Media image names - Document & rationalise.

Hans Ottevanger hans at
Thu Oct 9 14:07:11 UTC 2014

On 10/07/14 02:13, Adam McDougall wrote:
> On 10/06/2014 16:34, John Baldwin wrote:
>> I believe the issue here as I discussed with Marcel last year is that the x86
>> installer needs to tell gpart to set the active flag on the dummy MBR slice in
>> the PMBR if GPT is being used without EFI (the installer knows if it is booted
>> via EFI or not).
> I ran into this today too with 10.1-RC1 (and recent 11 I think) on a
> BIOS based desktop freshly liberated from windows.  It would not boot.
> I got it going with gpart but as a new user I'd be in trouble.

This is exactly what I see with my oldish Intel DP965LT main board. 
Installation went perfect up to 9.2, but for later releases I have to issue

/sbin/gpart set -a active ada0

either from a shell before rebooting the fresh installation or after 
rebooting single user from the install media.

I also hear from several acquaintances (potential "switchers"), often 
with similar Intel (or Foxconn) boards that their fresh install of 
FreeBSD "does not even boot". On the other hand my even older Asus 
NL4VM-DH board does not have this issue (It does complain about being 
unable to read the backup GPT header, but that is another issue.)

If it is not possible to have the installer set the active flag when a 
BIOS is detected, the remedy using gpart could at least be documented in 
the installation notes, maybe even in the handbook.

>> In 9.2 and older, the flag was always set, but that violated the EFI spec and
>> broke several systems, so in 9.3 and later, gpart was changed to not set the
>> flag by default.  However, we should still set it for non-EFI booting via GPT
>> to cater to broken BIOSes (such as yours).

Kind regards,


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