Running FreeBSD on a Raspberry Pi computer

Raspberry_Pi_Logo.svg FreeBSD is a relative newcomer to the tiny RaspBerry Pi computer, particularly the young Raspberry Pi 2 models. However, FreeBSD developers are working rapidly to bring FreeBSD 11 (-current) to the inexpensive Pi.

DistroWatch has a quick overview of what it is like to install and run FreeBSD on the Raspberry Pi 2 computer board.

Before diving into my experiment with FreeBSD on the Pi, I think it is important to note that FreeBSD is just now getting support for the Raspberry Pi 2. The wiki page for FreeBSD’s status on the Pi has been changing quickly. In fact, the week I purchased my Raspberry Pi 2, virtually no features were reported to work on the device. A week or so later, most of the feature matrix changed from red to green, indicating most of the Pi’s hardware would work with FreeBSD. I think it is also worth mentioning there are no images of FreeBSD’s stable (10.x) branch for the Raspberry Pi 2. There are stable releases for the earlier Raspberry Pi machines, but not the most recent hardware. People who want to use FreeBSD on a Raspberry Pi 2 need to download an image of FreeBSD 11, the development branch of FreeBSD. Running the development (aka Current) branch of FreeBSD may lead to some regressions or unstable behaviour. In short, FreeBSD on the Raspberry Pi 2 is highly experimental and likely to be unstable, use it at your own risk.

Sounds exciting! Read the rest of the article to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of running FreeBSD’s -current branch on the Raspberry Pi 2.

Installing FAMP (FreeBSD 10, Apache, MySQL, PHP) on a Cloud or VPS Server

This tutorial by user Jose Velazquez shows us how to get FreeBSD 10 set up with Apache, MySQL, and PHP on a cloud or VPS server. Thanks to Atlantic.Net, a cloud hosting service that also offers the FreeBSD platform.


apache_software_foundation_logo_3074     mysql-php


This how-to will help you with your FAMP installation in FreeBSD 10 so that you can successfully run a high available stable platform for your web environment. FAMP is simply a software bundle that consists of 4 components that work together to form a powerful web server.  However, in this setup the acronym’s are as follows: FreeBSD (F) is the core of the platform which will sustain the other components. Apache (A) is used for the web service. MySQL (M) is used for database management,  and PHP (P) is used as the programming language.


You need a FreeBSD server that is configured with a static IP address. If you do not have a server already, you can visit our Cloud Hosting page here and spin a new server up in under 30 seconds.

Install FAMP on FreeBSD 10

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Install Sonarr on FreeBSD

sonarrThis short tutorial will show you how to get Sonarr set up on FreeBSD.

Installing Sonarr on FreeBSD isn’t hard, but does require several commands. If you aren’t familiar with Unix or Linux, this guide should hopefully be enough to get you up and running. This guide was tested under FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE.

If you want to do this safely, install and run it inside a FreeBSD jail.

mv /usr/local/etc/pkg.conf /usr/local/etc/pkg.conf.backup
pkg install mono mediainfo sqlite3
tar -xzvf NzbDrone.master.tar.gz
ee /etc/rc.d/run_drone

At this point you have a text editor open. Copy and the paste the following line into the editor:

/usr/local/bin/mono /root/NzbDrone/NzbDrone.exe --nobrowser &

  • Hit Esc, Enter, Enter to leave editor and save changes.

chmod 555 /etc/rc.d/run_drone

At this point Sonarr is installed, and we have it set to start on boot. You can execute run_drone, reboot the system or restart the jail if installed into one.

If you are wondering what is going on in the commands, here’s a brief rundown. FreeNAS 9.2 may have an older version of pkg installed. By moving the configuration file, it will heal itself and just work™, although this should not be necessary on newer versions of FreeBSD. Then we install mono, mediainfo, sqlite3 and all their required dependencies, including perl. Next up is Sonarr itself. Grab the files and extract, simple enough. Lastly we need to get Sonarr launching at boot, so we make a small script in rc.d which gets run at boot.

Unix experts will see that this is very hacky and insecure, especially as everything is running as root and listening on all IPs by default, so it’s a really good idea to put this inside a jail.


Install PostgreSQL server on Raspberry Pi from FreeBSD port

This tutorial by user Kenno shows us how to get PostgreSQL server set up on Raspberry Pi from FreeBSD port.


postgresql-logo   Raspberry_Pi_Logo.svg

Before I wrote this blog post, I had thought there was no binary package for PostgreSQL server for FreeBSD 11 running on Raspberry Pi. Hmm… how wrong I was! I just wasted the whole night compiling Postgres from source. DOH!

Anyhow, here’s the step I took to do it. If you’re familiar with FreeBSD, there’s nothing new here. But, I only use FreeBSD once in awhile, and so I tend to forget a lot what I do.

cd /usr/ports/databases/postgresql94-server
make config
make install clean

After a very long time of waiting, I was presented with the following message:

To initialize the database, run                                                                                              
  /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql initdb                                                                                      
You can then start PostgreSQL by running:                                                                                    
  /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql start                                                                                       
For postmaster settings, see ~pgsql/data/postgresql.conf                                                                     
NB. FreeBSD's PostgreSQL port logs to syslog by default                                                                      
    See ~pgsql/data/postgresql.conf for more info                                                                            
To run PostgreSQL at startup, add                                                                                            
'postgresql_enable="YES"' to /etc/rc.conf      

Let’s initialize the database:

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[FreeBSD-Announce] Change of Security Officer

Xin Li has just been appointed as the new Security Officer as part of the FreeBSD Core Team. Congratulations sir! We also send our best wishes to Dag-Erling and his family.

Dear all,

With immediate effect, the FreeBSD Core	team has appointed Xin Li as
the new Security Officer.  Congratulations Xin!

The previous Security Officer, Dag-Erling Smørgrav has unfortunately
been unable to continue in the role due to his family circumstances.  As
is usual, he proposed his successor when he tendered his resignation to
Core.  Xin was formerly the Deputy Security Officer and Core was glad to
confirm his appointment.

Core wishes to thank Dag-Erling for his valuable contributions during
his time as Security Officer and wishes him every future success.

Traditionally the hand-over of the Security Officer role has been
announced by the departing Security Officer.  Unfortunately Dag-Erling
has not been able to do that, so in this instance I have been requested
to make the announcement in his stead.

FreeBSD Core Team Secretary
core-secretary at


Working around sendmail STARTTLS connection problems

Last week the FreeBSD project released an errata notice for the sendmail service. While the notice itself covers all the technical details, what has essentially happened is OpenSSL and related software have begun rejecting 512-bit and lower DH parameters. This change protects services against the OpenSSL “Logjam” vulnerability and will hopefully make us all a little safer.

The bad news is that sendmail, as it is shipped with FreeBSD, does not make the grade when it comes to the security restrictions. As a result, FreeBSD systems which have been recently upgraded with security patches may no longer be able to send e-mail messages through the sendmail service. Administrators may notice they are no longer receiving status reports via e-mail or local users may not be able to send out mail messages.

The good news is there is an easy fix, we simply need to generate a new DH parameter file on our FreeBSD system and restart the mail service. This can be accomplished with just a few commands from the shell. In a terminal, as the root user, run the following commands:

cd /etc/mail/certs
openssl dhparam -out dh.param 2048
cd ..
make restart

The above commands will create a new DH parameter file with a 2048-bit key and restart the sendmail service. At this point the sendmail service should resume working. Some people have reported on the FreeBSD forums that they also had to reboot their computer after applying the above fix.

FreeNAS vs NexentaStor Community

This article compares FreeNAS with NextentaStor Community. They are both storage operating systems, FreeNAS being based on FreeBSD.


RGB_FreeNAS_Shark_Logo_Onlight_Lg nexenta

High Level Comparison

FreeNAS and NexentaStor Community are Storage Operating Systems that support many of the same features like CIFS, SMB, NFS, and iSCSI protocols. Each system works with OpenZFS (v5000) with feature flags, most virtualization platforms, and have support, training and certification available.


Started in October 2005 by Olivier Cochard-Labbe, FreeNAS is a free and open-source software network-attached storage (NAS) system based on FreeBSD and the OpenZFS file system and is licensed under the terms of the BSD License. In September 2009, the development team realized that FreeNAS would need to be completely re-written in order to incorporate modern features like a plug-in architecture, updates to the base system, and an up-to-date User Interface. To carry this out, the FreeNAS Team transferred the project over to iXsystems, who moved from a m0n0wall and PHP-based architecture to one based on FreeBSD’s NanoBSD embedded build system, the Python programming language, the Django CMS and the dojo JavaScript toolkit.

NexentaStor Community Edition

Alex Aizman and Dmitry Ysupov created the Nexenta OS project after Sun Microsystems released the bulk of its Solaris operating system under free software licenses as OpenSolaris. NexentaStor is derived from the former Nexenta OS and based on the illumos operating system, utilizing OpenZFS as an underlying filesystem. The software delivers unified file and block storage services to consumers. NexentaStor Community edition is free up to 18TB of raw storage and does not include all the features of the professional version.

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