finstall alpha3

Ivan Voras ivoras at
Wed Feb 6 10:47:18 UTC 2008


As some of you may already know, I'm working on a graphical installer
for FreeBSD 7, which was started as a Google SoC 2007 project but still
continues. Usually I'd announce a new build on but
it's currently down and anyway maybe it's time for a wider exposure.

The latest build can be found at with
MD5 fingerprint of 4a11b172ed1c3030f530028a56f88ece. This is a i386
build as I don't have an amd64 development machine.

Caveat! This is to be considered alpha-quality software. In particular,
it still can't do any of the following things:

- install on an already partitioned drive (so it's practically only
usable for experimentation in VMWare and similar tools)
- configure any of the more advanced features like RAID, X11 and sound
- configure system locale & similar features

On the other hand, here's what it *can* do currently:

- it's a "live" CD environment, completely like an already installed
FreeBSD system, only running from a read-only media (e.g. it's usable as
a "FixIt" system)
- it installs both the base system (7.0-RC1) and a pre-selected set of
packages which includes X.Org 7.3, XFce desktop 4.4, Firefox and Thunderbird
- supports UFS, UFS+gjournal, ZFS and Ext2 (only UFS has been well tested).
- configure simple services like ssh, ntpdate, bsdstats

For those who tried earlier versions, the major changes are:
- several subtle bugs are fixed
- implemented ZFS support with proper tuning in loader.conf
- added bsdstats package in the default set

I'd like to hear impressions and suggestions of potential users. Some of
the obvious features (like install on a already partitioned drive) will
be done in time for, or slightly after, 7.0 gets released (a rudimentary
support for remote installs will also be present), some features (RAID)
will almost certainly get done later. Anything other will require time
and probably sponsorship.

I'm also interested in possible contributions to the project. In
particular, it needs many UI strings to be filled in (many of the text
labels and help texts are only placeholders). Interested people should
know how to use Subversion. The project is hosted on SourceForge at - Perforce was avoided to allow
access to people without FreeBSD developer accounts.

I'd like to thank Google for the SoC project funding, Murray Stokely who
was the mentor during the SoC and many other people who have helped.

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