Installing FreeBSD 8.2

published on March 27, 2011.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

As I’m currently in the progress of installing FreeBSD on my first machine (out of 4), writing the process down for future reference sounds like a pretty good idea :)

I’ve installed it from the CD image. The installation process was straightforward, altho either the boot loader or freebsd was getting confused in the first few attempts because I was installing it on the slave HDD. After installing it on the master, everything went fine.

On this machine I’m using a LevelOne WNC0305 USB wireless card which uses realtek’s dreaded RTL8187 chipset. After a bit of a googling, I ended up on the freebsd 8.2 hardware notes page, which in the wireless section lists all the available wireless drivers. From there I figured I need to use the urtw driver, that is to add:

if_urtw_load="YES"

to the /boot/loader.conf file. After rebooting the machine, it recognised my wireless card as urtw0. Hooray! Now to connect to the wireless router and onto the world.

For that, this message about (not) getting the ifconfig scan results helped me out, this bit to be precise:

# ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev urtw0
# ifconfig wlan0 up list scan

and it listed my router correctly. To make it stay that way after rebooting, I’ve added this to the /etc/rc.conf file (I might note that it was empty before this):

wlans_urtw0="wlan0"

At this time I figured I just could ssh to one of the servers in the office (we run freebsds there) and “steal” rest of the configuration, so I ended up with a /etc/rc.conf file something like this:

hostname="freebsd_box"
wlans_urtw0="wlan0"
ifconfig_wlan0="inet 192.168.0.100 netmask 255.255.255.0"
defaultrouter="192.168.0.1"

Reboot once again and I can ping anything via IP, but not via hostnames. Again, this (ooold) message about DNS settings in freebsd showed me the right direction - /etc/resolv.conf:

nameserver ip.of.name.server1
nameserver ip.of.name.server2

Reboot and everything is working fine! Victory!

Next step was (is) to fetch/update the ports database:

# csup -L 2 -h cvsup.freebsd.org /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile

From here I believe it’s all about installing software from the ports which should be all fine.

Happy hackin’!

Thanks for reading! If you require help on a project of any kind, let's talk!

Robert Basic

Robert Basic

Software engineer, consultant, open source contributor.

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