FreeBSD is provided with a text-based, easy to use installation program
Note: In general, these installation instructions are written
for i386™ (“PC compatible”) architecture
computers. Where applicable, instructions specific to other platforms
(for example, Alpha) will be listed. Although this guide is kept as up
to date as possible, you may find minor differences between the
installer and what is shown here. It is suggested that you use this
chapter as a general guide rather than a literal installation manual.
The minimal configuration to install FreeBSD varies with the FreeBSD
version and the hardware architecture.
Information about the minimal configuration is available in the
Installation Notes on the
Information page of the FreeBSD web site. A summary of this information
is given in the following sections. Depending on the method you choose to
install FreeBSD, you may also need a floppy drive, a supported CDROM drive,
and in some case a network adapter. This will be covered by the
Both FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/pc98 require a 486 or better processor
and at least 24 MB of RAM. You will need at least 150 MB of free hard
drive space for the most minimal installation.
Note: In case of old configurations, most of time,
getting more RAM and more hard drive space is more important
than getting a faster processor.
To install FreeBSD/alpha, you will need a supported platform and a dedicated disk for FreeBSD. It is not possible
to share a disk with another operating system at this time. This disk
will need to be attached to a SCSI controller which is supported by the
SRM firmware or an IDE disk assuming the SRM in your machine supports
booting from IDE disks.
You will need the SRM console firmware for your platform. In some
cases, it is possible to switch between AlphaBIOS (or ARC) firmware and
SRM. In others it will be necessary to download new firmware from the
vendor's Web site.
Note: Support for the Alpha was removed beginning with
FreeBSD 7.0. The FreeBSD 6.X
series of releases is the last containing support for this
There are two classes of processors capable of running FreeBSD/amd64.
The first are AMD64 processors, including the
AMD Athlon™64, AMD Athlon64-FX,
AMD Opteron™ or better processors.
The second class of processors that can use FreeBSD/amd64 includes
those using the Intel® EM64T
architecture. Examples of these processors include the
Intel Core™ 2
Duo, Quad, and Extreme processor families and the
3000, 5000, and 7000 sequences of processors.
If you have a machine based on an nVidia nForce3 Pro-150, you
must use the BIOS
setup to disable the IO APIC. If you do not have an option to do this,
you will likely have to disable ACPI instead. There are bugs in the
Pro-150 chipset that we have not found a workaround for yet.
To install FreeBSD/sparc64, you will need a supported platform .
You will need a dedicated disk for FreeBSD/sparc64. It is not
possible to share a disk with another operating system at this time.
A list of supported hardware is provided with each FreeBSD release in the
FreeBSD Hardware Notes. This document can usually be found in a file named
HARDWARE.TXT, in the top-level directory of a
CDROM or FTP distribution or in sysinstall's
documentation menu. It lists, for a given architecture, what hardware
devices are known to be supported by each release of FreeBSD.