Running FreeBSD on Raspberry Pi

In this and some next articles I will write how to install, setup and run FreeBSD on Raspberry Pi.

Why FreeBSD?
Official Raspberry Pi Quick start guide offers to download and use NOOBS – New Out Of Box Software.
It includes Raspbian, Pidora and two flavours of XBMC.
On Raspberry Pi Downloads page we can also find raw images of Raspbian, Pidora, RaspBMC, OpenELEC, RISC OS and Arch Linux.

All of this systems based on Linux except RISC OS.

But FreeBSD also supports Raspberry Pi.
There is a special page on FreeBSD wiki.
And Raspberry Pi has a special Forum about FreeBSD.

I have a big experience with Unix, primarily with BSD. And I like it more than Linux.
I tried to run FreeBSD on Raspberry Pi and it was easy.

There are a lot of materials about Raspbian.
Books about Raspberry Pi usually say about Raspbian.
But there is practically no information about FreeBSD on Raspberry Pi.
That’s why I decide to write about it.

Getting FreeBSD for Raspberry Pi
There are some official FreeBSD binary distributions for ARM platform.
You can find it here.
There are FreeBSD-10.0-RELEASE and some FreeBSD-10.0-STABLE images.
I use last stable image.
After downloading and uncompressing it you should write it on SD card as usually.

Run FreeBSD for the first time
Insert SD card in Raspberry Pi, connect keyboard and HDMI monitor and power it on.

You will see this screen:

Then you will see standard process of FreeBSD booting.
It is interesting to see here GPIO, I2C and SPI devices.

And finally you will get a login prompt.
We can login as user root whitout password:

I use 8GB SD card and after first boot I see only 928700 KB (43% used) on root partition.
But after reboot I got 7699472 KB (5% used) on root partition.

On next screen you can see running processes after fresh FreeBSD installation.


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