Post Installation Recommendations

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System administration

This section covers various administrative tasks and system management. For more information see Category:System administration.

Users and groups

A new installation leaves you with only the root user, using this account for prolonged periods outside of system maintenance tasks is insecure and thus highly discouraged. Instead, you should create and use unprivileged user account(s) for most tasks. See Users and groups#User management for details.

Privilege escalation

The su (substitute user or switch user) command allows a user to assume the identity of another user on the system (usually used to become root). The sudo (substitute user or switch user do) command allows for temporary privilege escalation for a specific command.

Service Management

PacBSD supports using either FreeBSD-init and OpenRC as the system init process. These systems allow a user to start, stop, and configure system daemons, as such it is a good idea to learn the basics about the chosen init system.

System maintenance

PacBSD is a rolling release system and has rapid package turnover, so users have to take some time to do system maintenance. Read Security for recommendations and best practices on hardening the system.

Package management

This section contains helpful information related to package management. For more, please see FAQ#Package management and Category:Package management.

Note: It is imperative to keep up to date with change in PacBSD that require manual intervention before upgrading your system. Subscribe to the PacBSD-announce mailing list or check the front page PacBSD news every time before you update. Alternatively, you may find it useful to subscribe to this RSS feed.


pacman is the package manager used by PacBSD. Any user that will be working with packages on the system, be it installing, upgrading, or removing packages, should take the time to become familiar with it before reading any other articles in this section.


See Official repositories for details about the purpose of each officially maintained repository.

If you installed PacBSD amd64 and plan on using 32-bit applications you will want to enable the multilib repository. If you plan on installing packages that do not support FreeBSD/PacBSD natively but do support Linux then you can enable the linux repository and add the Linux compatibility system.


PacBSD Build System

PacBSD uses a system similar to Arch Linux's build system, which is similar to BSD's port system. The PBS tree is made up of build scripts called PKGBUILDs, arranged by which repository the package belongs to, are populated with informations for a given piece of software: integrity hashes, project URL, version, license, and build instructions. These PKGBUILDs are parsed by makepkg which generates packages that can be installed by pacman.

PacBSD User Repository

While the PBS tree allows for building software available in the official repositories, the PacBSD User Repository (PUR) is the equivalent for user submitted packages. Packages installed from the PBS are not officially supported, and installed at the users own risk. The PUR is accessible through the web interface or by an helper.

Graphical User Interface

This section provides orientation for users wishing to run graphical applications on their system. See Category:X server for additional resources.

Display Server

Xorg is the public, open-source implementation of the X Window System (commonly X11, or X). It is required for running applications with graphical user interfaces (GUIs), and the majority of users will want to install it.

Display drivers

The default vesa display driver will work with most video cards, but performance can be significantly improved and additional features harnessed by installing the appropriate driver for ATI, Intel, or NVIDIA products.

Desktop environments

Although Xorg provides the basic framework for building a graphical environment, additional components may be considered necessary for a complete user experience. Desktop environments such as GNOME, KDE, LXDE, and Xfce bundle together a wide range of X clients, such as a window manager, panel, file manager, terminal emulator, text editor, icons, and other utilities. Users with less experience may wish to install a desktop environment for a more familiar environment. See Category:Desktop environments for additional resources.

Note: At time of writing only LXDE and Xfce are supported by PacBSD. Other Desktop environments will be added in the future, please see the project news page or join our mailing list/IRC channel to stay informed on the progress of future DEs.

Window managers

A full-fledged desktop environment provides a complete and consistent graphical user interface, but tends to consume a considerable amount of system resources. Users seeking to maximize performance or otherwise simplify their environment may opt to install a window manager alone and hand-pick desired extras. Most desktop environments allow use of an alternative window manager as well. Dynamic, stacking, and tiling window managers differ in their handling of window placement.

Display manager

Most desktop environment include a display manager for automatically starting the graphical environment and managing user logins. Users without a desktop environment can install one separately. Alternatively you may Autostart X at login as a simple alternative to a display manager.

Power Management

This section may be of use to laptop owners or users otherwise seeking power management controls. For more, please see Category:Power management.

See Power management for more general overview.



Input devices


System Services


Console Improvements