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2.2. Preparing for the Installation

There are a number of different methods by which FreeBSD can be installed. The following describes what preparation needs to be done for each type.

2.2.1. Before installing from CDROM

If your CDROM is of an unsupported type, then please skip to MS-DOS Preparation.

There is not a lot of preparatory work that needs to be done to successfully install from one of Walnut Creek's FreeBSD CDROMs (other CDROM distributions may work as well, though we cannot say for certain as we have no hand or say in how they are created). You can either boot into the CD installation directly from DOS using Walnut Creek's supplied install.bat batch file or you can make boot floppies with the makeflp.bat command.

For the easiest interface of all (from DOS), type view. This will bring up a DOS menu utility that leads you through all the available options.

If you are creating the boot floppies from a UNIX machine, see the beginning of this guide for examples of how to create the boot floppies.

Once you have booted from DOS or floppy, you should then be able to select CDROM as the media type in the Media menu and load the entire distribution from CDROM. No other types of installation media should be required.

After your system is fully installed and you have rebooted from the hard disk, you can mount the CDROM at any time by typing: mount /cdrom

Before removing the CD again, also note that it is necessary to first type: umount /cdrom. Do not just remove it from the drive!

Note: Before invoking the installation, be sure that the CDROM is in the drive so that the install probe can find it. This is also true if you wish the CDROM to be added to the default system configuration automatically during the install (whether or not you actually use it as the installation media).

Finally, if you would like people to be able to FTP install FreeBSD directly from the CDROM in your machine, you will find it quite easy. After the machine is fully installed, you simply need to add the following line to the password file (using the vipw command):

    ftp:*:99:99::0:0:FTP:/cdrom:/nonexistent

Anyone with network connectivity to your machine (and permission to log into it) can now chose a Media type of FTP and type in: ftp://your machine after picking ``Other'' in the ftp sites menu.

2.2.2. Before installing from Floppy

If you must install from floppy disks, either due to unsupported hardware or simply because you enjoy doing things the hard way, you must first prepare some floppies for the install.

You will need, at minimum, as many 1.44MB or 1.2MB floppies as it takes to hold all files in the bin (binary distribution) directory. If you are preparing these floppies under DOS, then THESE floppies must be formatted using the MS-DOS FORMAT command. If you are using Windows, use the Windows File Manager format command.

Do not trust Factory Preformatted floppies! Format them again yourself, just to make sure. Many problems reported by our users in the past have resulted from the use of improperly formatted media, which is why I am taking such special care to mention it here!

If you are creating the floppies from another FreeBSD machine, a format is still not a bad idea though you do not need to put a DOS filesystem on each floppy. You can use the disklabel and newfs commands to put a UFS filesystem on them instead, as the following sequence of commands (for a 3.5" 1.44MB floppy disk) illustrates:

    # fdformat -f 1440 fd0.1440
    # disklabel -w -r fd0.1440 floppy3
    # newfs -t 2 -u 18 -l 1 -i 65536 /dev/rfd0

Note: Use fd0.1200 and floppy5 for 5.25" 1.2MB disks.

Then you can mount and write to them like any other file system.

After you have formatted the floppies, you will need to copy the files onto them. The distribution files are split into chunks conveniently sized so that 5 of them will fit on a conventional 1.44MB floppy. Go through all your floppies, packing as many files as will fit on each one, until you have got all the distributions you want packed up in this fashion. Each distribution should go into a subdirectory on the floppy, e.g.: a:\bin\bin.aa, a:\bin\bin.ab, and so on.

Once you come to the Media screen of the install, select ``Floppy'' and you will be prompted for the rest.

2.2.3. Before installing from a MS-DOS partition

To prepare for installation from an MS-DOS partition, copy the files from the distribution into a directory called c:\freebsd. The directory tree structure of the CDROM must be partially reproduced within this directory so we suggest using the DOS xcopy command. For example, to prepare for a minimal installation of FreeBSD:

    C:\> md c:\freebsd
    C:\> xcopy /s e:\bin c:\freebsd\bin\
    C:\> xcopy /s e:\manpages c:\freebsd\manpages\

Assuming that C: is where you have free space and E: is where your CDROM is mounted.

For as many DISTS you wish to install from MS-DOS (and you have free space for), install each one under c:\freebsd --- the BIN dist is only the minimal requirement.

2.2.4. Before installing from QIC/SCSI Tape

Installing from tape is probably the easiest method, short of an on-line install using FTP or a CDROM install. The installation program expects the files to be simply tar'ed onto the tape, so after getting all of the files for distribution you are interested in, simply tar them onto the tape with a command like:

    # cd /freebsd/distdir
    # tar cvf /dev/rwt0 dist1 ... dist2

When you go to do the installation, you should also make sure that you leave enough room in some temporary directory (which you will be allowed to choose) to accommodate the full contents of the tape you have created. Due to the non-random access nature of tapes, this method of installation requires quite a bit of temporary storage. You should expect to require as much temporary storage as you have stuff written on tape.

Note: When going to do the installation, the tape must be in the drive before booting from the boot floppy. The installation probe may otherwise fail to find it.

2.2.5. Before installing over a network

You can do network installations over 3 types of communications links:

Serial port

SLIP or PPP

Parallel port

PLIP (laplink cable)

Ethernet

A standard ethernet controller (includes some PCMCIA).

SLIP support is rather primitive, and limited primarily to hard-wired links, such as a serial cable running between a laptop computer and another computer. The link should be hard-wired as the SLIP installation does not currently offer a dialing capability; that facility is provided with the PPP utility, which should be used in preference to SLIP whenever possible.

If you are using a modem, then PPP is almost certainly your only choice. Make sure that you have your service provider's information handy as you will need to know it fairly soon in the installation process. You will need to know how to dial your ISP using the ``AT commands'' specific to your modem, as the PPP dialer provides only a very simple terminal emulator. If you are using PAP or CHAP, you will need to type the necessary set authname and set authkey commands before typing term. Refer to the user-ppp handbook and FAQ entries for further information. If you have problems, logging can be directed to the screen using the command set log local ....

If a hard-wired connection to another FreeBSD (2.0R or later) machine is available, you might also consider installing over a ``laplink'' parallel port cable. The data rate over the parallel port is much higher than what is typically possible over a serial line (up to 50k/sec), thus resulting in a quicker installation.

Finally, for the fastest possible network installation, an ethernet adaptor is always a good choice! FreeBSD supports most common PC ethernet cards, a table of supported cards (and their required settings) is provided in Supported Hardware. If you are using one of the supported PCMCIA ethernet cards, also be sure that it is plugged in before the laptop is powered on! FreeBSD does not, unfortunately, currently support hot insertion of PCMCIA cards during installation.

You will also need to know your IP address on the network, the netmask value for your address class, and the name of your machine. Your system administrator can tell you which values to use for your particular network setup. If you will be referring to other hosts by name rather than IP address, you will also need a name server and possibly the address of a gateway (if you are using PPP, it is your provider's IP address) to use in talking to it. If you do not know the answers to all or most of these questions, then you should really probably talk to your system administrator first before trying this type of installation.

Once you have a network link of some sort working, the installation can continue over NFS or FTP.

2.2.5.1. Preparing for NFS installation

NFS installation is fairly straight-forward: Simply copy the FreeBSD distribution files you want onto a server somewhere and then point the NFS media selection at it.

If this server supports only ``privileged port'' access (as is generally the default for Sun workstations), you will need to set this option in the Options menu before installation can proceed.

If you have a poor quality ethernet card which suffers from very slow transfer rates, you may also wish to toggle the appropriate Options flag.

In order for NFS installation to work, the server must support subdir mounts, e.g., if your FreeBSD 3.2 distribution directory lives on: ziggy:/usr/archive/stuff/FreeBSD Then ziggy will have to allow the direct mounting of /usr/archive/stuff/FreeBSD, not just /usr or /usr/archive/stuff.

In FreeBSD's /etc/exports file, this is controlled by the -alldirs option. Other NFS servers may have different conventions. If you are getting Permission Denied messages from the server then it is likely that you do not have this enabled properly.

2.2.5.2. Preparing for FTP Installation

FTP installation may be done from any mirror site containing a reasonably up-to-date version of FreeBSD 3.2. A full menu of reasonable choices from almost anywhere in the world is provided by the FTP site menu.

If you are installing from some other FTP site not listed in this menu, or you are having troubles getting your name server configured properly, you can also specify your own URL by selecting the ``Other'' choice in that menu. A URL can also be a direct IP address, so the following would work in the absence of a name server:

    ftp://165.113.121.81/pub/FreeBSD/3.2-RELEASE

There are two FTP installation modes you can use:

FTP Active

For all FTP transfers, use ``Active'' mode. This will not work through firewalls, but will often work with older ftp servers that do not support passive mode. If your connection hangs with passive mode (the default), try active!

FTP Passive

For all FTP transfers, use ``Passive'' mode. This allows the user to pass through firewalls that do not allow incoming connections on random port addresses.

Note: Active and passive modes are not the same as a ``proxy'' connection, where a proxy FTP server is listening and forwarding FTP requests!

For a proxy FTP server, you should usually give name of the server you really want as a part of the username, after an @-sign. The proxy server then 'fakes' the real server. An example: Say you want to install from ftp.FreeBSD.org, using the proxy FTP server foo.bar.com, listening on port 1234.

In this case, you go to the options menu, set the FTP username to ftp@ftp.FreeBSD.org, and the password to your e-mail address. As your installation media, you specify FTP (or passive FTP, if the proxy support it), and the URL ftp://foo.bar.com:1234/pub/FreeBSD

/pub/FreeBSD from ftp.FreeBSD.org is proxied under foo.bar.com, allowing you to install from that machine (which fetch the files from ftp.FreeBSD.org as your installation requests them).