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Old 10th May 2008
Nirbo Nirbo is offline
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Default NIC-less FreeBSD and VMware

Hello forumgoers! I just popped by BSDForums and was surprised to see most everyone gone.

So I came along and brought the only howto I ever compiled with me (of course, after doing a touch of clean-up work and reading the thread on copying BSDForums posts being tricky business.)

BUT to the point.

I've recently purchased a new PC, and I couldn't be happier with it. But it sports an ASUS board with on-board Attansic L1 Gigabit Ethernet. Which is entirely not supported by FreeBSD (a driver appears to be in works, but as of May 8th, performance is poor).

Alas, I am not deterred! And was wondering... have any of you given FreeBSD a go in VMware recently (planning to use Vista as a host OS) and gotten it online that way?

I'd love nothing more to Dual-Boot Vista/FreeBSD and boot the FreeBSD partition primarily through VMware, tracking CURRENT obsessively in hopes of a better tomorrow (driver-wise of course, tracking -CURRENT for jollies isn't for the faint of heart!)

Might also be able to test some of the prospective drivers that Pyun YongHyeon has been working on too.

So, how do you think it'll work? Should I give it up before I hurt myself, or can I expect some manner of success?
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Old 10th May 2008
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I've installed FreeBSD many times in vmware workstation. I haven't ever used vmware in Windows though (only on Linux hosts) but it should be the very same with regard to running a guest OS.

FreeBSD 7 should work well in Vmware. I tried a 7-CURRENT several months ago in vmware first before installing it for real.

Certainly you will be able to "get it online" that way, if your NIC is working in the host OS. Bridged networking is the best, because then your virtual machines will act like like real machines as far as networking is concerned (i.e. your virtual machine will have it's own IP address).

If you're going to install it in Vmware, I would just recommend using virtual disks rather than raw disks (as you are alluding to by saying you want to "boot the freebsd partition"). With virtual disks, when you create your virtual machine you just create your disks of the desired size, and they are files that reside on your native filesystem. This is the normal way of doing things.
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Old 10th May 2008
Nirbo Nirbo is offline
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Thanks for the reply

Aye, I've used VMware a few times with virtual disks... but my theory with booting it from the raw disk is that I should be able to pop into FreeBSD without VMware as well. Either to check out progress on the age0 driver, or to simply stare at what a computer looks like without internet.

And then when there is a driver that gets committed, I can just drop VMware, update, and rock out.

But I think I will go virtual disk. It's not like it takes any real effort to install Vista/FreeBSD. One disc, nap. Second Disc, nap. Occasionally it'll ask me annoying questions, and for configurations. If I time it right, should only take a few hours. If I take too many naps, a couple of days. Either way
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Old 10th May 2008
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The virtual hardware is different than the real hardware. Though with FreeBSD it probably wouldn't be too bad, the stock GENERIC kernel would just bind different drivers when you boot (I think it would boot) and you'd have to do things like reconfigure your network (you wouldn't be using the amd lance driver anymore and the interface name would be different) and anything you've done in loader.conf would need changing (e.g. kldloading your sound driver).

I've never tried anything like that though but I'd imagine a FreeBSD disk would transplant OK.
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Old 10th May 2008
Nirbo Nirbo is offline
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I've just found a seemingly more insane (ergo more fun) solution.

I plugged the USB Network Adapter from my Wii into my Vista box and it spat out ASIX AX88772. One google later and it turns out that there is an axe0 driver for this device in FreeBSD.

Thanks for the advice though. And yes, it should boot with GENERIC. Any machine you throw the drive into should boot with GENERIC. Of course, rolling a new kernel is usually one of the first things I do putting all that stuff in loader.conf is just a nuisance when you know you need it!

Of course, now I'm itching to play with VMware. But first things first. I need to get FreeBSD up!
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Old 10th May 2008
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On second thought, I'm not so sure that would work in that direction. Better have a read about raw disks:
http://www.vmware.com/support/ws55/d...nstall_os.html
http://www.vmware.com/support/refere...ion_linux.html
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Old 10th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirbo View Post
I plugged the USB Network Adapter from my Wii into my Vista box and it spat out ASIX AX88772. One google later and it turns out that there is an axe0 driver for this device in FreeBSD.
Cool, and of course you could always install a plain jane PCI card NIC in the machine that would be sure to work with FreeBSD.

That's in fact what I do... I really hate my onboard Marvel Yukon2... works like crap in Linux and I don't even think FreeBSD has a driver for it. It's disabled and forgotten and I just use an ordinary realtek 8139 based NIC that works in all my OSes.

Last edited by Grogan; 10th May 2008 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 10th May 2008
Nirbo Nirbo is offline
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I'll read more through those pages when I get home from work . From the first few paragraphs all I get is, "It might be best to use virtual disks, because raw disks can be tricky and break expectantly"

And yes, my old bos had a Realtek 8139. It was beautiful for everything I ever did with it.

Only trick with this machine is it's brand new, and I would prefer not to crack it open if I can avoid it . Wouldn't look too good on the warranty if they opened it up and found it full of silly putty.
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Old 10th May 2008
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Heheh, silly putty. Note, however, that the little "warranty void if removed" is BS. They don't actually have a right to make that claim as long as you are competent and don't damage anything, if they were actually taken to task for it. They can, however, say whatever they want. "If you remove this sticker, you own us 1 million dollars" or "Clicking OK indicates your acceptance of the terms of this software license" ( you get the picture )

Installing a card in a slot is normal usage.
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Old 11th May 2008
Nirbo Nirbo is offline
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True enough.

Of course, I've done another 160 degree turn backto VMware and virtual disk space

Why? Because the Ethernet through USB is so dang slow, and the DVD-rom drive (SATA) is loading the install disc perfectly, but not being detected after this Effectively making CD/DVD install impossible, and FTP install annoying, heh heh.

Also, I'd have to check if there is an open PCI slot. I know it's got a PCI express x16, anda x1. I think it has two open PCI, but I'm not certain.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirbo View Post
Why? Because the Ethernet through USB is so dang slow, and the DVD-rom drive (SATA) is loading the install disc perfectly, but not being detected after this Effectively making CD/DVD install impossible, and FTP install annoying, heh heh.
Hmm, that is annoying and it should be fixed by now. During the 7.0-CURRENT, the kernel didn't yet support SATA optical drives (printed a message in dmesg saying that even) but it does now. I had to install CURRENT from an NFS mount because I'd get all the way to the media selection and it couldn't detect a drive. None of the FTP servers in the list had the files for what I was trying to install, so I had to copy the CDs to one of my Linux boxes and mount it for the install. I have my SATA controllers in AHCI mode... it may have worked in IDE mode. (didn't try it).

7.0-RELEASE installed just fine for me, from my SATA DVD drive though. Fully supported now... I've even got CD/DVD writing working through through the atapicam scsi emulation interface.
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Old 11th May 2008
Nirbo Nirbo is offline
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Hm, odd... I was using an 8.0-CURRENT snapshot. The 7.0-RELEASE disc was a boot-only one I was using to see if my original 7.0-RELEASE disc1 was buggered (sure enough, it was!)
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