FreeBSD 4.x documentation covers information on how to install the operating system in a virtual machine. For additional information about the operating system, refer to the instructions included in the installation media.

FreeBSD 4.x documentation includes the following topics:

Installation Instructions

The easiest method of installing FreeBSD 4.x in a virtual machine is to use the standard FreeBSD distributionCD.


Before you begin, verify that the following tasks are complete:

  • Read General Installation Instructions for All VMware Products.
  • With many FreeBSD guest operating systems, problems were observed when the BusLogic virtual SCSI adapter was used with VMware virtual machines. VMware recommends that you use the LSI Logic virtual SCSI adapter with this guest operating system.
  • VMware recommends that you configure ESX Server virtual machines that use this guest operating system to use the vmx Ethernet adapter. See your product documentation for instructions.
  • FreeBSD 4.6 is not supported. Use FreeBSD 4.6.2 instead. It resolves an issue that interferes with installation of FreeBSD 4.6 in a virtual machine.

Installation Steps

  1. Insert the FreeBSD CD in the CD-ROM drive.
  2. Power on the virtual machine to start installing FreeBSD.
  3. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
  4. Install VMware Tools.

For additional installation instructions, see http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=148698&cat

Installation Instructions for FreeBSD 4.11, 4.10, and 4.9

After powering on the virtual machine complete this step:

In the FreeBSD Disk label Editor step, do not use the installer's default option A partitioning. Use option C to create the mounts. In order to install VMware Tools, you need more space in /usr than is provided by the installer defaults. Include at least 4,000,000 blocks for /usr in the partitioning scheme.

Installation Instructions for FreeBSD 4.3, 4.2, 4.1, and 4.0

When you install FreeBSD 4.3, 4.2, 4.1, and 4.0, consider these support and configuration issues.

  • If you create your virtual machine with a virtual IDE disk, installation proceeds as it would on a physical machine. If you create your virtual machine with a SCSI virtual disk that is 2GB or larger you need to set the disk geometry.
  • If you install FreeBSD 4.3, 4.2, 4.1, and 4.0 as the guest operating system on a 2GB or larger SCSI virtual disk, the guest operating system does not boot unless you take special steps.
  • The guest fails to boot because the virtual disk geometry is not probed correctly by FreeBSD when you install the guest operating system. FreeBSD installs the boot loader in the wrong location on the virtual disk. When FreeBSD tries to boot, the FreeBSD boot loader asks the BIOS for important data that is now on a different section of the virtual disk, so FreeBSD cannot boot.

    FreeBSD 4.4 and later versions correctly boot SCSI virtual disks of anysize.
  • Select one of the following methods to use FreeBSD 4.3, 4.2, 4.1, and 4.0 in a virtual machine.
    • Use an IDE virtual disk in your virtual machine. You might need to add the IDE virtual disk to the virtual machine with the Configuration Editor.
    • Manually set the disk geometry when installing FreeBSD.

Set the Disk Geometry Manually

FreeBSD calculates an incorrect disk geometry before you arrive at the FDISK Partition Editor. Therefore, you must set the disk geometry manually.

Installation Steps

  1. To set the disk geometry, press G to select the option Set Drive Geometry.
  2. A dialog box appears, containing numbers like 2055/64/32. These numbers represent the number of cylinders, heads, and sectors per head. These numbers are the incorrect geometry.
  3. Calculate the correct geometry.
    1. Find the total number of sectors by multiplying the number of cylinders, heads and sectors per head together.
    2. Divide the number of sectors by the correct number of heads and sectors per head.
  4. Enter the correct geometry separated by slashes (/).
  5. Click OK.
  6. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.

VMware Tools in a FreeBSD 4.x Guest

For information on VMware Tools, see Knowledge base article 1014294, General VMware Tools installation instructions, at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1014294.

Knowledge Base Articles for FreeBSD 4.x

The following link refers to knowledge base articles on operating system specific issues. See VMware Knowledge Base for a list of known issues about the operating system.

VMware Compatibility Guide

The VMware Compatibility Guide Web site lists supported guest and host operating systems and provides related support information.

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