Installing a Unix Like Operating System “FreeBSD 10.1” and Configuring Network

FreeBSD is a Free Unix like operating system from Berkeley Software distribution, which is available for all major platforms x86_64, IA-32, POWERPC, ARM etc, and mainly focuses on features, speed, and performance stability.

FreeBSD 10.1 Installation Guide
FreeBSD 10.1 Installation Guide

FreeBSD used by many top-level IT companies like Juniper Networks, NetApp, Nokia, IBM, etc. and available for server platforms with command line interface only, but we can use any other Desktop environments such as Xfce, KDE, GNOME etc. to make it user friendly distro.

My Environment Setup
IP Address	:	192.0.2.142
Hostname	:	freebsd.tecmintlocal.com
Hard Disk	:	10GB
Memory		:	1GB

This article will walk you through the some brief instructions on installing FreeBSD 10.1 and configure network (setting static IP address) interfaces using a text-based installation utility named bsdinstall under i386 and AMD64 architectures.

Installation of FreeBSD 10.1

1. First go the official FreeBSD site, and download FreeBSD installer for your architecture, the installer comes in a variety of different formats including CD, DVD, Network Install, USB images, as well as Virtual Machine images.

2. After downloading FreeBSD installer image, burn it to the media (CD/DVD or USB), and boot the system with inserted media. After system boots with the installation media, a following menu will be displayed.

FreeBSD Boot Menu
FreeBSD Boot Menu

3. By default, the menu will wait for 10 seconds for user input before it booting into the FreeBSD installer or we can press ‘Backspace‘ key to continue the installation, and then press ‘Enter‘ key to booting into FreeBSD. Once the boot is complete, a welcome menu displayed with following options.

FreeBSD Welcome Screen
FreeBSD Welcome Screen

Press Enter to choose the default option ‘Install‘, or you can choose ‘Shell‘ to access command line programs to prepare the disks before installation or select ‘Live CD‘ option to try out FreeBSD before installing it. But, here we going to use default option ‘Install‘ as we are installing FreeBSD.

4. Next, a list of keymaps shown, with the default selection of Keymap, just choose default option to continue with keymap setup.

FreeBSD Keymap Selection
FreeBSD Keymap Selection

5. Next, give a hostname for our system, I have used freebsd.tecmintlocal.com as my hostname.

Set Hostname
Set Hostname

6. Choose the components to install for FreeBSD, by default every option is preselected except Source and Documentation.

Select Install Components
Select Install Components

7. In this step, we need to partition the Disk for our installation. Here you will have four options:

  1. Guided – This option automatically creates disk partitions.
  2. Manual – This option enables advance users to create customized partitions from menu options.
  3. Shell – This option allows users to create customized partitions using command line tools such as fdisk, gpart, etc.
  4. ZFS – This option allows us to create encrypted root-on-ZFS system with support for boot environments.

But, here we going to choose ‘Manual‘ option to create partitions as per our needs.

Disk Partitioning
Disk Partitioning

8. After selecting ‘Manual Partitioning‘, a partition editor opens with highlighted drive ‘ad0‘ and choose Create for Creating a valid partition scheme.

Partition Editor
Partition Editor

9. Next, choose GPT to create a Partition table. GPT is usually the most selected method for amd64 computers. Older computers, which are not compatible with GPT should use MBR.

Select GPT Partition
Select GPT Partition
Select Partition Schema
Select Partition Schema

10. After creating the Partition table, now you can see that our Disk was changed to GPT partition table, Choose ‘Create‘ to define the partitions.

GPT Partition Schema
GPT Partition Schema

11. Now, here we need to define three Partitions for /boot, Swap, /. I’m going to define my partition size as follows.

  1. /boot – 512 MB in Size
  2. Swap 1GB in Size
  3. / 9GB in Size

Choose ‘Create‘ and define the partitions one by one, at first boot ‘Type‘ needs to be ‘freebsd-boot‘ and size here I have used 512K and press OK to create next Partition Swap.

Create Boot Partition
Create Boot Partition

Choose ‘Create‘ and define swap partition for 1 GB and Press OK.

Create Swap Partition
Create Swap Partition

Then again Choose ‘Create‘ and define / partition. Now use the remaining size for / partition. Use Type as freebsd-ufs and mount point as /.

Create Root Partition
Create Root Partition

12. After creating all partitions we will get the below layout. Choose ‘Finish‘ to move forward for next step for installation.

Partition Layout
Partition Layout

13. Once the disks are created, the next window provides the last chance to edit changes before the selected disk(s) are formatted. If you wish to make change, select [ Back ] to go back to the main partitioning menu or select [ Revert & Exit ] to exit installer without modifying any changes to the disk. But, here we need to select ‘Commit‘ to start the installation and press ‘Enter‘.

Partition Formatting
Partition Formatting

14. Once the installer formats all selected disks, then it initializes the partitions to download and verify all the selected components, and then downloaded components are extracted to the disk..as shown in the picture below.

Archive Extraction
Archive Extraction

15. Once all requested distribution packages have been extracted to the disk, the next window displays the first post-installation configuration screen. Here, first you need to set ‘root‘ password for our FreeBSD server.

Set Root Password
Set Root Password

Configuring Network Interfaces

16. Next, a list of available network interfaces are displayed on the screen, select the interface to configure. Here I have only one network adapter. If you have multiple network adapters choose the adapter which you need to use.

Configure Network Interfaces
Configure Network Interfaces

17. Next, select whether or not an IPv4 address should be defined on the selected Ethernet interface. Here we’ve 2 options to configure network interface, one is using DHCP which will automatically assign a IP address to our network interface, second defining IP address manually. But, here we are assigning a static IP address to computer as shown below.

Network Configuration
Network Configuration
Set Static IP Address
Set Static IP Address

18. Next, enter a valid DNS server IP in IPv4 DNS #1 and #2 and Press OK to continue.

Add DNS Server IP
Add DNS Server IP

19. The next option prompt you to check system clock uses UTC or local time, if you have doubt, just select ‘No‘ to select the more commonly used local time.

Select System Clock
Select System Clock

20. The next windows ask you to set correct local time and time zone.

Set Time Zone
Set Time Zone
Select Country Region
Select Country Region

21. Next, select the services that you want to start at system boots.

Enabling Services
Enabling Services

22. The next option, ask you to create at least one user account to login into system as non-root account to keep system more safe and secure. Select [ Yes ] to add new users.

Add New User
Add New User

Follow the prompts and enter the requested information for the user account (example user ‘tecmint‘) as shown in the picture below.

User Information
User Information

After entering user information above, a summary is shown for review. If any mistake was made during user creation, enter no and try again. If everything is entered correctly, enter yes to create the new user.

User Confirmation
User Confirmation

23. After configured everything above, a final chance is given to modify or change settings. After any final configuration is complete, select Exit.

Final Configuration
Final Configuration

24. After installation is completed, select ‘Reboot‘ reboot the system and start using your new FreeBSD system.

Installation Completed
Installation Completed

25. After reboot completes we will get the Terminal to login for any account, By default we will have root and tecmint which we have created during installation. Login to root account and check for system information’s such as IP Address, host-name, file system disk space and release version.

# hostname
# ifconfig | grep inet
# uname -mrs // To get the Installed FreeBSD release version.
# df -h // Disk space check.
System Information
System Information

Conclusion

In this article we have seen, how we’ve installed and configured FreeBSD, in my next upcoming article, we will see how to install and configure packages in FreeBSD. If you’ve any query about installation, feel free to drop your valuable comments below.

Resources

FreeBSDhttps://www.freebsd.org

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7 thoughts on “Installing a Unix Like Operating System “FreeBSD 10.1” and Configuring Network”

  1. This is a brilliant guide and maps to the letter my experience of installing the package on my own PC (before I read this article). The problem is now I have to wait for your upcoming article, to see how to install and configure packages on my new FreeBSD system. Without this the system is useless as a home desktop operating system.

    Reply

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