More sysinstall questions 1 of 2

Martin McCormick martin at
Thu Feb 4 15:11:58 UTC 2010

Polytropon writes:
> This seems to be obvious because no changes have been made
> to the disk (i. e. no slicing, no MBRin, no partitioning).
> >       The CDROM for installing FreeBSD correctly formats the
> > drive and installs the OS on that very same box. My first
> > question is why doesn't the mfs do the same thing?
> This is a matter of what has been selected within the partition
> editor. If not "UFS2+S Y" is set, no formatting process will
> take place.

	From the shell prompt, I run sysinstall with no
arguments both from mfs and from a CDROM. As far as I can tell,
the screens are identical in that there is nothing new to turn
on or off when I run sysinstall from mfs. It immediately selects
ad0 as the drive to format:

      ³ WARNING:  It is safe to use a geometry of 77504/16/63 for ad0 on ³
      ³ computers with modern BIOS versions.  If this disk is to be used ³
      ³ on an old machine it is recommended that it does not have more   ³
      ³ than 65535 cylinders, more than 255 heads, or more than          ³
      ³ 63 sectors per track.                                            ³
      ³                                                                  ³
      ³ Would you like to keep using the current geometry?               ³
      ³                                                                  ³
      ³                       [ Yes ]         No                         ³

	I type y to okay the geometry.

Disk name:      ad0                                    FDISK Partition Editor
DISK Geometry:  77504 cyls/16 heads/63 sectors = 78124032 sectors (38146MB)

Offset       Size(ST)        End     Name  PType       Desc  Subtype    Flags

         0         63         62        -     12     unused        0
        63   78123969   78124031 ufsid/4b6787a7598a9a8bs1      8    freebsd
  78124032        968   78124999        -     12     unused        0

The following commands are supported (in upper or lower case):

A = Use Entire Disk   G = set Drive Geometry   C = Create Slice
D = Delete Slice      Z = Toggle Size Units    S = Set Bootable   | = Expert m.
T = Change Type       U = Undo All Changes     W = Write Changes

Use F1 or ? to get more help, arrow keys to select.

I type the a and then the q to use the whole disk.

	I enter the parameters on the next screen and  here is
what it looks like when filled in:

                         FreeBSD Disklabel Editor

Disk: ad0       Partition name: ad0s1   Free: 0 blocks (0MB)

Part      Mount          Size Newfs   Part      Mount          Size Newfs
----      -----          ---- -----   ----      -----          ---- -----
ad0s1b    swap         1024MB SWAP
ad0s1a    /           37122MB UFS2   Y

	I then installed the 8.0installation CDROM which calls
sysinstall after one enters country and terminal settings and
went through precisely the same steps except that I chose the
CDROM as the FreeBSD installation source as the network is not
up at that point.

The screen for the bsdlabel editor under the CDROM is identical
to that under mfs except for one line which may be due to the
manner in which I captured the screen shot. None of the values
are different. Here it is for the record:

                         FreeBSD Disklabel Editor

Disk: ad0       Partition name: ad0s1   Free: 0 blocks (0MB)

Part      Mount          Size Newfs   Part      Mount          Size Newfs
----      -----          ---- -----   ----      -----          ---- -----
ad0s1b    swap         1024MB SWAP
ad0s1a    /           37122MB UFS2   Y

The following commands are valid here (upper or lower case):
C = Create        D = Delete   M = Mount pt.
N = Newfs Opts    Q = Finish   S = Toggle SoftUpdates   Z = Custom Newfs
T = Toggle Newfs  U = Undo     A = Auto Defaults        R = Delete+Merge

Use F1 or ? to get more help, arrow keys to select.

	After filling in the bsdlabel screen's parameters and
selecting distributions, that is when we get:

       lqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq User Confirmation Requested qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqk
       x Last Chance!  Are you SURE you want continue the installation? x
       x                                                                x
       x If you're running this on a disk with data you wish to save    x
       x proceeding!                                                    x
       x                                                                x
       x We can take no responsibility for lost disk contents!          x
       x                      [ Yes ]         No                        x

	Entering y and waiting several minutes as all the data
were extracted produced:

      lqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq Message qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqk
      xCongratulations!  You now have FreeBSD installed on your system.  x
      x                                                                  x
      xWe will now move on to the final configuration questions.         x
      xFor any option you do not wish to configure, simply select        x
      xNo.                                                               x
      x                                                                  x
      xIf you wish to re-enter this utility after the system is up, you  x
      xmay do so by typing: /usr/sbin/sysinstall.                        x
      x                           [  OK  ]                               x
      mqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq[ Press enter or space ]qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqj

Whatever it is that differs between using mfs to run sysinstall
and the CDROM to also run sysinstall is not obvious, at least to

	Sorry for the length of this message and I hope all the
little boxes and box parts didn't wreck anybody's terminal.

Martin McCormick

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