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Friday, October 5, 2007

FreeBSD installation in VMWare

The Problem:

I administer a remote (in Thailand!) FreeBSD server. I need to make some tweaks to it, but I don't have a local FreeBSD installation to test them beforehand. (I did run FreeBSD - 4.5 I think - for a time on my main desktop machine, and have administered FreeBSD boxen before, but it's always best to have a non-critical system to play around with). I have no CDs on which to burn an installation image.

The Solution:

In VMWare it's possible to use an ISO image on the host OS as a virtual CD-ROM. In VMWare 4.5 the option is available under VM -> Settings -> DVD/CD-ROM: "Use ISO image". I downloaded the FreeBSD "bootonly.iso" which contains a minimal system for network installation, created a new virtual machine, and was able to boot directly into the FreeBSD installer.

It took around 30 minutes on a (slow) FTP connection to get a minimal FreeBSD system up and running.

Alternative Solution:

Another option would be to download a FreeBSD VMWare player or similar.

Posted at 12:15 PM |Comments (0)