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Installing FreeBSD 8.x Distributions After Installation

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Installing Distributions After The Fact

While I did not end up needing to perform this procedure, I found the command line option intriguing…

FreeBSD 8.x [ and earlier ] media contain distributions one can select to install via sysinstall(8). This is accomplished via GUI or automated scripting requiring an install.cfg.

This image shows a typical FreeBSD installation where a kernel/distribution is extracted onto disk, What is an admin to do when they later find that they need to install a distribution after the fact? There are two methods to installing media distributions after the fact.

Using the Command Line

This is my preferred method as it does not require using sysinstall‘s graphical interface, but I am sure both have their merits. In this example, we install lib32. First, download the distribution from FreeBSD.org

echo CHECKSUM.SHA256 CHECKSUM.MD5 install.sh lib32.a{a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m} lib32.inf lib32.mtree | xargs -n 1 -I%s fetch ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/amd64/8.2-RELEASE/lib32/%s

The next step is to install the distribution…


and you’re done…

Using sysinstall(8)

Start the procedure by executing sysinstall. It opens an interactive GUI interface. The Following procedure installs the distribution…

Select “Configure”…

Select “Distributions”…

Select the distribution to install…

Select install media (this example uses ftp)…

Select ftp location (This step may differ depending on the media selected above)…

If networking is configured, select yet. Otherwise, select no and sysinstall will prompt for network configuration…

The distribution installs…

…and when completed, exit sysinstall.


* The command line used can be referenced in the FreeBSD Forums

Categories: FreeBSD
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