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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Alternate Installation Methods

If you can't, or (for whatever reason) don't want to install FreeBSD from the CD included with this book, there are several other options available. These include network installs with FTP or NFS.

Installing FreeBSD over FTP

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is one of the earliest methods of transferring files over the Internet from one system to another. FTP is still widely used.

If you wish, you can install FreeBSD directly from an FTP server. If you want to do this, however, it is recommended that you have a full-time, fast Internet connection available. Doing an FTP install over a modem will take a very long time.

The first thing you need to determine if you want to do an FTP install is whether you can log in to the FTP server using the username anonymous. This is a common way of logging into public FTP servers. If you will be installing FreeBSD from the FreeBSD sites or one of the official mirrors, you can log in as anonymous. In this case, you can skip the next section. If however, you will be installing from an FTP server that does not allow anonymous logins (such as an internal FTP server on a LAN), you will need to follow the procedures in the next section to configure the username first.

Configuring the Username

From the sysinstall main menu (see Figure 3.1), arrow down to Options and press Enter. This will bring you to the screen shown in Figure 3.2.

Figure 3.1 The FreeBSD sysinstall main menu.

Figure 3.2 The Options menu, in which you can set the FTP login name.

In this screen, arrow down to the option that says FTP Username and press the spacebar. A dialog box will ask you to enter the username. Enter the name you need to use to log in to the FTP server and press Enter. You will then be asked to supply a password. Enter the password you need to use and press Enter again.

After you have finished, press Q to quit, and you will be returned to the Main sysinstall menu.

Selecting an FTP Install

After you have set the FTP username and password (if necessary), follow the instructions in Chapter 2 until you get to the screen where you are asked to Choose Installation Media. From this screen, select FTP or FTP Passive if the server you intend to install from is behind a firewall. (Ask your system administrator if you are not sure). You will then be asked to select a distribution site (see Figure 3.3).

Figure 3.3 Selecting the FTP server to install FreeBSD from.

If you are installing from one of the FreeBSD mirror sites, you can select the site from the list. Otherwise, select URL to specify an FTP server manually. In the dialog box that comes up (see Figure 3.4), you will be asked to specify the name of the FTP server, as well as the path to where the FreeBSD installation files are located. Figure 3.4 shows a sample for an ftp site with a hostname of lion located on the network samplenet.org, with the FreeBSD files located in the /FreeBSD directory.

Figure 3.4 Configuring the FTP server to install from.

Once you have configured the FTP server you wish to install from, you will need to configure the network (see Figure 3.5).

Figure 3.5 Configuring the network.

Follow the procedure in Chapter 2 under the "Configuring the Network" heading for instructions on how to do this.

Once you have finished configuring the network, the installation continues as in Chapter 2. When files have finished copying, you can go ahead with the "Post Installation" section of Chapter 2. Because you have already configured the network to do the installation, you can skip the network configuration portion.

Note that this chapter has covered only how to install FreeBSD from an FTP server. If you want to set up an "Installation server" that can be used by clients to install FreeBSD, see Chapter 27, "Configuring an FTP Server." Once you have an FTP server set up and the FreeBSD installation files available on it, you can have other systems install from it using the procedures in this chapter.

Doing an NFS Install

NFS stands for Network File System. It is a way for filesystems located on a server to be accessed by the local system. FreeBSD can be installed over NFS, assuming that there is an NFS server on your network that has the installation files available.

If your NFS server will work only on a secure port (or if you have a slow Ethernet adapter, follow the procedure in the following section. Otherwise, you can skip the next section.

Configuring sysinstall for a Secure Port or Slow Connection

At the sysinstall Main Menu (shown previously in Figure 3.1), select Options and press Enter. This will bring up the screen shown previously in Figure 3.2. The first option is NFS Secure. If your NFS server only works on a secure port (ask your system administrator) press the spacebar to toggle this to Yes. The second option (NFS Slow) should be toggled to Yes if you have a slow Ethernet card. Once you have made these changes, press Q to return to the sysinstall Main Menu.

Installation then continues, as discussed in Chapter 2, up to the point where you are asked to Choose Installation Media.

Selecting an NFS Install

At the Choose Installation Media screen, select NFS. You will then be asked to enter the name of the NFS server followed by the path where the FreeBSD installation files are located. In the example in Figure 3.6, the server is lion and the installation directory is install/FreeBSD.

Figure 3.6 Configuring an NFS server for installation.

Once you have entered this information, you will need to configure the network (shown previously in Figure 3.5). Follow the procedure shown in Chapter 2 under the "Configuring the Network" heading for instructions on how to do this.

Once you have finished configuring the network, the installation continues as discussed in Chapter 2. When files have finished copying, you can go ahead with the "Post Installation" section of Chapter 2. Because you have already configured the network to do the installation, you can skip the network configuration portion.

Note that this chapter has covered only how to install FreeBSD from an NFS server. If you want to set up an Installation server that can be used by clients to install FreeBSD over NFS, see Chapter 31, "The Network Filesystem (NFS)." Once you have an NFS server set up and the FreeBSD installation files available on it, you can have other systems install from it using the procedures discussed in this chapter.

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