install freebsd from inside another operating system

Christian Laursen xi at
Mon Dec 8 10:59:20 PST 2008

Robin Becker <robin at> writes:

> I'm just wondering if it is possible to install FreeBSD from inside a
> bootstrap operating system such as a knoppix or ubuntu preinstall?
> Reason I'm asking is that my boss is asking about getting another
> commodity server using a provider that doesn't offer freebsd. We do
> get KVM over IP however, and I assume that really clever people might
> know how to handle this sort of thing if they have console access.

With console access that shouldn't be too hard.

My suggestion would be along the following lines:

- Make a disk image with the FreeBSD installer using my iso2diskimage
  script at <>.

- Add an entry to your GRUB configuration that will use memdisk from
  the syslinux package to load the disk image.

- Reboot and select the newly created FreeBSD installer entry in

- Install FreeBSD

The installer will run completely from RAM when booted so you can use
the entire disk for FreeBSD. However, once sysinstall starts writing
stuff to the disk you will no longer be able to boot the installer, so
make sure to do it right the first time. :)

Christian Laursen

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