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Old 26th July 2008
corey_james corey_james is offline
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Default FreeBSD Install Without Sysinstall

I was bored and thought i'd do a freebsd installation without the "aid" of sysinstall. Here's some instructions if anyone else wishes to do it

Here's how to do it:

Required materials :
FreeBSD install ISO
A hard drive
A current install of FreeBSD ( or a live cd )

1. Boot you freebsd installation
2. mount the ISO image
# mkdir /mnt/iso
# mdconfig -a -t vnode -f /path/to/iso -u 0
# mount -r /dev/md0 /mnt/iso
3. Create a slice on your drive ( assume /dev/da0 is the new freebsd drive ).
# sudo fdisk -i /dev/da0
Ensure your slice is marked as active
4. Create the partitions with bsdlabel. It's easier to use your current partition table and just edit. Here is the bsdlabel file i made
# size offset fstype [fsize bsize bps/cpg]
# / - offset of the root partition MUST be zero else the system wont boot
a: 1g 0 4.2BSD
# swap
b: 1g * swap
c: * * unused
d: 20g * 4.2BSD
# /tmp
e: 2g * 4.2BSD
# /var
f: 2g * 4.2BSD
# ZFS /home ( does not need a partition type but make it anyway )
g: * * 4.2BSD
5. newfs all your partitions
# newfs /dev/da0s1a
6. mount all your partitions
# mkdir /mnt/install
# mount /dev/da0s1a /mnt/install
# cd /mnt/install
# mkdir usr var tmp
# mount /dev/da0s1d /usr
# mount /dev/da0s1e /tmp
# mount /dev/da0s1f /var
7. untar all the files onto the drive. The freebsd installation is simple, all it does is boots up a mini OS and runs a few shell scripts that do the untarring. All you'll have to do here is run them manually
# cd /mnt/iso 
# ls
7.0-RELEASE     HARDWARE.HTM    README.TXT      boot            docbook.css
ERRATA.HTM      HARDWARE.TXT    RELNOTES.HTM    boot.catalog    floppies
ERRATA.TXT      README.HTM      RELNOTES.TXT    cdrom.inf       packages
# cd  7.0-RELEASE
# ls
base            doc             kernels         ports
catpages        games           lib32           proflibs
dict            info            manpages        src
Now, you need to export your installation directory so that the install.sh scripts will know where to untar the files.
# export DESTDIR=/mnt/install
Now run the 'install.sh' scripts in each of the directories. You will need to specify arguments for 'kernels/install.sh' and 'src/install.sh'. These arguments are quite self explanatory and explained when you run the script.
If you are really lazy you can do the following:
# for i in `ls | grep -v kernel | grep -v src`; do cd $i; ./install.sh; cd ..; done
Then run kernels/install.sh and src/install.sh with appropriate args.
7. That's it !
"No, that's wrong, Cartman. But don't worry, there are no stupid answers, just stupid people." -- Mr. Garrison

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Old 26th July 2008
TerryP's Avatar
TerryP TerryP is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: USofA
Posts: 1,547

It's really come a long way since 4.4BSD eh?
My Journal

Thou shalt check the array bounds of all strings (indeed, all arrays), for surely where thou typest ``foo'' someone someday shall type ``supercalifragilisticexpialidocious''.
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Old 26th July 2008
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ephemera ephemera is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 537

just goes to show how simple things can be in unix if you know the stuff.
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Old 26th July 2008
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Carpetsmoker Carpetsmoker is offline
Real Name: Martin Tournoij
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 2,245

You don't even need the CD, you can get the files from:

You'll need at least the kernels/ and base/ directories, the others are optional.

Or you can make your own stuff by running ``make release'' in /usr/src/release/, useful if you want to make a CD for STABLE or CURRENT.
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Old 18th December 2009
Beastie Beastie is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: /dev/earth0
Posts: 335

Putting FreeBSD's simplicity and minimalism in practice. Well done!

I have 3 comments if that's okay with you.

The generic kernel will be extracted somewhere like /mnt/install/boot/GENERIC/ (IIRC) so you have to # mv /mnt/install/boot/GENERIC/* /mnt/install/boot/kernel/ and remove the GENERIC directory.

Creating a valid /etc/fstab file or copying one from a similar setup may avoid an unpleasant system startup.

Optional: /cdrom.../cdromN directories are created by sysinstall(8) and should therefore be created manually if needed.
May the source be with you!
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Old 19th December 2009
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Oliver_H Oliver_H is offline
Real Name: Oliver Herold
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 427

There is even a very small live cd for such installations: mfsbsd

use UNIX or die :-)
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Old 19th December 2009
Beastie Beastie is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Posts: 335

A manual ZFS setup is a tedious process without proper support in sysinstall, so I can see how mfsBSD can be useful (zfsinstall script).
But for simple UFS setups I prefer a manual livefs way. It's more fun.
May the source be with you!
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