Latest interface: 0.3.1
Latest system: 010

Navigation: Forward to FreeBSD setup Guide


Please note! These documents are outdated and need to be rewritten!

So, you're about to embark on the adventure of installing FreeBSD to your system? If you're new to this, a guide like this may help you around the rough edges of the FreeBSD installation procedure, which is not as streamlined as that of other operating systems; probably one of the weak sides of FreeBSD. However, with this guide you shouldn't feel totally lost, just stick with it as much as possible.


Downloading the .iso
So you need to burn FreeBSD .iso to a cd-rom. There are DVD images as well, but these include the graphical user environment like KDE/Gnome and that is not what you need. This guide will cover a basic, minimal install. So the ISO file that you need to download should be disc1.iso and AMD64 architecture if your CPU is 64-bit; i386 if your CPU is 32-bit.

-Download FreeBSD from a mirror close to you(ext)
-Torrent for FreeBSD 8.0 i386 (32-bit)(ext)
-Torrent for FreeBSD 8.0 amd64 (64-bit)(ext)


Setting up the BIOS
You may want to setup the BIOS before you install FreeBSD. You should set the Serial ATA controller mode to AHCI when possible, and not Legacy IDE or RAID mode. This allows usage of the new ahci driver in FreeBSD, and is the preferred choice as it gives you better performance, NCQ and hot-plug capability.

If you're installing FreeBSD to a VirtualMachine such with commercial VMWare or the free Virtualbox, you should look at the VM settings to change the controller to AHCI. Virtualbox supports this, i'm not sure about VMWare.


Booting
Now burn the .iso file to a standard CD-R disc and configure the target system's BIOS to boot from CD-ROM instead. Then see if it works, you should be seeing the countdown screen like this:

(image loading)

Note that you can cancel the countdown by pressing the space-bar. Hit enter or press 1 to boot FreeBSD normally.


Installation

(image loading)

This is the first screen you see when you reach sysinstall; the text-based installer for FreeBSD. Hit enter to select United States.


(image loading)

Now use the arrow keys to go down to Express install and hit enter.


(image loading)

If you have more than one harddrive in the system you will get this screen to select which harddrive to install to. This may be a bit tricky as you may not know which drive is which. Parallel ATA devices should start with /dev/ad0. If you're doubt, disconnect any HDDs you do not want to install to. With only one HDD this screen is skipped.


(image loading)

Now this screen may look scary! It is the fdisk utility to create a partition, although FreeBSD prefers to call these 'slices'. The first thing you may want to do is press 'z' twice, that will display sizes in MegaBytes instead. If you want to use all available space on this 'system' disk, you can just press the 'a' key. This will setup one big partition for use of FreeBSD.


(image loading)

After you do this, use the arrow key to go to the partition such as in the image above and press the 's' key to make that partition the primary boot partition. The letter 'A' will appear right of the partition entry. Now press 'q' to quit the fdisk utility and continue. Note that changes are not written to disk just yet.


(image loading)

Now you are asked to install the boot manager or standard MBR. If you are using another boot utility, select None here to not touch the MBR on the disk. Otherwise, the Standard MBR is the default and preferred option if the system will only run FreeBSD.


(image loading)

If you have multiple disks installed, you will be returned to this screen again so you may continue fdisk on other disks. We will just touch the system disk. In this screen, press tab and enter so you select the "OK" button. This will let you continue to the following step:


(image loading)

Another scary screen! This time it is the BSD label ("disklabel") which are sort of like partitions inside a partition. Since FreeBSD calls partitions 'slices', these BSD labels are actually called 'partitions' by FreeBSD. How confusing! I just use the term BSD label. Each label is like a filesystem, inside a partition.

So, we just created one big partition. Now we will populate that partition with filesystems using BSD labels. How? Well rather simple, just press 'a' to setup things automatically, then press 'q' to continue.


(image loading)

Okay hard stuff is over! Now it wants to know what we want to install. Scroll down with the arrow keys to Minimal and press space to select it, now go down once more to Custom and press space again.


(image loading)

Now you'll see this screen. Scroll to "man" and select it with the space bar. Also scroll to "src" and select it. Another screen will open:


(image loading)

Scroll to All and press space to select everything. Now we're done. Press escape once, press escape twice; now you should be in the screen where you see Minimal and Custom. Press escape a third time and it will continue on.


(image loading)

Since we're installing from CD, hit enter here.


(image loading)

Last chance! After this point it will start writing to your disks. Last time to reconsider you did not connect the wrong harddrive; etc.


(image loading)

copying..


(image loading)

And we're done! Select No here.


(image loading)

Now select Exit to reboot the system. Remember to take out the CD from the CD-ROM drive to avoid booting with it.


(image loading)

After rebooting, you should be greeted with the login prompt. This concludes the installation guide. Please continue to the setup guide.

Valid XHTML 1.1