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Install different FreeBSD versions on separate partitions (GPT/EFI)?


New Member

Messages: 12

I already have RELEASE-11.1 installed on a partition on a 2015 MacbookAir, which I boot using the Refind boot manager installed on my ESP (EFI System Partition) and boot1.efi which I manually moved to my ESP, and this works great! :)

I would also like to install FreeBSD-CURRENT on another partition to help test and fix stuff, but don't see how I would choose which partition to boot from as boot1.efi seems to automatically boot the first UFS partition it finds as mentioned in the docs (https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=uefi&sektion=8). Is there anyway of selecting which UFS partition to boot from with this setup?



Active Member

Thanks: 144
Messages: 182


It is not recommended to install a jail with a FreeBSD version higher than of the host. Works, but problems are expected.
Oh I see, to think I was about to convert my test-port jail to a full CURRENT-jail, and probably I would have done so if you hadn't enlightened me :p


New Member

Messages: 12


It is not recommended to install a jail with a FreeBSD version higher than of the host. Works, but problems are expected.

Anyway, in the same fashion, JAW could use bhyve(8) for that or ever emulators/virtualbox-ose (with KVM accelerator will be faster). Both options should work just fine.
Thanks for your reply, I have used VirtualBox before but not tried bhyve. However, I'd like to test and contribute towards some of the hardware drivers for my laptop, so I don't think virtualisation is going to help as it will hide the underlying hardware.

I may have to switch to using GRUB as the boot manager as I think it can read UFS partitions so then I could list both the FreeBSD partitions (alongside OSX) in the boot menu, although I do prefer Refind! :-(

Unless I'm missing some trick or config for booting with boot1.efi / loader.efi?



Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 372
Messages: 983

I know nothing about UEFI since mine ones are BIOS but some folk cerntainly will pop up with some useful information, however the things are slow in here during weekends.

Well, I do not know if it is recommendable or ever practical but I guess you try to use beadm(1) for that.

It is intended to keep your old system intact after an failed system update. So It keep two versions at the same time, and you can boot with either one.



Thanks: 275
Messages: 1,730

Check out the gpart(8) man page, specifically the ATTRIBUTES section.
If you use the bootonce attribute you can switch to a different partition for the next boot only, example
gpart set -a bootonce -i 2 ada0
this will set you up to boot from ada0p2 next time. If you need a more permanent change, you can set / unset the bootme attribute on the partitions involved.
I use this a lot, it is very handy.
(But yes, I do forget to set the bootonce attribute sometimes, which requires an extra reboot)