bsd.rd for FreeBSD install

Tim Judd tajudd at
Tue Mar 3 10:41:55 PST 2009

On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 10:36 AM, new_guy <byte8bits at> wrote:

> Hi,
> We normally use OpenBSD, but would like to try FreeBSD on a test system.
> Usually, when updating from one OpenBSD release to another, we do so by
> downloading the latest bsd.rd and booting from that to complete the
> install.
> Our machines have no optical drives. Does FreeBSD have a similar method to
> installation?
> Thanks!
> --
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Being relatively familiar with both, let me input my advice.

first of all, Open and Free use different DOS-partition partition IDs,
OpenBSD being A6, and FreeBSD being A5.  This would be the first road block
to overcome.

Second, there isn't a produced single file to boot FreeBSD in a ramdisk
image from the FreeBSD folks.  There is one out there called mfsbsd that
does that.  Creating a ramdisk based kernel would work, and you'd need to
shove what's in the bootonly CD into that kernel image.

I doubt you'll be able to produce a kernel for FreeBSD on OpenBSD.  Haven't
tried it, but I bet the pmake syntax for FreeBSD will give OpenBSD problems.

Running a PXE/NFS/DHCP boot server would be the first thing I'd go into to
do a completely CD/DVD-less system.  But you have to start from
somewhere...  You have to boot FreeBSD from external medium so you can
prepare a hard drive.

Is it a problem to float a USB CD/DVD drive around to install?  would a
bootserver help you in your efforts?

There's just so many ways to approach this, your initial post isn't helping
me to lean one way or another.

Can you provide your factors why your systems are CD/DVD-less?  Do these
systems boot from PXE/network?

when you answer these questions, something might come into mind that would
benefit you most...  but the different partition IDs is going to become a
hurlde without a external boot medium.

Let me know,


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