FreeBSD on ZFS installation script

The latest version of my FreeBSD/ZFS installation script is now available in the wiki.

This new version is now a single script and uses command line arguments instead of editing variables in the script.

Scripts for installing FreeBSD 8.0 on ZFS

After following  How to install FreeBSD 8.0 using only ZFS partitions numerous times to install FreeBSD on ZFS I decided automate things.  So I created a pair of shell scripts to do it.  You use them as follows.

  1. Edit and set the destination drive and swap partition size.
  2. Edit and set your NIC information.
  3. Copy the two scripts to a USB drive (I use a Sandisk Cruzer)
  4. Boot off a FreeBSD 8.0 amd64 DVD
  5. Choose your code page
  6. In sysinstall, choose Fixit->CDROM/DVD
  7. Mount the USB drive on /mnt
  8. cd to /mnt
  9. run

When you run these scripts you are essentially following the procedure outlined in How to install FreeBSD 8.0 using only ZFS partitions only the partition calculations and all the typing is done for you.  All you have to do is answer the questions!

Note the following:

  • These scripts currently only work for FreeBSD 8.0 Release AMD64.  i386 kernel panics.
  • Have only been tested in a system with 4GB or RAM.
  • Only works for installing on a full drive, not in a slice.
  • These scripts are still being worked on.

These scripts are still being worked on, so check back regularly for fixes and updates.

You get the scripts from the Scripts for installing FreeBSD 8.0 onto ZFS page in the wiki.


– Fixed the link to the wiki page
– Since completing these script PC-BSD 8.0 has been released.  This is significant because PC-BSD’s installer will let you install FreeBSD on to ZFS using their installation tool.  So if your looking for a point-and-click installation check it out.

Installing FreeBSD 8.0 on ZFS

How to install FreeBSD 8.0 using only ZFS partitions is a step-by-step guide for install FreeBSD 8.0-Release on to ZFS at  What make this how-to different from many others is it works!

I followed the how-to to install FreeBSD 8.0 Release in to a VirtualBox VM and it worked on the first try.  I haven’t try installing any ports or updates to see what happens.  One step at a time.