Setting up a VM for doing GSoC work

May 24, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I am helping Neeraj Rawat set up a VM so that he can do FreeBSD development for Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

I am interested in learning what the “Out of the Box Experience” is like for students and newcomers to FreeBSD.  The technologies that students are exposed to today, and the development environments that they are comfortable in on Linux/Unix systems is far different than when I started using Unix systems in 1992 when I was a  chemical engineering student at the University of Toronto.

Neeraj likes the Geany IDE.  This a simple graphical IDE is written using the GTK2 toolkit.  Luckily, there is a FreeBSD port of Geany.

Neeraj’s home computer is a Windows 7 box, and he is using VMWare Player to run FreeBSD in a virtual machine.

Since Neeraj wants to work on file system stuff with FUSE, I am asking him to use FreeBSD-10-CURRENT, instead of FreeBSD 9.1 release.

I told Neeraj to do the following:

  1.   Install that image into a Virtual Machine, or on a dedicated PC computer using the instructions at:
  2. Once the system is booted up, create a configuration file /usr/local/etc/pkg.conf and in this file has one line:packagesite:
  3. Use the “pkg” utility to install packages, as documented here:
  4. Install some basic packages with these commands:pkg install devel/git-subversion devel/subversion shells/bash shells/zsh
    pkg install x11/xorg x11-drivers/xf86-input-vmmouse x11-drivers/xf86-video-vmware
    pkg install x11/gnome2
    pkg install devel/geany


  5. Edit /etc/rc.conf and add these entries:gnome_enable=”YES”

    This is covered in these links:

Neeraj is not finished yet.  One of the steps where we got stuck was in step (3).  Neeraj had typed:


and not


Apparently for the “pkg” utility, in the pkg.conf file, the “packagesite:” must have a space after the colon and before the URL, otherwise it will fail.  When the FreeBSD ports team gets all the infrastructure in place to build FreeBSD pkgng packages, we will be able to delete this line and not use a 3rd party provider of FreeBSD packages for 10-CURRENT.

See more details at: Setting up a VM for doing GSoC work (part 2)


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