First, sysinstall is mostly dead. Avoid it if possible. It won't install the source distribution for you any more. There are two ways to get the source. Okay, maybe a lot more, but only two will be covered here. Download the tar file that matches the version you installed. i386: ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/i386/9.0-RELEASE/src.txz amd64: ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/amd64/9.0-RELEASE/src.txz Unpack the archive to /usr/src: # tar -C / -xvzf src.txz Be aware that this will only get you the code for FreeBSD-9.0-RELEASE, not anything that has been added since then. svn(1) SVN (Subversion) is a newer source control system. It is not part of the base system, so install devel/subversion. Then check out the source: # svn checkout https://svn0.us-west.FreeBSD.org/base/releng/9.0/ /usr/src Other versions of FreeBSD have different URLs, like https://svn0.us-west.FreeBSD.org/base/stable/9/ for 9-STABLE. svn includes a larger history and can take up to twice the amount of disk space as a CVS checkout. When using HTTPS, the first checkout will ask about the server certificate. Code: Error validating server certificate for 'https://svn0.us-west.freebsd.org:443': - The certificate is not issued by a trusted authority. Use the fingerprint to validate the certificate manually! Certificate information: - Hostname: svnmir.ysv.FreeBSD.org - Valid: from Fri, 24 Aug 2012 22:04:04 GMT until Sat, 24 Aug 2013 22:04:04 GMT - Issuer: clusteradm, FreeBSD.org, CA, US - Fingerprint: 79:35:8f:ca:6d:34:d9:30:44:d1:00:af:33:4d:e6:11:44:4d:15:ec (R)eject, accept (t)emporarily or accept (p)ermanently? The certificate can be accepted temporarily or permanently, or rejected if you doubt that machine's identity. Other protocols have different authentication methods. See the Handbook SVN mirror list for alternate servers which may be faster for you.