FreeBSD 8.0 - New Installation

I performed a FreeBSD 8.0 installation on my AMD64 CPU machine starting on April 26, 2010.

This is an incomplete description I'm keeping for my own reference.


In December, 2010, I prepared an installation DVD of FreeBSD 8.0 for the amd46 platform. In April, 2010, I installed two identical Western Digital Caviar Green 640 GB hard drives with the eventual plan to mirror them.


I didn't need to adjust the BIOS settings for initial installation.

The BIOS provides the ability to select a priority order of boot devices, which I kept at DVD, hard drive, and floppy drive (I still have one of those). The BIOS provided the ability to select a priority order among all optical drives (kept the existing order) and hard drives (kept the existing order, which appeared to be based on the numbering of the SATA ports - I kept SATA 1 for the existing hard drive with FreeBSD 7.0, and used SATA 2 and 3 for the new drives.

Initial Installation of 8.0

Inserted installation DVD, rebooted, chose choice 1 (normal boot) in FreeBSD boot menu. Selected United States in the countries menu. In the main installation menu, chose Custom but that looked more advanced than I wanted to try. Back to the main installation menu, chose Standard.

Setting up Drives

I had the choice of drives ad4, ad6, and ad8. I chose ad6 for the installation - that is one of the new 640GB drives.

At first I tried to add the following partitions:

However, the partition numbering system broke down for /home and /work, providing partition names of X and Y, respectively. This looked like an indication that sysinstall would not handle more than 7 partitions on a drive.

Sure enough, when I attempted to complete the installation and reboot, the boot aborted because it was not able to handle the X and Y partitions.

Then, I tried the following partitions:

This worked once I completed the remainder of the installation process.

Network Setup

I chose, as before, the nfe0 device which has had support for it in the kernel since 7.0.

Ports and Packages

I forgot to note all of the packages I installed. Included:

I could not install linux_base_f10_10_2.

I typically install by building from source, so I installed a minimum number of packages.

Users and Groups

I added myself as a user, in a group with my name (what happens when leave the group name blank), and added myself to the wheel group.

I set the root password.

Creating RAID 1 Mirror

My main two resources for creating a pair of mirrored disks were:

The latter resource was the primary one.

FreeBSD 4.9 - New Installation

Here are the details on how I prepare a new installation of FreeBSD (based on 4.9) on a machine intended for use as a workstation (not a server, so I install X).

Booting the FreeBSD installation CD

Configure your machine so you can boot off the CD, then do so to enter the installation program

Kernel Installation

  1. Skip the Kernel Configuration
  2. Choose Standard Installation
  3. Partition the disk(s) - use entire disk for FreeBSD unless you are dual-booting, then retain the boot disk for the existing operating system, and use the other disks for FreeBSD

Disk Partitioning


  1. On Distributions, choose ALL for workstations, choose SERVER for servers
  2. Choose yes when asked if you want to install the ports tree
  3. Exit to the previous form
  4. Choose which medium to use in order to install FreeBSD (CD/DVD by default)
  5. Confirm disk writes

Post-installation Setup

This isn't post-installation in the way I'm listing my web pages. This involves after the initial generic kernel is installed, but still within the same invocation of the FreeBSD installation program.

  1. Configure Ethernet
  2. Bring the Ethernet interface up
  3. Don't designate/setup this machine as a network gateway
  4. Don't activate inetd
  5. Don't permit anonymous FTP
  6. Don't set up as an NFS Server
  7. Don't set up as an NFS Client
  8. Don't set a default security profile (use moderate security)
  9. Customize system console settings (like the screensaver)
  10. Set time zone
  11. Enable Linux binary compatibility
  12. System has a non-USB mouse
    1. Enable/run mouse daemon
    2. Ensure mouse moves in test
  13. Don't do X Server configuration here. Do it later, after exiting the installation program, else failure to configure X will kill post-install phase of the installation program.


Say Yes when asked if you want to browse the package collection, then choose the following packages

View the summary screen showing the packages you chose, then confirm your choices

The Remaining Stuff

  1. Add users and groups - add user for me in wheel group
  2. Set system administrator password
  3. Say No to "Visit general config menu?"
  4. Exit install
  5. Confirm yes
  6. reboot

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