Installing without blowing away GRUB/MBR

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Feb 15 09:09:45 UTC 2014

On Fri, 14 Feb 2014 21:52:11 -0500, Mason Loring Bliss wrote:
> Hi, all!
> I'd very much like to install FreeBSD 10 in some new partitions on an
> existing system. The existing system has Debian Wheezy on it, and I'd like to
> install FreeBSD without blowing away GRUB. Does the FreeBSD 10 installer
> accomodate this desire?

Ye olde sysinstall did - you could just leave the MBR
untouched. If this is a problem in bsdinstall, here's
a simple way around it: Allocate the disk space per
command line (gpart, newfs), then return to the installer
menu and use the (now) "existing file systems" as target.
There should be nothing left that messes wuth the MBR.

> What I'm imagining is that I'll end up with a freebsd-boot partition with
> stage1 and stage2 in it, and then a ZFS partition with everything else. (To
> throw a curve, I want to set up mirroring, and I assume I want either
> manually or automatically to end up with an equivalent freebsd-boot partition
> on the second disk.)

That should be easy to prepare with gpart and gmorror.
Warren Block wrote an article about that topic which
you'll find helpful:

As far as I understand, this applies to the FreeBSD
part of the installation. Linux should support GPT
and will need different but similar configuration. :-)

> Thanks in advance for clues or pointers. I intend, at present, for FreeBSD to
> consume a decent chunk of my infrastructure, but I want to ease into it,
> hence my not wanting to blow away existing Linux stuff as yet.

A good decision. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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