restore(8)ing new / -- boots on metal but not in a VM

Alex Jurkiewicz alex at
Mon Oct 12 09:37:16 UTC 2009

Hi all,
A little background: I'm writing a script that will allow me to
restore(8) a standard FreeBSD partition to multiple machines. So far,
I'm at the 'see if it works in principle' stage, and I'm finding
something strange.

My procedure:
* Start with an empty hard drive (ad0).
* Boot off the FreeBSD CD, enter the live CD filesystem shell (Fixit
-> Live CD Filesystem)
* Create a single slice with fdisk that spans the entire disk (fdisk
-i /dev/ad0)
* Create a single partition with bsdlabel that spans the entire slice
(bsdlabel -w /dev/ad0s1)
* Install the FreeBSD Boot Loader (boot0cfg -B /dev/ad0)
* Format and restore the dumpfile (newfs /dev/ad0s1a && mount
/dev/ad0s1a /mnt && cd /mnt && ssh storagebox "dd
if=home/aj/image.dump" | restore -rvf -
* Unmount /mnt and restart.

The steps work fine... on physical hardware. The restored image boots
up fine. As a VM guest, running in either VMWare or VirtualBox, it
don't work. Everything appears to go fine, but when I get to the boot
loader, pressing F1 just makes the PC speaker beep at me.

Any pointers would be appreciated. I'm using FreeBSD 6.4.

Alex Jurkiewicz

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