MikeL's FreeBSD howto - 12.1 install

20200316
I had a functioning FBSD12.1-RELEASE system, and when I did an update, it got completely, utterly F@@@ed. I have a twin system where each nightly backup goes, so worked on that one and got the world up and running on there. You'll see snippets of this pain in many different pages in this howto website. Now I'm going to try to get this one back into full operation again and document it here.

Followed directions at FreeBSD handbook Pre-installation tasks.
Start by downloading image from ISO-IMAGES i386 12.1 click on -dvd1.iso. (Approx. half hour on my 20Mb DSL)
While that's coming, download win32diskimager on your Windows box. (I already had it from making Dell service images for updating BIOS and these servers.) I then discovered that it did not see a blank DVD-ROM, nor did it see a newish (7TB) USB drive. Managed to dig up an 8GB USB memory stick; that it could see. Wrote the disk image to memory stick.

Boot computer, inserting this memory stick early on. Hit F11 key when prompted so as to go into BIOS boot options. Once that menu comes up, down arrow to hard drive, you'll be given an option to boot the USB stick. Note that I believe this option is only present if there is a memory stick present.

Basically just follow prompts. The only tricky part I encountered was trying to re-partition the main HD. Originally it had been done with the "AUTO" option, which made the whole OS go into a single partition. I want it broken up more than that, for example I want /tmp to be it's own partition so it cannot overflow the OS disk use. Same is true for the /var directory. I had to clobber the existing partition, then create new ones. My system is a 1.1TB RAID in BIOS config, with 32GB RAM. I chose twice as much swap as RAM, don't know if that's appropriate or not:
16GB freebsd-unix /
32GB freebsd-unix /tmp
64GB freebsd-swap
128GB freebsd-unix /var
[remainder]GB freebsd-unix /usr

I choose to install ports and src, no debug stuff as this is a production server. Note that I use packages as opposed to building from ports whenever possible.

Suggested order of install/setup:

  1. named - use http://tools.dnsstuff.com/ and/or http://www.dnssy.com/ to test
  2. sendmail
  3. spamassassin
  4. apache
  5. mysql
  6. php
From here on out, follow: FreeBSD new machine merge.
Then FreeBSD-11 install.

Copyright © 1995-2024 Mike Lempriere (running on host pedicel)