MediaWiki:Welcome to the Howto page/FreeBSD/Installing FreeBSD

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For this guide to install FreeBSD, the FreeBSD 8.0 x64 RELEASE version has been used which is demonstrated in a Microsoft Hyper-V environment as it was the only thing available to assist in writing this guide; however, standard H/W installs and VMWare or Citrix Xen installs should be the same from the BSD part.

The current virtualized specifications are as follows:

  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 4096MB RAM
  • 1 x 40GB HD + 2 x 50GB HD
  • Base OS is MS Server 2008 R2 x64

A base install of the operating system will be performed with only the necessary configuration in order to login to the system and all other packages/config will be performed post install once the 'build environment' has been installed.


To start with insert the FreeBSD CD or have an ISO image handy. Once booted select your country/region and the correct key-map for your keyboard and then 'Standard Install'.

Setup the hard disk partitioning; Press a to select the full disk, c to create partitions, and q when done. There are two examples here, in the first the disk has been partitioned while in the second the full disk has been selected.

The bootloader installation comes after the disk has been provisioned so the options are either to install a standard one which will basically boot into the active partition meaning BSD partition 1 slice 1, install the FreeBSD bootmanager which can boot various operating systems, or to not have one: this is useful if running a multiboot system where something like GRUB has been installed.

Now create the slices needed to install the BSD filesystem and swap space environment. The demo shows a root slice, /, having 37GB with the swap space having the remainder of disk space which is around 3GB.

From here we are asked which type of installation we would like to perform so the minimal version or base install has been chosen.

Once the installation has gone through, the network interface and network services need to be setup. Since I'm on a test environment currently the system has been provisioned with my allocated test system IP address and provisional DNS server. The domain doesn't actually exist but was taken from an old 1980's movie called Short Circuit as the imaginary company contracted out by the US government to build hi-tech systems.

Additionally the internet service server daemon inetd has been installed and activated to provide SSH input to the server for remote configuration and administration. inetd can handle many services including: FTP, TFTP, BootP, NFS, etc... but none of them have been enabled for the writing of this install.

The next stage is to customize the system console and the clock. Both will be left at their defaults for this demo, however, for the system clock I will not be using UTC (universal time code) as the system is virtual so it is not recommended. Also the system will ask to configure the time-zone and regional information in terms of keyboard type.

Afterwards the installer will ask to configure the mouse of which a standard PS/2 will work in most situations including with a notebook touchpad. Then we will exit the installer; upon exiting it will ask if any packages should be installed so since this is a base install we won't bother with that.

The installer will now ask to configure group accounts and user accounts. In order to gain super user, su, access the user account will need to be added to the group wheel. The order should be group first then account if the account should be added to a specific group not yet created.

From here we need to configure the super user or root password, then finally exit and reboot the system.


Now that we have a fully working system in order we can login and start adding certain parts that will enable us to build and install packages later. Base and system sources have been selected to be installed also the ports collection has been selected in order to build the latest packages that will serve the rest of the BSD guides.

Please take note however that the Buildworld environment needs to have all sources installed into the system in order to compile and build. This however should really only affect people who wish to use FreeBSD Jails as standard non-Jail configured systems will run fine with the default selection above.