FreeBSD 2.0.5 Release

andrew clarke mail at
Mon Jan 4 13:24:03 UTC 2010

On Mon 2010-01-04 20:32:54 UTC+0800, Paul Shi (shihang at wrote:

> I am looking for a FreeBSD release which is most similar to 4.4 BSD-Lite and
> I chose FreeBSD 2.0.5, the oldest release since 4.4 BSD-Lite. However, after
> downloading iso file from archive
> and burning to CDROM, it still will not boot from CDROM. The burning process
> should be fine since I just got it correctly as some of you may be aware. So
> I wondering if it is possible that the ISO file has been broken. Is there
> any one who maintains older archive know the validity of ISO file. Thank you
> very much!

I don't think the very early releases available on CD are bootable.
Not many PCs in the mid-1990s supported booting from CD.  CD-ROM
drives weren't very common and those that did exist often had
non-standard interfaces that required special drivers to work - which
meant the BIOS couldn't see them to boot from them.

To install FreeBSD 2.x, if I recall correctly you need to write the
FreeBSD diskette images (in the /floppies/ directory) to diskettes,
then boot from the first install diskette, while having the
installation CD in the CD drive.  You may need to RTFM a bit to get
this working.

(AFAIK it's still possible to use this technique to do a network
install of FreeBSD 8.x, if you don't have a working CD-ROM drive.)

The ISO for FreeBSD 3.x is probably bootable.  I know the 4.x ISO is.

It wouldn't surprise me if FreeBSD 2.0.5 fails to boot correctly on
modern hardware.  You may need to use older hardware, or an emulator.


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