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adding stuff to the base installation to make user experience better


Yesterday I installed netbsd-8 on an ancient dell latitude x1. For the
most part the installation went fine, and I booted to a working system,
with both X and networking working. NetBSD runs very nicely on it and
it is quite fast :-)

Alas, because of network policy on the wifi network, I needed to enter
a code to access the network, and for that I needed a browser. We don't
ship a browser in base.

>From the looks of it, a text browser would suffice (and it did), so
I decided to go with "links" as opposed to "lynx" for no particular

So I connected the laptop to my phone, and downloaded the 7.0 "links"
package, since we don't have 8.0 packages yet. I used pkg_add,
tried to run it and got missing shared libraries. After making a
bunch of symlinks in /usr/lib to account for newer versions of shared
libraries, I found it needed some other packages because of other
dependencies. I downloaded and installed those, and I got it running.
Using the text browser, I connected to the network and then using
pkgin, I could install a bunch of packages that made my laptop usable.

There are 3 things that would make my life easier yesterday:

1. A text browser in base. "lynx" or "links" come to mind, I don't
   mind which, both are GPL2.
2. Pre-built packages for NetBSD-8.
3. pkgin in base. Yes, it uses a separate database so store package info,
   but "pkgin update" syncs it with reality. Yes, it does not know which
   package directory to use (is available) for a particular NetBSD version,
   but that can be fixed. It surely beats running pkg-add "n" times to
   install firefox. Yes, it takes a single pkg_add to add it...

Waiting for the perfect solution to come just makes us less popular to
users. Implementing an imperfect solution and replacing it with something
better can't be that bad.


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