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Install FreeBSD 13.1

This was written as simple install instructions for our customers who are installing FreeBSD 13.1 + Xfce

** EDIT 1 - 13.2 is out - added upgrade instructions at end **

Install on bare metal, generic kernel

Basic freebsd install is straightforward :-


Explicitly choose keyboard map (likely UK if Ireland not available)

(Selections are made with space bar)

You know your hostname - enter your details when asked

Click ok at Distribution Select

Install with ZFS (single disk / mirror / raid 1+0 / raidz depending on your setup) plus UEFI

Installer will do it’s thing, until…

At root password prompt enter unique, strong never used elsewhere password and repeat it

For network - chose wired (for now) and accept defaults for IPv4 & IPv6

At network configuration screen click OK

Local or UTC (GMT) clock prompt - click no

Explicitly choose timezone (likely Europe / Ireland)

IST is reasonable - yes

Skip date

Skip time

Select ntpdate & ntpd when asked at System Configuration (select other options as required)

At system hardening screen chose appropriately (maybe 5-10 on desktop install ?)

Add User Accounts - yes

When creating first user at ‘invite $USER into other groups’ prompt:- wheel operator video

Else, accept defaults, but give your user a password & type yes at end

If you have other users to add at this point type yes else type no




SECTION 2. First Boot

At console - root login (use root password you entered above) (these 3 lines should be run fairly often to keep up)

# freebsd-update fetch

(After it’s applied patches - might need a q or two or three to get back to prompt)

# freebsd-update install
# reboot

SECTION 3. Second Boot

2a. Initial Packages

At console - root login again

# pkg install nano

(if it asks to install package manager type y) note : pkg install requires affirmative y to proceed you can do # pkg install -y ************

# pkg install xorg
# pkg install xfce xfce4-goodies xfce4-places-plugin
# pkg install lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter
# pkg install usbutils networkmgr fusefs-ifuse fusefs-ntfs
# sysrc dbus_enable=YES lightdm_enable=YES
# sysrc kld_list+=fusefs

2b. Video Drivers

Install relevant 1 of the following video drivers:-


# pkg install drm-kmod
# sysrc kld_list+=amdgpu


# pkg install drm-kmod
# sysrc kld_list+=i915kms


# pkg install nvidia-driver
# sysrc kld_list+=nvidia-modeset

2c. Zpools

You have already exported your pools

# zpool import

Will list pools and you can import by name/id

Give your user(s) relevant access to your pools, possibly :

# chown -R $USER: /$POOL

2d. Install applications useful to you (below are just some suggestions)

# pkg install firefox terminator irssi thunar-archive-plugin libreoffice cmus file-roller sudo vlc ................

2e. WiFi Network

**** start wireless

# sysctl net.wlan.devices

That will return something like rsu0

(Substitute your 3 letters for rsu if necessary)

# nano /boot/loader.conf
Add eof 1 line : if_rsu_load=“YES”

Save & Exit

# nano /etc/rc.conf
Add eof 3 lines : wlans_rsu0=“wlan0”
                  Ifconfig_wlan0=”WPA SYNCDHCP”
                  create_args_wlan0=“country IE regdomain ETSI”

Save & Exit

# nano /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
Add eof 4 lines : network={
                    ssid=your WiFi network ssid name
                    psk=your WiFi network ssid password

Save & Exit

# service netif restart

This will show (towards the end of wlan0) … status: associated WiFi is alive. Happy days

# ifconfig wlan0 list scan

This will show your WiFi network(s)

**** end Wireless

2f. Shells

Some of you prefer zsh or fish etc to sh

# pkg search zsh


# pkg search fish

and then

# pkg install **** 

as required

Note - you might also want to

# pkg install powerline-fonts
# chsh for user as per usual if required

2g. Sudo

If you want sudoers : to allow your original created user as member of wheel group to be a sudoer

# visudo

Remove comment from line commencing # %wheel

Save & Exit (be very aware of and action any messages/warnings)

(Better to be safe rather than sorry :))

2h. Sound

# pkg install xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin xfce4-volumed-pulse
# nano /boot/loader.conf
Add eof 1 line : snd_driver_load=“YES”

Save & Exit

# cat /dev/sndstat

This will list your sound card(s) & show current default

The unit number is derived from the pcm number - pcm0 is unit 0 & pcm4 is unit 4 etc

If the default shown is not the one you require, then

# sysctl hw.snd.default_unit=4

To make your default choice permanent

# nano /etc/sysctl.conf
Add eof 1 line : hw.snd.default_unit=4

Save & Exit

[ Note : the default unit for your system might well be different to 4 ]

2i. Package Update Keep packages up to date with 2 commands

# pkg update
# pkg upgrade

(You’ll want to run these 2 regularly)

# reboot

SECTION 3 First User Boot

You can now login to Xfce as user & configure it as you require: Panels, keyboard, fonts, window manager, cursor, screensaver, themes, power manager, icons, wallpaper etc

And you’ve got FreeBSD + Xfce up and running - it’s now back to real work my friends

But (there’s always a but) please consider helping the FreeBSD community :- Donation / port maintenance / tester etc etc Many Thanks

3a CD/DVD Burning

Some of you might burn cd and/or dvd with Xfburn etc

If it fails to find your device.....

(Note - if your user is not sudoer, run all as root)

$ sudo nano /etc/devfs.rules

(this file might be empty)

(if [system 10] aleady exists just add the 3 lines under it)

Add 4 lines : [system=10]
              add path 'cd*' mode 666
              add path 'pass*' mode 666
              add path 'xpt0' mode 666

Save & Exit

$ sudo sysrc devfs_system_ruleset="system"
$ sudo service devfs restart

EDIT 1 Upgrade to 13.2

Run the following commands to upgrade FreeBSD 13.1 to FreeBSD 13.2 :

(Note - if your user is not sudoer, run all as root)

$ sudo pkg update
$ sudo reboot 

Logon as your user

$ sudo freebsd-update -r 13.2-RELEASE upgrade

(Likely download well in excess of 1000 patches)

it'll ask a couple of times if looks reasonable - type y and enter

enter q at : a couple of times to return to prompt

(Note - a couple of reboots below)

$ sudo freebsd-update install
$ sudo reboot
$ sudo freebsd-update install 

(it'll check the certificates etc this time)

$ sudo reboot

After logging back into Xfce :

$ freebsd-version
$ uname -r

(these last two commands show the same result)

Package Upgrade

$ sudo pkg update
$ sudo pkg upgrade 

(the system is upgraded, this will upgrade any packages) .

Any errors/omissions - let me know...

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