Recompile A FreeBSD Kernel With A Custom Configuration

This tutorial by user anismaj shows us how to recompile your FreeBSD kernel with a custom configuration.

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FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system descended from Research Unix via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). Although for legal reasons FreeBSD cannot use the Unix trademark, it is a direct descendant of BSD, which was historically also called “BSD Unix” or “Berkeley Unix”. The first version of FreeBSD was released in 1993, and today FreeBSD is the most widely used open-source BSD distribution, accounting for more than three-quarters of all installed systems running open-source BSD derivatives.

FreeBSD has similarities with Linux, with two major differences in scope and licensing: FreeBSD maintains a complete operating system, i.e. the project delivers kernel, device drivers, userland utilities and documentation, as opposed to Linux delivering a kernel and drivers only and relying on third-parties for system software and FreeBSD source code is generally released under a permissive BSD license as opposed to the copyleft GPL.

It uses the GENERIC kernel by default. FreeBSD’s kernel provides support for some essential tasks such as managing processes, communication, booting and filesystems. In this article, we will show you how you can recompile a FreeBSD kernel with a custom configuration.

Some Features of FreeBSD and kernel

From the different features we can list the following ones:

  • FreeBSD 10.0 now supports a truly tickless kernel, enhancing battery performance on laptops and general resource effectiveness in virtual machines.
  • AMD GPUs kernel mode setting supports the use of newer xf86-video-ati drivers and AMD GPUs
  • FreeBSD 10.0 brings with it support for ZFS TRIM and it also supports LZ4 compression support which compresses much better (up to 50%) than the default LZJB compression
  • BSD-kernel are not stand-alone kernels but are developed as being part of a whole. Of course, this is merely a philosophical point of view and not a technical one, but this give system coherence


As prerequisites for this article you need to need just to have a one FreeBSD 10.1 Droplet to be able to use the following commands; we assume that you are a FreeBSD user.

[Read more…]

Difference between FreeBSD versions

New to FreeBSD? Make sure you are choosing the right version suitable for you, if you plan on installing FreeBSD. Thanks to user Chris S for the tip.

What is the difference between the three FreeBSD versions (Current, Release and Stable)?

  • Current is the latest “beta” software.This is what the developers are working on mainly. It has minimal testing, basically if it compiles they’ll push it into the repository. If you’re interested in developing or testing development version this is what you’re looking for.
  • Release is the software as it first appeared under a certain release version.This is the software exactly as it was “released”. If you’re running 9.3-RELEASE then it is that version as originally released, without base or kernel updates. If you update a RELEASE version it will append a revision tag. This is typically what people run when they used precompiled versions of FreeBSD.
  • Stable is the latest “supported” software within a version branch.This is tested versions of the software published between releases. It has more rigerous testing than the Current branch, but will change as new fixes and sometimes features are added. It doesn’t have the same feature stability a release.

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bsdtalk253 – George Neville-Neil

Will Backman provides us yet another bsdtalk, this time with George Neville-Neil’s most recent book.

An interview with George Neville-Neil about the recently published 2nd edition of The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System.

File Info: 30Min, 15MB

Mp3 Link:
Ogg Link:

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FreeBSD Errata Notice FreeBSD-EN-15:04.freebsd-update

Allan Jude has issued us with a FreeBSD Errata Notice. Please check the article to take proper corrective measures.

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Hash: SHA512

FreeBSD-EN-15:04.freebsd-update Errata Notice
The FreeBSD Project

Topic: freebsd-update(8) does not ensure the previous upgrade was

Category: core
Module: freebsd-update
Announced: 2015-05-13
Credits: Allan Jude
Affects: All supported versions of FreeBSD.
Corrected: 2015-05-13 22:36:00 UTC (stable/10, 10.1-STABLE)
2015-05-13 22:52:35 UTC (releng/10.1, 10.1-RELEASE-p10)
2015-05-13 22:36:52 UTC (stable/9, 9.3-STABLE)
2015-05-13 22:52:51 UTC (releng/9.3, 9.3-RELEASE-p14)
2015-05-13 22:39:29 UTC (stable/8, 8.4-STABLE)
2015-05-13 22:52:51 UTC (releng/8.4, 8.4-RELEASE-p28)

For general information regarding FreeBSD Errata Notices and Security
Advisories, including descriptions of the fields above, security
branches, and the following sections, please visit

I. Background

The freebsd-update(8) utility is used to apply binary patches to FreeBSD
systems installed from official release images, as an alternative to
rebuilding from source. A freebsd-update(8) build server generates the
signed update packages, consisting of an index of files and directories
with checksums before the update, a set of binary patches, and an
index of files and directories with checksums after the update. The
client downloads the indexes, verifies the signatures and checksums,
then downloads and applies the required patches.
[Read more…]

How To Install FreeBSD 10.1 On A 2006 Macbook

IMG_6085_Win_FreeBSD_OSX_1The folks at Higher Learning show us how to get FreeBSD 10.1 set up on your old 2006 Macbook.

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A while ago I decided to unretire my 2006 Macbook and turn it into a low powered server. Specifically to run a BBS, but more on that in a later blog post. To get FreeBSD running properly requires a bit of trickery, so i decided to write a little howo to save you some time and effort. For this you will need the following:


  • A FreeBSD install DVD burned with the i386 image as we’re dealing with a 32 bit core duo machine here. If you’re into that sort of think you can also create a FreeBSD USB stick.
  • The OS X Tiger (10.4) Install DVD

Now for the fun part:

  • Insert DVD/USB stick into Macbook and boot
  • Hold down the option key to choose to boot from the DVD/USB stick. The boot media should be displayed as “Windows” by the Mac boot manager
  • Install FreeBSD with default partitions and whichever options you want
  • With 10.1 I kept getting a [Read more…]

WordPress versus FreeBSD

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgbFreeBSD developer Michael W. Lucas provides a useful tip for those maintaining WordPress in a FreeBSD environment.

I recently migrated my web site to a new FreeBSD install, configured so I could use ZFS boot environments. This upgrade crossed FreeBSD versions (10.0->10.1), filesystems (UFS -> ZFS), and PHP versions (5.5 -> 5.6).

And my WordPress pointy-clicky upgrades stopped working. Every time I ran an upgrade, the web gui hung with:

Updating Plugin Honketyblatt (1/1)

The web site would site there, forever. Enabling WP debugging gave me no error messages.

If I had the job of running WordPress sites, I would have an automatic tool that processed the upgrades for me. It’s not, so I don’t.

I use the FreeBSD WordPress package to get all of the dependencies, but manage my actual WordPress sites in a separate directory. It turns out that the FreeBSD WordPress package doesn’t list all of the modules that you need for a self-maintaining WordPress install. My old server had a few packages that the new one didn’t.

If you want to use WordPress’ self-updating features, be sure to install the following packages in addition to the FreeBSD-recommended defaults.


I installed these packages, and everything started working.

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Workaround: x11/nvidia-driver with UEFI boot on FreeBSD 10.1

351px-Nvidia_logoFreeBSD user asteriskRoss shows us a quick fix on getting your NVIDIA card to work with UEFI boot on FreeBSD 10.1

Unfortunately, the UEFI boot loader on FreeBSD 10.1 doesn’t play nicely with the proprietary Nvidia driver, x11/nvidia-driver. When I try to load it in loader.conf(5), I experience a kernel panic.

The workaround is to remove the entry from /boot/loader.conf and instead load the driver in rc.conf(5), by appending the following line to /etc/rc.conf:


The issue may be related to PR 193770.

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