Why FreeBSD ISO files are not more compatible?

kpa

Beastie's Twin

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What do you mean by using something similar to grub is not a workable solution? I am not saying grub but something which would provide similar minimal functionality for image only? It is not so obvious to me :)

GRUB is third party software (in ports(7)) and is GNU licensed, there's no way it will be imported into the FreeBSD base system and/or used as the boot loader on the official images.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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No I am not. Please read more carefully.
Apologies for that.
instructions that one can just dd the FreeBSD .iso onto a stick.
The Handbook I linked to earlier shows that. It's not outdated.
I doubt that it justifies accusing people of unprofessionality if they prefer to just burn a CD to get an installation done quickly
What I was saying is that if people won't use FreeBSD cause they can't figure out how to use a USB stick then they shouldn't be using FreeBSD.
 

wblock@

Beastie Himself
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What I was saying is that if people won't use FreeBSD cause they can't figure out how to use a USB stick then they shouldn't be using FreeBSD.
I understand what you are saying, but would rather make it as easy as possible to try FreeBSD and let people decided on the merits of the operating system, not installer attributes.
 
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yurtesen

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What I was saying is that if people won't use FreeBSD cause they can't figure out how to use a USB stick then they shouldn't be using FreeBSD.

It is not about not being able to use a USB stick. I use Rufus often and it is quite handy tool to write all sort of images to USB, I bet it is a tool that many people use quite often. I want to write FreeBSD IMG file and I need to start looking for another tool to use

When I am doing something, if I have to do something extra every step of the way, I would simply conclude this is not a good solution and choose the one which requires less work. It is bad for FreeBSD which already has a reputation of "difficult to use". Somebody hears FreeBSD is difficult to use, and yes they face difficulties right away when they start installing it...

GRUB is third party software (in ports(7)) and is GNU licensed, there's no way it will be imported into the FreeBSD base system and/or used as the boot loader on the official images.

We are not talking about GRUB. The subject was "something similar to GRUB", why can't the FreeBSD boot loader support this, and it already supports booting from USB stick.

Anyone interested in improving this is welcome to join in. Remember, too, that Ubuntu is a commercial enterprise, and has put a lot of money into their system. FreeBSD is largely developed by volunteers, but some well-meaning person developing improved installer image creation, or sponsoring others to do so, would be welcome also.

Welcome to join in how exactly? Is there an actual live project or plan for making the uber universal installer?
 

Zirias

Son of Beastie

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This seems a lot about opinions. I personally doubt a "hybrid image" is worth the effort for a simple reason: Optical storage media is (slowly) dying. For a "from scratch" installation of an OS, an USB image will be the standard way. So in the long run, just abandon the ISO images.

For now, a hybrid image could maybe save some (a little) bandwidth and leave the first-time user with less options about what to download, so it might be "nice to have". It should be a simple trade-off decision whether this is valuable enough for investing the time -- as already noted, the thread title is somehow "wrong", the FreeBSD ISO files are "compatible", iso9660 + ElTorito is just not meant for USB drives.
 

Zirias

Son of Beastie

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It is not about not being able to use a USB stick. I use Rufus often and it is quite handy tool to write all sort of images to USB, I bet it is a tool that many people use quite often. I want to write FreeBSD IMG file and I need to start looking for another tool to use
Sorry, but this doesn't make ANY sense. As I understand this tool, it works by knowing the inner workings of some boot loaders (including grub) in order to "emulate" the behavior of an optical drive with iso9660 file system. I'd call that a "trick". If this trick doesn't work with FreeBSD, it's not the fault of FreeBSD's boot loader.
 

Snurg

Daemon

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Is there an actual live project or plan for making the uber universal installer?
Well, hybrid installers have been state-of-art in Linux environments for quite a while now.

I am not sure whether it is a good thing to have about twenty images for standard Intel based PCs to choose from http://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/ISO-IMAGES/10.3/
So I think that DruidBSD or similar approaches could be useful to reduce that mess somewhat and make things easier for SystemdOS and RedmondOS refugees.
 

ANOKNUSA

Aspiring Daemon

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When I am doing something, if I have to do something extra every step of the way, I would simply conclude this is not a good solution and choose the one which requires less work. It is bad for FreeBSD which already has a reputation of "difficult to use".

Obviously "less work" means "not reading the documentation people have already put a lot of work into." The documentation that tells you which is the right tool for the job. (Hint: It isn't Rufus.)
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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Which brings us back around to what I said earlier. The problem that this thread started with is a problem for Rufus, not a problem with FreeBSD. While it's been brought up that it would be nicer to have an installer figure it which iso to use, maybe it is, but that's pretty much a one time thing and then you know which one to download.

That Linux does this doesn't matter. There are millions of Linux distros, it seems, but there's only one FreeBSD.
 

Phishfry

Beastie's Twin

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Working in a machine shop I see lots of people attempting to insert a square peg into a round hole.
It often ends up with a sledge hammer and torch and lots of cursing.
 

Zirias

Son of Beastie

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Hehe. The analogy somehow ends when you see that there are "hybrid" boot images, kind of being round and square at the same time. But of course, such "deep magic" is quite some work, and what exactly is the benefit? (I answered that above, but, is it worth the hassle?)
 

wblock@

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Welcome to join in how exactly? Is there an actual live project or plan for making the uber universal installer?
At present, not that I'm aware. There is some previous work. Come to think of it, I think the FreeNAS installer is a hybrid image.

Optical storage media is (slowly) dying. For a "from scratch" installation of an OS, an USB image will be the standard way. So in the long run, just abandon the ISO images.
This makes a lot of sense.
 

Snurg

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Come to think of it, I think the FreeNAS installer is a hybrid image.
This seems a lot about opinions. I personally doubt a "hybrid image" is worth the effort for a simple reason: Optical storage media is (slowly) dying. For a "from scratch" installation of an OS, an USB image will be the standard way. So in the long run, just abandon the ISO images.
This makes a lot of sense.
I am not that sure about this. USB sticks have some issues: easily tamperable, prone to bit errors and usually no intrinsic data integrity check (parity, crc).
Optical media will still be relevant for at least a decade for these and some more reasons, I guess.
Thus I really hope some guru will look at DruidBSD and the FreeNAS installer and port its "magic boot technique" back to FreeBSD.
 

max21

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If ISO files was to die, would that mean the end of Virtualbox for FreeBSD users? Virtualbox has no support for USB for a FreeBSD guest and I think that is by design. If Linux was based on FreeBSD efforts, surely Oracle has the technical expertise to add this ability for a FreeBSD Virtualbox guest … I wonder why new users keep ruling out simplicity just to encourage FreeBSD to be like Windows and Linux? Their criticism convinced the developers to replace (not improve upon) the original sysintaller which now create a linux-style partition (with bits stepping upon the MBR like Ubuntu, etc), and to realize the next plot is for FreeBSD to stop supporting ISO files so that a FreeBSD vBox guest cannot transfer files from ANY kind portable media. Anyway, I don’t trust this new magic that only provide virtual MBR existence. That is Virtual gone too far. You might enter one old standard FreeBSD command and POOF partitions are gone. I bet we all seen something like that once since 9x. A big maybe; now you know why!
 

wblock@

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ISO files was to die, would that mean the end of Virtualbox for FreeBSD users?
Whoa, that is a strange conclusion. A USB image, which is just a hard drive image, works the same way ISO files work with VirtualBox. An actual physical USB stick is not involved.
 

debguy

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a few posters said the CD image does boot from thumb - but this was ignored. a poster above said BSD does have .img for thumb and "what else do you want?" - everyone else seemed to ignore this. the original poster was not questioned as to what boot code he had on the thumb (ie, how was this image dd'ed? did the boot code get where it needed and did the bios support booting thumb using ?el torito? ... no one asked)

here are some sparse facts that can be found on wikipeida or other study areas....

fact: CDs and flash do not boot - that depends wholey on bios
and wholey what brand computer you bought

fact: CD's can be UDF, and not support case sensitive filenames
think: camera or other compatibility - think widely supported
some OS's still run their unix that way (Apple, until very recently)
(there's many a reason CDs arent just a stored image of ZFS !)

fact: CD's have inner layout which drivers have to support
to read (ie, linux ext2) what filesystem was written to CD:
they are NOT ide as advertised and require drivers
how to write boot records is special (ie, el torito)
and does NOT work like writing boot record to IDE (dd it? no)

fact: CD is widely supported across OSes in many forms and shapes
.img on stick - no, depends, mostly newer support, etc.

fact: el torito boot CDs was only for intel !

fact: there are newer CD booting standards

fact: the bios decides what boot code is allowed from what media
(emulators aside)
not all bios supported the same boot code on thumb and CD
the bioses would only accept 1 kind - infact i'd think you were
pulling my leg if you said they had stuck to any "standard" since

thumb drives <> USB are much more like ide drives than CDs are

BUT YES YOUR RIGHT, those engineers who refuse to conform to anything for sure for any length of time: are a total pain in the xxxx

hope that helps.

as i said i think several answers were given to OP and were simply not check on by OP or others
 
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yurtesen

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debguy, you apparently didnt read the whole thread. Because I can't really make any sense of what is your point or point of your "facts"

To summarize, my original post was asking why FreeBSD can't make an ISO image and a boot method which can be easily converted to USB image etc. for example with tools using Rufus.
The reason as far as I understand is that it cant do it now is because when you make a flash in windows you need to use fat/fat32/exfat etc. to store files. But freeBSD cant boot from those filesystems as far as I gather? It has to be able to mount one of those filesystems as root / filesystem. Currently the .img file has a UFS filesystem which users DD into the usb drive.

Anyway, the reason was because other OSes usually give out 1-2 images which can form into anything you want. While FreeBSD has 20+ files per release. (now both UEFI and non-UEFI files also). It makes little sense to make something so cumbersome....

Anyway, as I expected, it was perhaps a question which was better to not ask. Just keep getting annoying responses like if you cant use a usb stick img dont use freebsd. OMG I am sorry that I even asked it :)
 

ANOKNUSA

Aspiring Daemon

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The reason as far as I understand is that it cant do it now is because when you make a flash in windows you need to use fat/fat32/exfat etc. to store files. But freeBSD cant boot from those filesystems as far as I gather?

A FAT32 ESP is part of the UEFI standard. The fact is that Rufus is a non-standard hack that seeks to make things convenient for some. And that's what this whole debacle sprang from...

Anyway, the reason was because other OSes usually give out 1-2 images which can form into anything you want. While FreeBSD has 20+ files per release. (now both UEFI and non-UEFI files also). It makes little sense to make something so cumbersome....

"Cumbersome" means "hard to manage or work with." As in, "This multi-architecture, multi-boot-scheme, non-standardized *.iso file is such a complicated mess that maintaining the code for it is cumbersome." As you'll no doubt notice, whether something seems cumbersome is largely subjective. What's happened in this thread, yurtesen, is that you've come into a community without really understanding its culture, made a bunch of unfounded assumptions about it, and judged it negatively based on those assumptions. That's what people are reacting to. Your apparent experience with Ubuntu (if I read your earlier post correctly) has reinforced the common, but false notion that "simple" is the same thing as "convenient" or "easy." They are not the same. Here, people are willing to sacrifice a little convenience for the sake of keeping individual things simple, and keeping those individual things simple makes everything a little bit easier for everybody rather than making it much easier for some, and much harder for others. It's a difference in outlook---not necessarily a better or worse one, but a very different one.
 
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yurtesen

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ANOKNUSA Can you please tell how rufus is doing anything non-standard? it makes fat filesystem on usb stick it sounds like more standard than freebsd .img file containing ufs filesystem to be copied to usb stick? Can you please clarify?

You are completely wrong and your assumption is unfounded. First of all you seem to assume making such iso image which can be copied to USB will require constant maintenance. But it does not. You do it once and everybody who uses FreeBSD benefits (benefits overweight the work required). I imagine at some point somebody probably said 'why do we need to support cdrom, everybody has a floppy drive' :)

You think keeping up scripts for making 20 different image files is easier which is strange.... Compared to making/keeping fewer images, but more compatible ones which would on the contrary require less work...

Besides there is nothing non-standard about Linux or Windows ISO files. I can write them to CD/DVD and boot on any CD/DVD drive. That is by definition standard.

If you can't evolve you will only get extinct. You can keep finding excuses for not evolving, sure, it is your prerogative
 

Snurg

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... come into a community without really understanding its culture ... Your apparent experience with Ubuntu (if I read your earlier post correctly) has reinforced the common, but false notion that "simple" is the same thing as "convenient" or "easy." They are not the same. Here, people are willing to sacrifice a little convenience for the sake of keeping individual things simple, and keeping those individual things simple makes everything a little bit easier for everybody rather than making it much easier for some, and much harder for others. It's a difference in outlook---not necessarily a better or worse one, but a very different one.
It is not only about convenience, but also about efficiency.
Think about the extreme difference between Ubuntu and maybe Gentoo or Archlinux.
The first one is extremely efficient in regards of the time required to set up and configure a standard system. The latter ones are extremely time-consuming, or, in other words, expensive and thus ineffective.

You somehow contradict yourself in this sense. For example, for the sake of simplicity, convenience and easiness, there is the FreeBSD installer which saves us the many simple installation steps Gentoo or Archlinux users have to do manually. It's just a matter of efficiency.
Honestly: Would you enjoy installing FreeBSD if you had to do it the time-consuming, tedious and thus ineffective Gentoo way?

First of all you seem to assume making such iso image which can be copied to USB will require constant maintenance. But it does not. You do it once and everybody who uses FreeBSD benefits (benefits overweight the work required).
I believe this is correct. Basically it would mean an one-time-task to create two additional to the existing about 20 makefile targets (for 32-bit and 64-bit images) and to create a simple bootup menu selection script which allows you to choose from the various basic boot options (base or full offline installation with a few of the most-used metapackages offered, netinst, ...)

You think keeping up scripts for making 20 different image files is easier which is strange.... Compared to making/keeping fewer images, but more compatible ones which would on the contrary require less work...
Some Linux distros offer both approaches. Two main installer images (32 and 64 bit) that can be burned onto CD or a memstick. For those who want a more specialized type image there is still the option to download such if the need arises. This makes things much easier for the users' majority.
You see, this discussion is is not about no longer offering specialized images, but about offering general-purpose images, too.
So that people administering several different computers/servers just can use one-fits-all image. Instead of -objectively unnecessarily- being burdened with maintaining different boot/install images even for the same OS release.



That's what people are reacting to.
Inflexibility and resistance against changes are commonly observed when evolutionary pressure enforces changes.
If you can't evolve you will only get extinct. You can keep finding excuses for not evolving, sure, it is your prerogative
Not evolving makes dependent of niches to survive in.
Honestly: Can we afford to neglect caring about efficiency forever until FreeBSD has become a fringe OS?
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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I'm pretty sure installation using images and USBs are not going to make FreeBSD a fringe OS. Nor do I think making FreeBSD do things "just like Linux" will do that either. It's not the reason Netflix chose FreeBSD. Nor Whatsapp or nginx.
 

JustinClift

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As a data point, the .iso files for FreeNAS (based on FreeBSD) can be written to either CD or USB thumb drive:

http://doc.freenas.org/9.10/install.html#preparing-the-media

Note - I have no idea how they've approached it, etc.

But, if someone has the time and desire to make the official FreeBSD .iso's work for both methods too, then investigating the FreeNAS approach is probably not a bad idea. :)
 

kpa

Beastie's Twin

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As a data point, the .iso files for FreeNAS (based on FreeBSD) can be written to either CD or USB thumb drive:

http://doc.freenas.org/9.10/install.html#preparing-the-media

Note - I have no idea how they've approached it, etc.

But, if someone has the time and desire to make the official FreeBSD .iso's work for both methods too, then investigating the FreeNAS approach is probably not a bad idea. :)

They are probably using a third party bootloader such as GRUB that allows the images to boot on both CD/DVDs and on USB memory sticks. FreeBSD has chosen not to rely on third party bootloaders as already noted in this thread.

What is also not pointed out clearly enough is that those hybrid images do violate existing standards and you can not be 100% sure that they work every single system out there.
 
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