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 packages.
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 11 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 Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, Chromium)
Productivity (such as KOffice, AbiWord, The GIMP, OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice)
Document Viewers (such as Acrobat Reader®, gv, Xpdf, GQview)
Finance (such as GnuCash, Gnumeric, Abacus)
Before reading this chapter, you should:
Know how to install additional third-party software (Chapter 5).
Know how to install additional Linux software (Chapter 11).