A couple of defect reports

Manish Jain bourne.identity at hotmail.com
Sat May 27 15:46:03 UTC 2017


I am on a box that runs 2 FreeBSD 12-current installations, both for experimental purposes.

Despite having been using FreeBSD for 15 years, I still keep learning from FreeBSD (as an average user, not as someone gifted enough to create something spectacular of my own).

There's a whole lot I have learned over the last couple of days using my experimental operations. A couple of my learnings would qualify as bug-reports (not necessarily in FreeBSD, perhaps in firmware).

Before I elaborate on the defects, here's my disk layout :

ada0 : SATA 1 TB sliced ntfs + ext2 + freebsd(ufs) + EBR; boot0 manager installed
ada1 : SSD 64 GB (dedicated; reserved for FreeBSD)

1)  ZFS is problematic (still immature ?) for desktop users.

When I installed FreeBSD with ZFS on ada1 using MBR(BIOS) partitioning, the installation finishes smoothly enough, but then upon reboot I I get "Missing Operating System" trying to boot off ada1.

I reinstalled FreeBSD ZFS on ada1 using GPT (BIOS) as the partitioning schema. That's the default, anyway. Again the install goes through smoothly, but I get a warning when trying to boot off ada1 :

gptzfsboot : error 4 lba 87654321 # (repeats once)

87654321 is just place-holder for the actual number.

Despite the warning, FreeBSD boots nicely enough off ada1 when GPT (BIOS) is the scheme. Since the SSD is new, I wanted to be sure that the gptzfsboot warning is reproducable elsewhere. So I created I and booted off a live USB disk, where I get exactly the same gptzfsboot warnings.

So this must count as a defect in the ZFS code.

2) During the experiment to create a live USB disk, I stumbled across another defect - this may be a defect in the FreeBSD boot code, or in my motherboard's firmware (or perhaps simply in my understanding off things). My understanding is that, in MBR schema, /boot/boot gets installed as the bootcode for the freebsd slice; and either /boot/boot0 (interactive) or /boot/mbr (non-interactive) gets installed as the bootcode on the disk's first sector.

The live USB stick I created boots only if I use /boot/boot0 as the MBR code. If I use /boot/mbr (which in theory in simply the non-interactive version of boot0), the stick will refuse to boot.

This is not troublesome for me, but perhaps should at least be documented as it might help somebody trying to a create live FreeBSD environment.

Hope this helps someone.
Manish Jain

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list