Install FreeBSD 8.0 from USB memory stick

Martin Wilke has a useful step-by-setp guide (via to install FreeBSD 8.0 (stable version yet to be released) from a USB pendrive:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da0 bs=1k count=1
bsdlabel -Bw da0 auto
newfs -L FreeBSD /dev/da0a
mdconfig -a -t vnode -f 8.0-HEAD-20090609-JPSNAP-i386-dvd1 -u 0 && mount -r -t cd9660 /dev/md0 /mnt/iso
mount /dev/da0a /mnt/USB-Stick
copy all files from your mounted cd in to your USB-Stick, after that you need to create a fstab for your USB-Stick
vi /mnt/USB-Stick/etc/fstab and put following in:
/dev/ufs/FreeBSD / ufs ro 0 0

FreeBSD Security Advisories (ntp, ipv6, pipe)

The FreeBSD Security Team has issued the following security warnings:

For background info, problem description, impact, workaround and solutions, have a look at the individual advisory pages.

Virtualbox available in FreeBSD ports

Martin Wilke reports that VirtualBox is now available in the FreeBSD Ports directory:

Today Virtualbox was committed to the FreeBSD ports tree. After a lot of work we had a good discussion today about how stable Virtualbox is, and after the CTF with take6 we got a lot of good feedback, so it was time to commit. Please READ the pkg-messages carefully, as well as the wiki page.

FreeBSD custom build ISO available

freebsd project logo 100x100Manolis Kiagias has announced a project that he has started: Building custom FreeBSD ISO’s:

I believe this list (and probably the forums) would be the best place to announce one of my little projects, namely the building of custom FreeBSD install discs (DVD sized for desktops, CD sized for servers) with the latest release and updated packages.

I have been experimenting lately with ‘make release’ and ports’ building using ports-mgmt/tinderbox. I am using a dedicated system for building the base system and packages. The purpose of this experiment (besides the educational value of it) is to allow me to build FreeBSD discs with custom and up to date packages. These will in turn reduce
significantly the amount of time required to install new systems (esp. desktops which need hundred of packages).

This is just short of 1GB and contains the following:

- – FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE base system (standard bootable / installable disc) 
- – Selection of custom packages that can be installed either during installation via sysinstall or at a later time (again using sysinstall or pkg_add etc).

Many other useful packages are also included as dependencies of the ones listed above. This iso does not contain openoffice (to keep the size smaller) and multimedia apps (to avoid licensing problems). Future versions of the builds may have broader / different selection of packages, depending on the feedback received by the community.

Installation is no different than an official FreeBSD CD, other than when you reach the package selection screen, you will be shown the custom set of packages. The ports tree included in the CD is the one used to actually build the packages. I will soon upload a tarball with the options used – not all packages where built with the default options.

The whole announcement can be read here.

ZFS version 13 in FreeBSD (Current)

Kip Macy has committed a couple of long-discussed patches to ZFS on FreeBSD current (and 7-Stable) to increase its stability. Most paches are similar to those on OpenSolaris, and they should bring FreeBSD up to Solaris  ZFS level with regards to performance and stability.

  •  the recurring deadlock was fixed by deferring vinactive to a dedicated thread
  •  zfs boot for all pool types now works
  •  kmem now goes up to 512GB so arc is now limited by physmem
  •  the arc now experiences backpressure from the vm (which can be too much – but this allows ZFS to work without any tunables on amd64)
  •  frequently recurring LOR in the ARC fixed
  •  zfs send coredump fix
  •  fixes for various PRs


FreeBSD gets hierarchical Jails

FreeBSD’s jails technology has been updated with an interesting new feature: 

Add hierarchical jails. A jail may further virtualize its environment by creating a child jail, which is visible to that jail and to any parent jails. Child jails may be restricted more than their parents, but never less. Jail names reflect this hierarchy, being MIB-style dot-separated strings.

More details