How To Install FreeBSD on Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

How do I install FreeBSD 10 or FreeBSD 11 (current) on Raspberry Pi 2 Model B? How do I flash the SD Card using Linux, OS X, FreeBSD or Unix-like operating system?

[donotprint][/donotprint]You can easily install FreeBSD 10 or FreeBSD 11 (current) on Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. You can build a nice and easy to use Unix server using FreeBSD operating system. FreeBSD-CURRENT has supported Raspberry Pi since November, 2012 and Raspberry Pi 2 since March, 2015. In this quick tutorial I’m going to explain how to install FreeBSD 11 current arm port on RPI2.

1. Download FreeBSD-current image for arm

You can visit this page to grab pre built images for Raspberry Pi 2. Use wget or curl command to download image:
$ wget ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/snapshots/arm/armv6/ISO-IMAGES/11.0/FreeBSD-11.0-CURRENT-arm-armv6-RPI2-20151016-r289420.img.xz
OR
$ curl -O ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/snapshots/arm/armv6/ISO-IMAGES/11.0/FreeBSD-11.0-CURRENT-arm-armv6-RPI2-20151016-r289420.img.xz

2. Decompress FreeBSD-current image

Type any one of the following command:
$ unxz FreeBSD-11.0-CURRENT-arm-armv6-RPI2-20151016-r289420.img.xz
OR
$ xz --decompress FreeBSD-11.0-CURRENT-arm-armv6-RPI2-20151016-r289420.img.xz

3. SD Card Setup

You can flash the SD card using OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, MS-Windows and Unix-like operating system.

Flashing FreeBSD-current using Mac OS X

Type the following dd command:
$ diskutil list
$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskN
$ sudo dd if=FreeBSD-11.0-CURRENT-arm-armv6-RPI2-20151016-r289420.img of=/dev/disk2 bs=64k

Sample outputs:

1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes transferred in 661.669584 secs (1622776 bytes/sec)

Flashing FreeBSD-current using Linux/FreeBSD or Unix-like system

The syntax is:
$ dd if=FreeBSD-11.0-CURRENT-arm-armv6-RPI2-20151016-r289420.img of=/dev/sdb bs=1M
Make sure you replace /dev/sdb with actual SD card device name.

4. Boot FreeBSD

Insert in the SD card in your Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. You need to connect keyboard, mouse and display monitor. I’m using USB to serial cable to get output on screen:

Fig.01 RPi USB based serial connection

In this following example, I’m connecting to my RPi using screen command:

## Linux version ##
screen /dev/tty.USB0 115200 
 
## OS X version ##
screen /dev/cu.usbserial 115200
 
## Windows user use Putty.exe ##

Sample FreeBSD RPI boot session:

Gif 01: Booting FreeBSD-current on RPi 2

5. FreeBSD username and password for RPi 2

The default passwords for the images are freebsd/freebsd and root/root.

And, there you have it, FreeBSD-current installed and running on RPi 2.

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.