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.

Original post:

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.

Original post:

Emby Server for FreeBSD

logoembyThis short tutorial by Emby will show you how to get it set up on FreeBSD.


pkg install mediabrowser

Configure FFMpeg

# Update FreeBSD ports tree
portsnap fetch update

# Remove default FFMpeg package
pkg delete -f ffmpeg

# Reinstall FFMpeg from ports with lame option enabled
cd /usr/ports/multimedia/ffmpeg
make config
# enable the lame option
# enable the ass subtitles option
make install clean


service mediabrowser start

To enable MediaBrowser service (will automatically run at boot):
sysrc mediabrowser_enable="YES"

Original post:

Verisign Announces vBSDcon 2015

vBSDcon, hosted by Verisign, has been announced and is being held on September 11-13 in Reston, Virginia.

Following the success of the inaugural vBSDcon, Verisign has elected to host a
second vBSDcon in Reston, Va at the Sheraton Reston hotel the weekend of
September 11, 2015. vBSDcon is a technical conference focused on the BSD
family of operating systems including, but not limited to, FreeBSD, OpenBSD,
NetBSD, and others. Any user, developer, engineer, or innovator involved with
any of the BSD family of operating systems will want to mark these dates.
vBSDcon will feature plenary talks, Birds of a Feather discussions, lightning
talks, and much more. Full details are available at
Additionally, While vBSDcon currently does not operate an “official” call for
presentations, proposals will be accepted until June. Anyone wishing to submit
a talk is invited to do so by emailing vbsd… The event agenda
is expected to be finalized and published in mid-June.

We look forward to seeing you September 11, 2015!

Original announcement:

How to Resize Your Existing FreeBSD Root Partition/Slice Safely Without Re-Installing on Amazon EC2

gpu_amazon_ec2_logoThis tutorial by user shows us how to resize/slice an existing root partition, without reinstalling FreeBSD, on Amazon EC2.

Original post:

@A: Daniel Morante

There comes a time when your FreeBSD root partition is just too small to be of any use. You’ve already moved /var, /usr, and /tmp to separate disks and there just isn’t anything else you can delete. The problem being that you initially created the partition to be too small when FreeBSD was first setup.

There are some guides out there that suggest to backup and start over. Others will tell you to use a dump and restore method. All that is too complicated and too much work for us lazy system administrators. Fortunately with recent versions of FreeBSD (9.0 and above) there is a handy little tool called “gpart”.


  • FreeBSD 9.0 or later (if you have a lesser version, you might be able to get away with using a 9.x live CD)
  • FreeBSD 9.x or later boot-only media. (ISO or flash image)
  • Extra or unused space on the drive where the root partition is stored.
  • A backup of your most precious files stored on this system
  • This guide assumes you are using a single non-RAID IDE/SATA or SCSI disk. Device names may be different and extra drivers may need to be loaded for other types of disks.

    [Read more…]

FreeBSD 1st Quarter 2015 Status Report

freebsd-logo-largeThe developers of FreeBSD have posted their quarterly status report. Follow the link below to hear reports from FreeBSD Bugmeister, Ports Collection, and the FreeBSD Core Team.


This report covers FreeBSD-related projects between January and March 2015. This is the first of four reports planned for 2015.

The first quarter of 2015 was another productive quarter for the FreeBSD project and community. FreeBSD is being used in research projects, and those projects are making their way back into FreeBSD as new and exciting features, bringing improved network performance and security features to the system. Work continues to improve support for more architectures and architecture features, including progress towards the goal of making ARM (32- and 64-bit) a Tier 1 platform in FreeBSD 11. The toolchain is receiving updates, with new versions of clang/LLVM in place, migrations to ELF Tool Chain tools, and updates to the LLDB and gdb debuggers. Work by ports teams and kernel developers is maintaining and improving the state of FreeBSD as a desktop operating system. The pkg team is continuing to make binary packages easier to use and upgrade.

Thanks to all the reporters for the excellent work!

The deadline for submissions covering the period from April to June 2015 is July 7th, 2015.

View the full report:

Increase disk space in FreeBSD

This short tutorial by user  shows us how to increase your disk space in FreeBSD.

I use gpart to manage disk partitions in FreeBSD, because it works, and is much easier than the old bsdlabel shenanigans. Increasing the size of the last partition on a disk is easy:

  • Power down
  • resize disk (e.g. increase virtual machine’s disk allocation)
  • boot into single user mode
gpart recover da0
gpart show -p da0
gpart resize -i 5 da0
gpart show -p da0
growfs /dev/da0p5
  • reboot

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How To Use OPIE to Get One-Time Passwords for FreeBSD 10.1

This tutorial by FreeBSD user Hathy A (DigitalOcean) shows us how to set up “one-time” passwords on FreeBSD 10.1, a method to keep secure from unwanted access.

Original post:


SSH is the most popular way to log in to a server remotely. It is a cryptographic protocol that protects your password against man-in-the-middle and replay attacks.

You must keep in mind, though, that SSH protects your data only while it is in transit. Attackers can discover your SSH password by other means, such as by using keyloggers or strategically placed cameras.

As long as you use a trusted computer (say, one that belongs to you or your company), and do so from a safe location, you don’t have to worry about such attacks. However, sometimes you might need to use a public computer. To protect your passwords in such scenarios, FreeBSD comes with a security feature called One-time Passwords In Everything, or OPIE.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to generate and use one-time passwords to log in to your remote FreeBSD server. You can pregenerate one or more one-time passwords when you’re in a safe location, and save them for later when you access your server from a less secure location. That way, even if your one-time password gets logged, it won’t ever be useful to an attacker.


In order to follow this tutorial, you will need:

  • A FreeBSD 10.1 server which is accessible over SSH
  • A user who is allowed to switch to root; the default freebsd user on DigitalOcean is fine

[Read more…]