Chapter 7. Desktop Applications

Contributed by Christophe Juniet.
Table of Contents
7.1. Synopsis
7.2. Browsers
7.3. Productivity
7.4. Document Viewers
7.5. Finance

7.1. Synopsis

While FreeBSD is popular as a server for its performance and stability, it is also suited for day-to-day use as a desktop. With over 24,000 applications available as packages or ports, it is easy to build a customized desktop that runs a wide variety of desktop applications. This chapter demonstrates how to install some popular desktop applications effortlessly using packages or the FreeBSD Ports Collection.

As FreeBSD features Linux® binary compatibility, many applications developed for Linux® can be installed on a FreeBSD desktop. Many of the ports using Linux® binary compatibility start with linux-. This chapter assumes that Linux® binary compatibility has been enabled before any Linux® applications are installed.

This chapter demonstrates how to install the following desktop applications:

Type of ApplicationApplication NamePackage NamePorts Name
ProductivityThe GIMPgimpgraphics/gimp
ProductivityApache OpenOfficeopenofficeeditors/openoffice-3
Document ViewerAcrobat Reader®no package due to license restrictionprint/acroread9
Document Viewergvgvprint/gv
Document ViewerXpdfxpdfgraphics/xpdf
Document ViewerGQviewgqviewgraphics/gqview

Before reading this chapter, you should know how to:

  • Install additional software using packages or ports.

  • Enable Linux® binary compatibility.

For information on how to configure a multimedia environment, refer to Chapter 8, Multimedia. For information on how to set up and use electronic mail, refer to Chapter 28, Electronic Mail.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <>.

Send questions about this document to <>.