Questions about current stable version of dragonflybsd regarding drivers and desktop environment

Bret Busby bret.busby at
Fri Jul 3 08:20:40 PDT 2015

On 03/07/2015, Michael Neumann <mneumann at> wrote:
> Am 03.07.2015 um 08:26 schrieb John Marino:
>> On 7/3/2015 8:17 AM, Bret Busby wrote:
>>> Hello.
>>> Please also advise whether GNOME 2 is available for the current stable
>>> version
>>> of dragonflybsd.
>> I can answer this question.
>> There is no GNOME 2 in ports.  FreeBSD doesn't have it either.
>> There is mate and cinnamon which is a continuation of GNOME 2.  They
>> build but I'm not sure how well they work.  I would suspect they have
>> issues.  However, nobody seems to uses these so the issues aren't
>> getting reported or fixed.
>> DragonFly for the most part has the same window managers / desktops that
>> FreeBSD does.
> I am using xfce4, which is a very slim and cleaned up desktop.
> It works great on DragonFly. It's easy to start from command-line
> with "startxfce4" without the need of a login manager.
> Regards,
>    Michael


In terms of the hardware, the primary concern is the Haswell part,
which I believe is what is needed to drive the external monitor.

I have been trying for about two years, now, to get the system running
with the gnome 2 interface, and driving the external monitor.

I have, in Linux, Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04, installed and running the
external monitor okay, but they have gnome 3, in which I run gnome
classic, but it does not have the functionality of gnome 2. I also
have Debian Linux 6 and 7 installed, and in Debian 7, once again, the
interface that I use, is gnome classic, but they can not drive the
external monitor. After two years of trying, and having believed that
the problem was to do with the nvidia device, I have recently realized
that the problem lies in the lack of a driver for the Intel Haswell

I am currently running an Acer 5750G, which has the Intel Sandy Bridge
CPU and integrated graphics controller, and an nvidia GEForce GT520M
graphics device.

This is a lesser powerful computer, with an i5 CPU, and 16GB compared
to the Acer V3-772G, and the HDD is half the capacity.

This one has MS Win 7 and Debian Linux 6 installed, and, in the Debian
6, I am running gnome 2, and both the Win 7 and the Debian 6, drive
the external monitor okay on this system.

>From what I understand, on this system, the nvidia device is not used
(although I could be wrong).

So, for me to use gnome 2, my super dooper i7 computer with 32GB of
RAM and a 1TB HDD with GPT, doesn't work so well, as I can't use the
external monitor, and laptop screens are a strain, when used for more
than short periods of time.

I have found gnome 2 to be the best desktop environment with which for
me to work, and the functionality of gnome 2, is not in other desktop
environments, from what I have found, hence my trying to find an
operating system that has gnome 2 and the drivers for the specified
Haswell architecture.

Just one of the examples of the functionality in gnome 2, that I had
not found in the other desktop environments, is that I have in the
panel at the bottom of the screen, a six-component system monitor
applet, that displays, on an ongoing basis, the percentage usage of
each of the CPU, RAM, swap space, and disk usage, and the network data
transmission rate and the system load.

I have not found that elsewhere, and I have otherwise found the other
desktop environments to be unsuitable for me.

Thus I am limited to a system with 16GB of RAM , as I apparently can
not find an operating system that has drivers for the 32GB system, and
that runs gnome 2.

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992


More information about the Users mailing list