Jul 20, 2023

Session Management library for X11

This package contains the X11 Session Management library.

LibSM, an abbreviation for the Session Management Library, is a particularly essential part of the X Window System typically used in Unix-like operating systems. The X Window System is a foundational protocol and software framework that allows GUI applications to run on networked systems.

LibSM falls into the category of X11 in FreeBSD ports. These are a set of pre-written code, scripts, and executables that make installing software from source very streamlined and efficient.

FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system that provides a solid platform for applications, networking, servers, storage, and security. Ports are essentially a way to install third-party applications on FreeBSD.

Introducing LibSM

The primary focus of LibSM is to enable communication between a running application, or client, and a session manager. The client indicates its interest in receiving session management, sets up its connection to the session manager, and waits for the session manager to communicate with it.

LibSM provides its services to GUI applications running on your FreeBSD system. When we speak of a session in this context, we simply mean a group of running applications that are saved and can be restored later, preserving the state they were in at the time of saving.

LibSM makes it possible for the applications to store information about their state. This means you can log out of your computer, and when you log back in, all your programs can be just as you left them.

One practical way to use the libSM port in FreeBSD is when developing GUI applications that need to communicate with a session manager or when building applications from source that rely on session management.

How to Install and Use LibSM

Before you start with the installation of LibSM via FreeBSD ports, it’s critical to ensure you have a working FreeBSD system and internet connection. Once these are in place, the initial step is updating FreeBSD repository catalogue by running the command below ;

pkg update -f

This will fetch the latest package repository catalogue from the FreeBSD servers.

Once the update is complete, install the libSM package by running the command below;

pkg install x11/libsm

This will install libSM and any associated files.

Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’ll have installed the libSM library and tools which can be used by your applications for session management.

Advantages of Using LibSM

  • State Preservation With LibSM, you can store information about an application’s state across logouts. This is great if you run many applications and need to keep track of their various statuses.

  • Multi-Platform Offering LibSM is platform-agnostic, meaning it can work on any system that supports X Window System. This optimizes its flexibility for various system infrastructures and operations.

  • Efficiency Session management takes the load off from end-users and developers, making for a smoother application experience.

  • Enhanced Productivity By restoring your programs to their previous state, you can pick up where you left off in your work, increasing your productivity.

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In conclusion, LibSM is a versatile addition to your FreeBSD system. It not only improves the user experience by preserving application states, but also boosts productivity while offering flexibility across various platforms. Thanks to FreeBSD ports, it’s never been easier to install and use.

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