Installer program for FreeBSD-9.0?

Thomas Mueller mueller6727 at
Tue Dec 7 11:27:38 UTC 2010

On Mon, 6 Dec 2010 10:31:26 +0000, Bruce Cran <bruce at> wrote:
> > There's a plan to replace sysinstall with pc-sysinstall, the
> > PCBSD installer in 9.0. Currently the backend has been committed and
> > people are working on a web interface frontend to allow people to do
> > installations via a web browser.

> Does this imply that the installation requires running X
> plus a web browser, or a "hard to use" text mode web browser?
> Or is this intended to be used for remote installation only?
> Will the installer therefore be unusable for specific
> settings (headless, serial, text)?

> > Meanwhile I'm hoping to find some time to improve sysinstall now that
> > we don't support installation from floppies: I know there are some big
> > improvements that can be made while not taking on the work of a complete
> > rewrite.

> I agree that sysinstall could benefit from some improvements,
> especially the incorporation of the "new partitioning methods",
> involving labels, ufsids, GEOM, GPT and PMBR, keeping the
> traditional methods MBR, fdisk, bsdlabel and newfs available
> for those systems that the user INTENDEDLY wants to install
> with those methods (e. g. older hardware).

> Polytropon
> Magdeburg, Germany

I guess FreeBSD installation from floppies is no longer supported because of the difficulty of fitting the kernel?

Otherwise, it would be theoretically possible to install FreeBSD from a lot of floppies, but finding sufficient errorfree floppies would be practically impossible.  I remember I had a substantial percentage of bad floppies when I needed five to install DR-DOS in 1999.  Floppies are now eleven years more advanced into deterioration.

While installation and update via web browser makes sense as an option, it must not be the only option.  What if the user starts with a blank hard drive, nothing installed?  Then one needs to be able to install from CD, DVD or USB drive.

I remember in the late 1990s updating OS/2 Warp 4 with a Service Pak via web browser (Web Explorer), so the idea isn't new.

Yes, there needs to be support for installing into the new partitioning methods.  Remember that thread I started about FreeBSD support for hard drive > 2 TB?  Western Digital has come out with up to 3 TB Caviar Green drive.  Somebody might want to install FreeBSD and run a software repository on such a hard drive.


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