuzz-0.9.35 cairo-gobject-1.12.16nb1 perl-5.20.0nb2libffi-3.0.13 libelf-0.8.13nb1 shared-mime-info-1.3 python27-2.7.8nb1 py27-expat-2.7.8 pango-1.36.6 libXft-2.3.2 gdk-pixbuf2-2.30.3 fontconfig-2.11.1nb1 atk-2.12.0 libxfce4menu-4.6.1nb18 gst-plugins0.10-base-0.10.36nb8 libxml2-2.9.2nb1 cairo-1.12.16nb4 a2ps-4.14nb7 libxklavier-5.0nb5 libnotify-0.7.6nb1 vte-0.28.1nb15 png-1.6.13 pcre-8.36nb1 libexif-0.6.21 jpeg-9anb1 fam-2.7.0nb9 GConf-2.32.4nb9 p5-XML-Parser-2.41nb3 xfce4-exo-0.3.101nb26 hal-0.5.14nb13 xfconf-4.6.1nb22 startup-notification-0.12nb3 libxfce4util-4.6.1nb17 libwnck-2.30.6nb17 libglade-2.6.4nb21 hicolor-icon-theme-0.13 dbus-glib-0.102 dbus-1.8.8 libxfce4gui-4.6.1nb21 desktop-file-utils-0.22 xfce4-xarchiver-0.5.2nb22 xfce4-wm-themes-4.6.0nb17 xfce4-wm-4.6.1nb21 xfce4-volman-0.2.0nb25 xfce4-utils-4.6.1nb23 xfce4-thunar-1.0.1nb23 xfce4-terminal-0.4.2nb21 xfce4-settings-4.6.5nb23 xfce4-session-4.6.1nb21 xfce4-print-4.6.1nb25 xfce4-panel-4.6.2nb22 xfce4-orage-4.6.1nb23 xfce4-mousepad-0.2.16nb20 xfce4-mixer-4.6.1nb21 xfce4-icon-theme-4.4.3nb18 xfce4-gtk2-engine-2.6.0nb19 xfce4-desktop-4.6.1nb23 xfce4-appfinder-4.6.1nb23 gtk2+-2.24.22nb5 gnome-icon-theme-3.10.0nb1 glib2-2.40.0 xfce4-4.6.1nb32 (153M to download, 500M to install)

proceed ? [Y/n] Y

6) Add the font packages and screen lock.
> pkgin install font-adobe-75*
> pkgin install font-adobe-100*
> pkgin install xscreensaver

7) Configure the system to run XFCE.
> cp /usr/pkg/share/examples/xfce4/autostart/xfconf-migration-4.6.desktop /usr/pkg/etc/xdg/autostart/xfconf-migration-4.6.desktop
> chmod 0644 /usr/pkg/etc/xdg/autostart/xfconf-migration-4.6.desktop
> cp /usr/pkg/share/examples/xfce4/autostart/xfce4-settings-helper-autostart.desktop /usr/pkg/etc/xdg/autostart/xfce4-settings-helper-autostart.desktop
> chmod 0644 /usr/pkg/etc/xdg/autostart/xfce4-settings-helper-autostart.desktop

> cp /usr/pkg/share/examples/rc.d/famd /etc/rc.d/
> cp /usr/pkg/share/examples/rc.d/dbus /etc/rc.d/
> cp /usr/pkg/share/examples/rc.d/hal /etc/rc.d/

> echo rpcbind=YES >> /etc/rc.conf
> echo famd=YES >> /etc/rc.conf
> echo dbus=YES >> /etc/rc.conf
> echo hal=YES >> /etc/rc.conf

> /etc/rc.d/rpcbind start
> /etc/rc.d/famd onestart
> /etc/rc.d/dbus start
> /etc/rc.d/hal start

8) Configure X and start the desktop.
> echo xfce4-session >> /root/.xinitrc
> startx   (note: be patient, it may take a minute to load)

9) Close XFCE to prepare for installation of software.
a) Click on the mouse icon in the lower left corner and click Log out.
b) Click Log Out to exit XFCE.

10) Install apps as desired. This step is optional. Enter Y when asked to proceed ? [Y/n] for each app.
Browsers and plugins:
> pkgin install firefox*
> pkgin install opera
> pkgin install icedtea-web  (when done installing, run the next two command to configure avahi)
cp /usr/pkg/share/examples/rc.d/avahidaemon /etc/rc.d/avahidaemon
chmod 0755 /etc/rc.d/avahidaemon
> pkgin install xpdf
> pkgin install flashplayer
> pkgin install openquicktime
> pkgin install mozilla-fonts*

Security tools and shells:
> pkgin install wireshark
> pkgin install nmap
> pkgin install iftop
> pkgin install keepassx
> pkgin install bash

GUI ftp/scp client:
> pkgin install filezilla

Office Suite:
> pkgin install libreoffice4*

Notes:
To launch liberoffice, enter the soffice command in an xterm.
The list of all apps available for v6.1.5 are listed here:
http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/pkgsrc/packages/NetBSD/amd64/6.1.5/All/

10) Now that your apps are installed, start your desktop.
> startx