[PC-BSD Testing] PCBSD 8.1 RC1 x64 installation experience

Alexander Yerenkow yerenkow at uct.ua
Wed Jun 23 01:41:38 PDT 2010

22.06.2010 22:46, rascal пишет:
> Hi there!
> In this email I'd like to describe my experience installing latest 
> pcbsd. After the incident with deleted partition everything went 
> pretty good :)
> This may seem like lot of criticism, but it's from point of view of 
> "casual" user, who is actually the target group from this system. 
> Anyway I'm big fan of your work and I can see improvements in every 
> version.
> first comment is aimed at preinstall:
> 1) I've bought dedicated flash drive to install bsd from usb flash 
> drive, to avoid the anguish of plaing with loud and slow dvd's. 
> Unfortunately both linux and bsd don't have a good tool to save an 
> pcbsd "img" usb-image to usb drive. Using dd it takes slightly more 
> than 1 hour to write the image to flashdrive (speed under 1MB/s). 
> Using win32 imager under Windows it takes cca 10-15 min to write te 
> image (speed cca 9MB/s).
> Maybe there is some tool I've not seen? Or would it be possible to 
> make pcbsd image compatible with UNetbootin? This would save us the 
> trouble of making our own tool and it would be much faster to make usb 
> bootable drives.
I think you simply run command
dd if=*.img of=/dev/da*

Slowness was because no required options were specified;
You should do something like that:
dd if=*.img of=/dev/da* bs=1m
(It will copy by 1Mb blocks, which is faster than default block size)

> 2)It takes quite long time to boot from flash drive (now maybe my 
> flash drive is slow at this, I don't know, but it's supposed to be 
> fast one). But I guess those modules (included wireless) are needed 
> for the live cd mode, so they have to be loaded anyway.
Well, it's slowly boots nowadays from CD/DVD too.
> 3) the issue with disk partition was described yesterday
> 4) on the "users" screen of the installer, the auto-login checkbox is 
> checked by default. I guess most windows users are used to that, but 
> it does not go well with unix pholosophy of being secure. Maybe it 
> would be better to leave it unchecked?
> 5) During the installation itself, the window does not jump like 
> crazy, like it used to do. Good job, this looks much better. It's also 
> nice, that the components are listed separately and the progress bar 
> is not stuck at 99% like it did before.
> 6)The installation as a whole took 30 minutes (30minutes of uptime 
> when rebooting). This is not bad, but could have been better. E.g. 
> Ubuntu is done in much less time (like 15 or 20 minutes I'd say). Of 
> course they provide cd image, not dvd image, but I'm just asking 
> myself what's all that stuff on the image. 3,5 GB is a lot of data. I 
> understand you want to deliver "full package", but is it really 
> necessary?
It's PBI's, sources and ports. It's really necessary when internet isn't 
fast as could be.
Also, all system files are compressed with LZMA, which saves space by 
cost of unpacking time.

> 7) I did not choose bsd bootloader, since I have grub2 from ubuntu. It 
> was quite a pain to find a correct setup for grub.cfg file, but 
> finally found it (in internet there is lot of outdated info for older 
> grub types).
> Mine looks like this (end of file):
> ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
> # This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries. Simply 
> type the
> # menu entries you want to add after this comment. Be careful not to 
> change
> # the 'exec tail' line above.
> menuentry "PC-BSD 8.1 x64 (on /dev/ad0s1)" {
> set root=(hd0,1)
> chainloader +1
> }
> ### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

Same thing here, I've installed Ubuntu, and I wasn't able to boot PC-BSD 
until I found same solution.
> Harddisk are numbered starting with 0, partitions do start with 1 
> instad (pcbsd sits on my ad0s1 or sda1 if you prefer). I found it with 
> experiments, because there is lot of contradicting info in internet. 
> Although grub2 recognizes bsd partitions inside the slice, (I mean a, 
> e, c and so on) it does work only when it's configured directly to 
> whole slice. This info is actually useful and could be included in the 
> wiki. I think there are some linux users who would like to try pcbsd 
> but who want to keep their linux grub.
Actually grub show you all available disks with "ls", or "?";
FreeBSD disks's easily could be found, they have a,b,d,e prefixes.

hd0s1, hd1s1, hd2s1, <== Linux or something;
hd3s1a <== Gotcha!

> That's all for now, expect another similar email with 
> post-installation comments.
> foxx
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