[PC-BSD Testing] Manually installing PC-BSD 9 snapshot

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.org
Mon May 2 10:21:01 PDT 2011

On 05/02/2011 11:38, My BSD wrote:
> One of my boxes has an nVidia video card in addition to the motherboard
> video chip. The motherboard video chip cannot be disabled, however,
> only the nVidia card is connected to a monitor.
> When I try to install a new distribution from cdrom/dvd or usb, Xorg
> loads a driver for the motherboard video chip but not for the nVidia
> video card, resulting in no video once Xorg takes over.
> In the past, I would install the new distribution on a hard disk in a
> VirtualBox session, add a "xorg.conf" that forces use of the nVidia
> card and it would always work fine directly on the computer (bare
> metal) afterward.
> Tried installing the latest PC-BSD 9 snapshot the same way on a hard
> disk with pre-existing gpt partitions. However, the PC-BSD installer
> would not allow them to be used.
> Instead, I forgot about VB and copied the contents of the PCBSD.tbz
> archive from a mounted installation USB image to the appropriate
> partitions on the gpt disk, added the working xorg.conf as well as a
> fstab, and made a menuentry on "grub.cfg" for the new installation.
> This allowed me to boot into a single user session where I added the
> root password and one user.
> After a reboot I had a shell login prompt (no X yet). Logged in,
> mounted the installation USB image, changed directories to the
> "packages" root directory on the mounted installation image, and with
> "pkg_add" installed all the packages listed on
> "/usr/local/share/pcbsd/base-ports/base-system/ports-list". (I now see
> that it would have been easier to install the actual version of the
> packages listed on "pkg-list, perhaps "pkg_add `cat pkg-list`".)
> Rebooted into a gdm login manager, logged in to a graphical session and
> everything seemed to work (and is still working).
> Since PC-BSD 9 is still in alpha and there will be many more snapshots
> to test, is the above method O.K.?
> If not, is there a better method (given the peculiarities of how Xorg
> treats my video hardware when run from installation media)?
> Thank you

That method will work, but I'm fixing the next snapshot so that if you 
select the nvidia driver, it will already be loaded at the first boot.

BTW, how is your GPT partitioning setup? Can you send me a layout of 
your disk? I may be able to fix the installer so that you can install 
directly to the GPT partition if need be.

Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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