Sunday, August 21, 2011

FreeBSD install on EeePC 901

I've installed FreeBSD on two desktops in recent times without any significant problems.
Now I wanted to see if I could get it installed on my EeePC 901 which would add to the challenge by having no optical drive and very limited SSD space AND I'm multibooting here.

The first problem meant that I needed to install from a usb-stick for which there are quite a few guides such as here, here and here (although this last is not encouraging).
In addition, Unetbootin includes a version of FreeBSD (8.0 at present) in its available distros.
Most importantly, FreeBSD actually provide a downloadable usb image which can be dd'ed to a usb key with ease. using

# dd if=FreeBSD-8.2-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img of=/dev/da0 bs=10240 conv=sync

The 8.2 i86 version of the image is here.
Although the memstick image itself is 914 MB in size, I found that you need a USB key at least larger than 2 GB in size to avoid running out of space. Finally I used one of 8GB in size.
Using the above image and the dd command, I ended up with an 8GB key that booted fine on my netbook.
Then came the second problem -- what minimum partition size can I get away with?

TO BE CONTINUED...........

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