freebsd install from floppy

James Phillips anti_spam256 at
Sat Mar 6 17:45:50 UTC 2010

> Date: Sat, 06 Mar 2010 09:54:38 +0000
> From: Matthew Seaman <m.seaman at>
> Subject: Re: freebsd install from floppy
> To: perryh at
> Cc: questions at,
> plukawski at
> Message-ID: <4B92265E.5030109 at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Hash: SHA1
> On 06/03/2010 09:26:22, perryh at
> wrote:
> > I seem to remember something about the floppy images
> being dropped
> > because few current (or even recent) systems have a
> floppy drive at
> > all, much less a bootable one.
> Yeah, but the floppy disk drive was already obsolete 10
> years ago.  It's
> just taken this long for it to fall down dead.  Good
> riddance to it.
> Why would anyone want an unreliable, slow and tiny capacity
> device when
> you can get GiB capacity USB sticks everywhere nowadays?

Correction: Apple stopped selling computers with floppy drives about 10 years ago. The floppy drive is not obsolete because there is still no viable replacement that has the same (or better) functionality.

The problem with USB sticks is that they don't have user-accessible write-protect tabs. If you plug a USB stick into a compromised system, it is "tainted."

Secure Digital Cards have a write-protect tab, but "Secure" means "secure against copying" (Copy Protection for Recordable Media), making them inappropriate for "known good" filesystem images.

I have started using CD-ROM booting to install FreeBSD. The problem with CD-R images is that any "tweaks" to the disk image require burning a new disk.


James Phillips

Recent Slashdot exchange about exactly this issue:

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