How to install FreeBSD on x86 GNU GRUB payload


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FreeBSD might show graphical corruption during bootup. You can fix this by altering the order in which kernel modules/drivers are loaded. First, try moving video to an earlier stage on the boot process, or try moving it to a later stage instead. With this, you should be able to get a working display.

freebsd.img is the installation image for FreeBSD. Adapt the filename accordingly, for whatever FreeBSD version you use.

Prepare the USB drive (in FreeBSD)

This page on the FreeBSD website shows how to create a bootable USB drive for installing FreeBSD. Use the dd on that page.

Prepare the USB drive (in NetBSD)

This page on the NetBSD website shows how to create a NetBSD bootable USB drive from within NetBSD itself. You should use the dd method documented there; you can use this with any ISO, including FreeBSD.

Prepare the USB drive (in LibertyBSD or OpenBSD)

If you downloaded your ISO on a LibertyBSD or OpenBSD system, here is how to create the bootable FreeBSD USB drive:

Connect the USB drive. Check dmesg:

dmesg | tail

Check to confirm which drive it is, for example, if you think its sd3:

disklabel sd3

Check that it wasn’t automatically mounted. If it was, unmount it. For example:

doas umount /dev/sd3i

dmesg told you what device it is. Overwrite the drive, writing the FreeBSD installer to it with dd. For example:

doas dd if=freebsd.img of=/dev/rsdXc bs=1M; sync

You should now be able to boot the installer from your USB drive. Continue reading, for information about how to do that.

Prepare the USB drive (in GNU+Linux)

If you downloaded your ISO on a GNU+Linux system, here is how to create the bootable FreeBSD USB drive:

Connect the USB drive. Check dmesg:

dmesg

Check lsblk to confirm which drive it is:

lsblk

Check that it wasn’t automatically mounted. If it was, unmount it. For example:

sudo umount /dev/sdX\*
umount /dev/sdX\*

dmesg told you what device it is. Overwrite the drive, writing your distro ISO to it with dd. For example:

sudo dd if=freebsd.img of=/dev/sdX bs=8M; sync
dd if=freebsd.img of=/dev/sdX bs=8M; sync

You should now be able to boot the installer from your USB drive. Continue reading, for information about how to do that.

Installing FreeBSD without full disk encryption

Press C in GRUB to access the command line:

grub> kfreebsd (usb0,gpt3)/boot/kernel/kernel
grub> set FreeBSD.vfs.mountfrom=ufs:/dev/da1p3\
grub> boot

It will start booting into the FreeBSD installer. Follow the normal process for installing FreeBSD.

Installing FreeBSD with full disk encryption

TODO

Booting

TODO

Configuring Grub

TODO

Troubleshooting

Most of these issues occur when using osboot with coreboot’s ‘text mode’ instead of the coreboot framebuffer. This mode is useful for booting payloads like memtest86+ which expect text-mode, but for FreeBSD it can be problematic when they are trying to switch to a framebuffer because it doesn’t exist.

In most cases, you should use the corebootfb ROM images. There ROM images have corebootfb in the file name, and they start in a high resolution frame buffer, provided by coreboot’s libgfxinit library.

won’t boot…something about file not found

Your device names (i.e. usb0, usb1, sd0, sd1, wd0, ahci0, hd0, etc) and numbers may differ. Use TAB completion.

Markdown file for this page: https://osboot.org/docs/bsd/freebsd.md

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