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Installation script for a FreeBSD based MATE desktop
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LICENSE Initial commit May 22, 2019 Update May 24, 2019 Improved VM detection Jun 19, 2019

FreeBSD Desktop with MATE

This is an installation script for a FreeBSD based MATE desktop. See for additional information.

Note: Use the link ( to always get the latest version of the installation script.

Disclaimers and Warnings

Quick Start

It's recommended that you start with a clean install of FreeBSD 12.0 64-bit. Your non-root user should belong to the operator and wheel group so that it can perform administrative functions.

fetch -o - | sh

After about 30 minutes (depending on your Internet connection) your system will automatically reboot into a graphical desktop.

Known Issues

There is no error control. If a package fails to download, the execution will just continue. If this happens, re-run the script. It's perfectly safe to run this script as much as you want without any negative side effects.

Obligatory Screenshots

Screenshot1 Screenshot2 Screenshot3 Screenshot4 Screenshot5 Screenshot6


Platform options are limited only due to lack of packages.

  • FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE
  • 64-bit edition (amd64)
  • 20 GB free space
  • Internet connection


This is inspired by GhostBSD. GhostBSD was a FreeBSD desktop distribution that originally used FreeBSD as it's base. After several years GhostBSD switch it's base to TrueOS. While GhostBSD continues to be a great desktop I require (and prefer) a FreeBSD base system. I created this installation script and the corresponding PKG repository to fill the gap left by GhostBSD.

How it Works

A custom PKG repo is built using ports-mgmt/poudriere. It uses the default FreeBSD ports tree and merges it with some additional custom developed packages. Here is the make.conf file used for this repository.

# Allows us to build ports non-interactively

# Desktop Specific Options

The full build scripts and configuration files will be published sometime in the future.

The most notable alteration to the default FreeBSD ports tree is the addition of the TDMC/Pacy World, LLC. root CA.

Key Package List

The complete list of packages installed will vary as dependencies change. This is a list of the most notable packages that will be installed.

It also goes on to install some GhostBSD packages that have been ported over such as utilities and themes.

Finally if the script detects that it's running inside of a VMware virtual machine it will trigger the install the Open VMware tools package as described at

The Repository

Originally this was intended for personal use but quickly realized that others can benefit from my work. It currently takes about 5 days to build all the packages in the FreeBSD ports tree. Adding more repos and speeding up the build process is a matter of adding additional computing resources. Perhaps if this find a decent enough following I may consider expanding it further by making a bootable graphical installer.

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