FreeBSD 8.0 in the house

So, (yes it is about 2:30am for me right now, had a small (=98 or 99 for me normal is mid 96 or low 97 degree temp) fever last night, ate some food I should have not and spent about 45 minutes in the bathroom about an hour ago… not sitting…) I completed the installation following the guide I mentioned in my FreeBSD and VMWare post a week or two ago, but I was so intent on the guide I forgot to mark the main HDD slice as bootable, and then it was all down hill from there.  the FreeBSD bootloader failed to locate a kernel and it was a real mess.  I have done this in the past and never really figured out how to resolve it without reinstalling.  The best I can tell you is what I just did…


  1. reboot from the install CD
  2. go into the post-configuration menu and select fdisk
  3. select the slice you installed root on “/”
  4. press “s” to make it bootable, should make a “A” appear next to it
  5. go into the label editor and go to each mount and press “m” and enter the mount point (make sure it is the same as the last time you ran setup, should be “/” “/usr” “/var” “/tmp” in that order if you want to have a happy and long life :)
  6. then go add some random package doesn’t matter what
  7. select commit, it will make the HDD partition changes and add the random package
  8. exit out and reboot


Now somehow I missed the network card config (probably because I was halfway through the install when my wife dragged me out to watch her drink green beer.  granted I had a good time up until about 1am this morning in the bathroom.  fyi I only had 1 beer, so the beer did not make me sick (it was not green!), it had to be the sandwich, which btw was good the first time…), so when I rebooted (and it did work after that) I had no IP addy. SO, back into the setup app


  1. type sysinstall
  2. go to configure “post install configuration”
  3. networking
  4. interfaces “configure additional networking interfaces”
  5. answer the questions


ok, now I have everything up and running, followed a link in the guide I was following to “what to do first after installing FreeBSD” basically gives you the commands to enter to update the system and the ports tree.


So, the next step in the guide has you setup and run dbus, which promptly gave me an error about not having it’s user ID’s configured correctly (I blame my shotty installation technique… :P  )  fixable by going here, which by the way does say that the issue is from my nuked /etc/passwd file when I reran setup.  This is bad, because I will be seeing more errors from this in the future… maybe I should nuke and restart before I get too far in?


I wish I did not have nearly everything I own stuffed in plastic tubs and sitting in a storage unit right now… I used to have a cheat sheet in a small ringed notedbook that had all these neat commands for FreeBSD written out, like how/when to use portupgrade and pkgdb.  so, somehow my brain nearly functioned correctly and reminded me of this. SO I did a quick search from my laptop and found a page on pkgdb which also talks and is linked to a page on portupgrade


I quickly ran pkgdb (if you’ve ever done this on a fresh install you’ll get the joke there, if not pop open virtual box install freebsd and follow allong to get a sense of what makes that funny) and got several issues resolved.


First I made sure to install all of these during the system install, as I know I will use them, but here is a list of the commands I have entered (as root) since my system booted for the first time to get it all setup. (in order, don’t know if it is the best order, but it is the order I did it!!)


  1. freebsd-update fetch install
  2. portsnap fetch extract
  3. pkgdb -F (this one can take 20 seconds or 2 hours)
  4. cvsup /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile -h (this one is a good one to run over night, or when you have to run out to the store... no prompts and takes a couple of minutes)
  5. cd /var/db
  6. tar cvfz var.db.pkg.[MMDDYYYY].tgz pkg
  7. cd ~ (get back to the root home directory)
  8. portupgrade -ra (this one takes a VERY long time and is directly affected by your internet speed; however you will frequently be prompted for options.  If you know what it is and want it, put an "X" in the box, if not, keep to the defaults and avoid anything marked experimental!)  Total run time 20 hours and it went unattended for up to 3.5 hours 3 times and for 30-50 mins twice. (each time it was sitting at a screen waiting for me when I got back to it)
  9. pkgdb -F (all good, finished in 5 seconds)
  10. cvsup /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile -h (went pretty quick this time, about 3 mins and DID make some more changes.)
  11. portupgrade -ra (finished in less than 10 minutes, but did update on some things and gave me an error "curl does not support both c-ares and IPv6 - disable one of them." apparently I checked to many boxes in the config screen!!  This process moved me from 528 packages installed to 631)
  12. portupgrade -ra (finished in about 15 minutes, but did update on some things AGAIN!)
  13. portupgrade -ra (keep on running it till it doesn't update anything... this run I noticed some errors flying by, and several updates but it only took about 5 mins to complete, maybe there are more, but I am ready to move on... I'll run this every night before I go to bed for a week until it stops updating.)


So, now back to the guide, I think I was trying to start dbus... (I borrowed these lines from the forum post linked above to fix my problem with starting dbus)


  1. cd /usr/ports/sysutils/policykit/ make deinstall
  2. make install clean
  3. cd /usr/ports/net/avahi-app
  4. make deinstall 
  5. make install clean


After that I was able to start both dbus and hald with no errors and the next step of that process was to reboot, so I shall, and then I'll continue this on a new post...


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