Tutorial Prerequisites Tutorial

This tutorial explains how to install and configure DragonFly BSD to match the system that I used to write other tutorials on this site.

This tutorial is a bit messy. I intend to clean it up at some point.

  1. Install VirtualBox and create a virtual machine.

    See VirtualBox end-user documentation and steps 1 and 2 of the Long Walkthrough of DragonFly BSD Installation and Configuration by Varialus.

  2. Install and configure DragonFly BSD.

    See steps 3-85, 100-104, and 109 of the Long Walkthrough of DragonFly BSD Installation and Configuration by Varialus.

  3. Understand basics of essential command line interface (CLI) programs.

    • Scroll Lock - As stated in one of the login welcome messages: By pressing "Scroll Lock" you can use the arrow keys to scroll backward through the console output. Press "Scroll Lock" again to turn it off.
    • ee - As stated in the ee manual: "The command ee is a simple screen oriented text editor." You can open a menu that will ask you whether you want to quit by pressing the Esc button. If you have made changes to the document then you will be asked whether you want to save your changes after selecting to exit the text editor. When using ee to edit a file that you don't have permission to change, ee will not tell you that you don't have permission, it just won't exit if you try to save changes. If this happens, exit the editor without saving changes and then re-open it using sudo as described in the last step of this tutorial.
    • exit - To exit out of a shell session, type exit and press enter.
    • shutdown - The following commands when run as root will power down and restart the system.

      shutdown -p now
      shutdown -r now

  4. Understand package management enough to find and install programs.

    • pkg help - Shows subcommands.
    • pkg help subcommand - Shows info about individual subcommands.
    • pkg update - Downloads latest repository info.
    • pkg update -f - Force updates latest repository info, which is useful if pkg has been updated and the repository format has changed.
    • pkg search packageName - Shows a list of packages that have packageName somewhere within their name.
    • pkg search -f fullPackageName-version.# - Shows detailed information about a package. Because it shows a bunch of information it's best to run it with the full name of the package with its version number so you only get one match.
    • pkg install fullPackageName-withVersion.# - Installs a package. It's best to be fairly specific so that only the package that you meant to install is matched and installed.

  5. Change the default text editor from vi to ee.

    See steps 79, 86-89, 100-101, 105-109 of the Long Walkthrough of DragonFly BSD Installation and Configuration by Varialus.

  6. Install, configure, and understand sudo.

    The sudo command lets you run a command as another user, typically as the administrative root user. To use sudo, just prefix the command that you want to run as root with 'sudo ' without quotes. Unless otherwise noted commands should be run using the user account but if the user doesn't have permission to run the command, sudo should be used.

    I've heard it said that sudo shouldn't be used for graphical applications because by default sudo doesn't change the HOME environment variable to /root so it may overwrite files in your home directory with root only access, yet when I run sudo env the HOME environment is changed, so on DragonFly BSD the default configuration of sudo may be safe to use with graphical applications. However, root doesn't seem to have access to the X session by default, so run xhost local:root to give root access to the current X session and later run xhost -local:root to remove root access to the current X session.

    See steps 79, and 92-100 of the Long Walkthrough of DragonFly BSD Installation and Configuration by Varialus.
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