Install FreeBSD using Windows desktop and PXE

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Mon Oct 24 07:10:38 UTC 2011

On 24/10/2011 02:18, Eir Nym wrote:
> I want to install FreeBSD to my second box and I have only Windows 7
> x64 desktop without CD drives.
> 1. I have access to remote FreeBSD server (via SSH) where I can make
> custom FreeBSD installation in any format.
> 2. I know how to create TFTP/DHCPD/PXE server to boot loader and kernel.
> So questions are:
> 1) Do I able to boot some minimal FreeBSD environment without NFS aka
> embedded BSD to install fully functional environment? What things
> should I do to boot up it?
> How can I use Crunch/MFS_ROOT ??

You should be able to PXE boot FreeBSD and then mount a copy of one of
the install DVDs by NFS from where you can run the system installer.
That is, you mount the root filesystem via NFS while you're running the

In principle this should be enough for you to install FreeBSD locally on
your second machine.  This is quite unusual stuff, and probably not as
well tested as more orthodox installation mechanisms.

It might be simpler if you can install from a USB memory stick image.

> 2) How can I write it to Flash drive in Windows 7?
> dd/flashnul/rawrite/rawcopy/etc are not working under this OS: it
> blocks access to drives even administrative rights.

If you can boot the install media, then you aren't running Windows 7 any
more, and the restrictions imposed by that OS simply don't apply.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
JID: matthew at               Kent, CT11 9PW

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