How do I install FreeBSD 8?

See the updated version here:
How to install FreeBSD 9

I do this:

  1. Download the DVD.
    1. Go to
    2. Click the yellow Get FreeBSD Now button
    3. Under your appropriate processor type (in my case it is usually i386 or amd64) click ISO.
    4. I download the DVD ISO. (You can download a bunch of CD ISOs if you want.)
    5. Note: There is also a boot only, which can download fast because it is small. I often use this option because of the way I install. However, it doesn’t have the install files, instead it just has the boot files. Once you get booted, it downloads the options you have chosen to install from FreeBSD’s website or a mirror. So while the download is faster, the install may take longer. However, if you are doing a minimal install, which I usually do, it could be faster than waiting for an entire DVD to download since the DVD includes a lot of data your won’t be using for a minimal install.

  2. Burn the ISO to disk. I am not going to explain how to do this but I will say this:
    Please make sure you don’t burn the ISO as a file on the disk, but instead you burn choose the option to burn a disk from the ISO.
  3. Boot from DVD.
    1. Put the DVD (or CD) in your drive.
    2. Turn on your system or if it is on, reboot it.
    3. Make sure you BIOS is configured to allow you to boot off the DVD or CD drive.
    4. Choose to boot from the DVD or CD drive.
  4. The first “gui-like screen you will see is the Country Selection screen. Choose your Country using the up and down arrows on your keyboard to highlight your country. Once your country is highlighted, hit Enter to choose OK.
  5. The next screen is the Main Menu. Again, use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to highlight Standard. Once Standard is highlighted, hit Enter to Select it.
  6. The following screen is an informational message. Read it if you like and hit enter to choose OK.
  7. The next screen appears like a DOS screen. It is asking how much of the disk you want to dedicate to FreeBSD. Dual-booting is actaully not common anymore because of virtualization such as VMWare, so I assume you are using the entire disk.

    Press “A” on the keyboard to select the Use Entire Disk option and then press “Q” to Finish.

  8. The next screen asks if you want a boot Manager. A boot manager is mostly likely used for dual booting, so choose Standard and hit enter.
  9. The following screen is a second informational message. Read it if you like and hit enter to choose OK.
  10. The next screen appears like a DOS screen and looks very similar to the previous DOS-like screen you saw, however it is not asking how much of the disk you are going to use for FreeBSD; instead, it is asking what partitions you want and how much space you want to allocate to each partition.

    Press “A” on the keyboard to select the Auto Defaults option and then press “Q” to Finish.

  11. The next screen is the Choose Distributions screen. So let’s choose your distributions.
    1. Use the down arrow to scroll all the way down to Custom and hit Enter. This brings up the “Select the distributions you wish to install” screen.
    2. Select base and hit Enter
    3. Select kernels and hit Enter and another screen appears.
      1. Select the GENERIC kernel and hit enter. This checks the box but does not continue.
      2. Press Tab to get the cursor over the OK button and hit enter. This takes you back to the “Select the distributions you wish to install” screen.
    4. Select games.

      You may want to skip this because you are thinking, this is my server, I don’t want games. But if you are reading this, then you are not a FreeBSD guru and you are problably a newbie. The “games” option includes simple command line only games and does not take up much space. The important thing is that it includes the feature where every time you log in, you get a nice tip. You can escape your newbie-ness by paying attention to these tips, so just select games already.

    5. Select man
    6. Press Tab to move the cursor over OK.
    7. Before hitting Enter, look at it one more time and make sure you have selected these options: base, kernels, games, man.

      Yes if you are NOT a newbie select whatever you want.

    8. Hit enter. This take you back to the Choose Distributions screen
  12. Just like the last screen, press Tab to move the cursor over OK and click enter.
  13. The next options is the Choose Installation Media screen. If you downloaded the CD or DVD, select CD/DVD (which is highligted by default) so just press enter.

    I am assuming you downloaded the DVD here. Screens may differ in order slightly if you used the Boot Only CD but you should be able to figure it out.

  14. The next screen is the User Confirmation Requested screen. Up until this point, nothing has been done to your system. You drive is untouched.

    Press Enter to choose Yes and install FreeBSD.

    The drive is formatted, configured to boot to FreeBSD, the partitions are created, and the base, kernels, games, man distributions are installed.

  15. The following screen is another informational message that tells you, “Congratulations! You now have FreeBSD installed on your system”. Read it if you like and hit enter to choose OK.
  16. Now you are at the Post-installation configuration screens. You will be asked a lot of questions, most of which you will say “No” too.

  17. Would you like to configure any Ethernet or SLIP/PPP network deices:

    Choose Yes.

    This opens the Network Interface screen.

    1. Select your Ethernet card and hit Enter. The card name is not always the same.
    2. Do you want to try IPv6 configuration of the interface?

      Choose No. (Maybe someday soon you will choose Yes here.)

    3. Do you want to try DHCP configuration of the interface?

      Choose No. (If you are not building a server then maybe you want DHCP but if you aren’t building a server, you should probably be installing PC-BSD.)

      The Network Configuration screen opens.

    4. Under Host enter you host name.
    5. Under Domain enter you domain name.
    6. Under IPv4 Gateway enter you default gateway’s IP address.
    7. Under Name server enter the DNS server’s IP address.
    8. Under IPv4 address enter the machine’s IP address.
    9. Under Netmask enter the subnet mask.
    10. Choose OK.
  18. Do you want the machine to function as a network gateway?

    Choose No.

  19. Do you want to configure inetd and the network services it provides?

    Choose No.

  20. Do you want to enable ssh login?

    Choose Yes.

  21. Do you want to have anonymous FTP access to this machine?

    Choose No.

  22. Do you want to configure this machine as an NFS server?

    Choose Yes.

  23. Do you want to configure this machine as an NFS client?

    Choose No.

  24. Would you like to customize your system console settings?

    Choose No.

  25. Would you like to set the machine’s time zone now?

    Choose Yes.

  26. Is this machine’s CMOS clock set to UTC?

    Choose No (unless you know that it is).

  27. Select a region.
  28. Select a Country.
  29. Select a time zone.
  30. Does the abreviation ‘MST’ look reasonable? (Your time zone acronym may be different.)

    Choose Yes.

  31. Would you like to enable Linux binary compatibility?

    Choose No.

  32. Does this system have a PS2, Serial, or bus mouse?

    Choose No if you have a USB mouse. Choose Yes if you have a PS2 mouse. (Usually a mouse that is not USB is uncommon these days, however, there are still plenty of PS2 mice around.)

  33. The FreeBSD package collection is a collection of thousands of ready to run applications, from text editors to games to WEB servers and more. Would you like to browse the collection now?

    Choose No.

  34. Would you like to add any initial user accounts to this system?

    Choose Yes.

    The User and Group Management screen appears.

  35. Select User and press Enter.

    The Add a new user screen appears.

    1. Under Login ID enter the user name.
    2. Leave the UID unchanged. By default is is 1001.
    3. Leave the Group field blank.
    4. Enter a password.
    5. Enter your full name.
    6. Under Member groups enter this group: wheel
    7. Leave the Home directory as is: /home/username
    8. Leave the Login shell as is: /bin/sh
    9. Tab to OK and press Enter.

      You are returned to the User and Group Management screen.

  36. Select Exit and press Enter.
  37. Now you must enter the systems management password.
    This is the password you’ll use to log in as root.

    Press Enter.

  38. Enter the new password.
  39. Retype the new password.
  40. Visit the general configuration menu for a chance to set any last options?

    You are returned to the sysinstall Main Menu.

  41. Tab to Exit Install and press Enter.
  42. Are you sure you wish to exit?

    Choose Yes. (Make sure to remove the bootable disk from the CD or DVD drive.

Your system will now reboot and FreeBSD should boot up.

Now check out my post about the updating FreeBSD.
What are the first commands I run after installing FreeBSD

This will tell you how to apply FreeBSD updates/patches and how to load the ports tree.

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  1. [...] do I install FreeBSD 8? Filed under: FreeBSD — rhyous @ 9:39 am Read more Share this:DiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Leave a [...]

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