Things look quiet here. But I've been doing a lot of blogging at
dan.langille.org because I prefer WordPress now.
Not all my posts there are FreeBSD related.
I am in the midst of migrating The FreeBSD Diary over to WordPress
(and you can read about that here).
Once the migration is completed, I'll move the FreeBSD posts into the
new FreeBSD Diary website.
Installing FreeBSD to replace Windows 9520 March 1999
This topic describes how I installed FreeBSD 3.1 onto a Windows 95 machine and wiped
out the existing hard drive. The install was done via FTP.
Careful readers will
recall that it wasn't that long ago that I was Installing FreeBSD on a
Windows 95 machine. Well, this is the same machine. There's nothing wrong
with it. The machine came with Windows 95 and I'd never created a dual boot machine
with FreeBSD before. And it seemed like a good candidate for an article. Hence
this new article.
Mind you, it's almost the same as the original.
This machine is a 486 DX 33MHz with 8 Meg of RAM, a CD-ROM, and an Ethernet card.
It has a 400M disk with about 250M free.
Know your interrupt
One thing you should do, and I didn't, is find out the hardware settings for your
network card. Do this from Windows. Go into the Control Panel and click on
Network. Find your network adaptor and see what the IRQ and Address are.
You'll need those later.
This is often a confusing exercise. And I've had to make them more than once.
So here's how I did it.
Clear that disk
I wanted to start with an empty hard disk. So I created a bootable DOS floppy
and put FDISK and TIPS on it. Then I booted with that floppy. I used FDISK to
delete all partitions and create a new single partition.
This partitiation was about
The actual install
I direct you to the next part of the Handbook: Installing FreeBSD.
Although this has the same title as a section mentioned above, it actually deals with the
process of booting from the floppies. Which is what I'm about to do. I've
placed the kern.flp floppy in the drive and I've restarted the machine.
well, well! What do you know! I'm seeing the BTX bootstrap loader as I
type. OK. Now it's asked me for the mfsroot.flp floppy.
Things are looking good!
OK. Now I have the Kernel Configuration Screen on my screen.
I'm going to choose Start kernel configuration in full screen visual mode.
In this screen you will be asked to remove any conflicts which exist within the system.
Basically, the system is designed to be generic and work with most systems.
What you need to do is remove the things which you don't have. I'm sorry, but I
can't be more specific than that. For me, I have no SCSI devices, so I remove all of
them. I also don't have tape drives etc. Whatever you do, don't remove the
system console or you won't have a screen.
After you save your changes and exit this screen, you will be presented with /stand/sysinstall
Main Menu. I selected Novice Install.
FDISK Partition Editor
On this screen, I choose to use all of the disk. And I did not use the
'dangerously dedicated' option.
I choose Standard (no Boot Manager).
FreeBSD Disklabel Editor
I pressed A for Auto. Then Q for save etc.
I choose the Kern-Developer distribution.
Choose Installation Media
I selected FTP. And I selected ed0, my NIC. Then I filled in
the stuff for the configuration of ed0.
NOTE: the first time I tried this, ed0
was not listed. I pressed ALT-F2 and it wasn't listed there either. I then
remembered that ed0 was non-standard for this setup. So I rebooted and
set ed0 to be IRQ 5 and IO 300
NOTE: after I fixed ed0, I found I couldn't get what I wanted from any FTP server but
the main server (ftp.freebsd.org).
NOTE: I actually used FTP Passive because I'm behind a firewall.
Hmmm, the install froze chunk 8. I pressed CTRL-ALT-DELETE a couple of times and
was able to restart the install. It seems to be going well now. It's
extracting bin in / directory. Time for some food.
OK. That worked!
Post install configuration
The install has finished. But then it asks you for configuration things.
Such as Ethernet. Here's what I did/
Similarly, I didn't join the announce mailing list because I was already on it.
The first reboot
OK. The reboot failed when it was probing ed0. That's my fault.
And it's also the fault of 3.1. If you check the errata sheet for 3.1,
you'll see that the information is being saved, but to the wrong location. I'll fix
I've rebooted. During the boot process, you will have an opportunity to
press a key to stop the boot. You will then be at what is called the boot
prompt. I entered -c at the boot prompt. Then I chose visual.
This gets you back to the same point as we were much earlier in the process when
using the floppies. I again removed the conflicts and continued with the boot.
I got a root prompt. All is well.