FreeBSD can run a wide variety of desktop applications, such as browsers and word
processors. Most of these are available as packages or can be automatically built from
the ports collection. Many new users expect to find these kinds of applications on their
desktop. This chapter will show you how to install some popular desktop applications
effortlessly, either from their packages or from the ports collection.
Note that when installing programs from the ports, they are compiled from source. This
can take a very long time, depending on what you are compiling and the processing power
of your machine(s). If building from source takes a prohibitively long amount of time for
you, you can install most of the programs of the ports collection from pre-built
As FreeBSD features Linux binary compatibility, many applications originally developed
for Linux are available for your desktop. It is strongly recommended that you read Chapter 22 before installing any of the Linux applications. Many
of the ports using the Linux binary compatibility start with ``linux-''. Remember this
when you search for a particular port, for instance with whereis(1). In the
following text, it is assumed that you have enabled Linux binary compatibility before
installing any of the Linux applications.
Here are the categories covered by this chapter:
Browsers (such as Mozilla, Netscape®, Opera)
Productivity (such as KOffice, AbiWord, The GIMP, OpenOffice.org)
Document Viewers (such as Acrobat Reader®, gv, Xpdf, GQview)
Finance (such as GnuCash, Gnumeric, Abacus)
Before reading this chapter, you should:
For information on how to get a multimedia environment, read Chapter 16. If you want to set up and use electronic mail,
please refer to Chapter 20.
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