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How to install FreeBSD at hosting providers that do not support it
Tag: FreeBSD


This article explains a simple method to install FreeBSD when all you have is a linux and a remote console.

Option 1: from an official pre-built vm image

First login as root on the linux you want to reinstall as Freebsd. Identify the disk device you want to install on, update the url below to the latest release you want and run :

wget https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/13.1-RELEASE/amd64/Latest/FreeBSD-13.1-RELEASE-amd64.raw.xz \
     -O - | xz -dc | dd of=/dev/vda bs=1M conv=fdatasync

When all is done, force a reboot of your machine and connect to the remote console. Your FreeBSD system should boot and leave you with an authentication prompt. Just type in root (it will not ask for a password) and go through this post installation checklist :

Option 2: from a custom vm image

This method is necessary if you need control over the partitioning, like root on zfs.

Execute a standard installation from a virtual machine on your workstation or another server, I use qemu for that. With you have your image ready, boot the linux server you want to convert to freebsd and run something like:

ssh myth.adyxax.org "dd if=freebsd.raw" | dd of=/dev/sda

The goal of this command is to connect a server hosting your image and dd it to the hard drive the server you want to convert. Don’t forget to sync your disks!

Upon rebooting, you should have your freebsd running. Resize your drive with something like:

gpart show
gpart recover da0
gpart resize -i 3 da0
zpool online -e zroot da0p3