Why FreeBSD ISO files are not more compatible?

tingo

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 638
Messages: 2,543

Datapoint: I have used fbsd-install-iso2img.sh a couple of times in the past. It works.
 

outpaddling

Active Member

Reaction score: 44
Messages: 131

To add some clarity to an old thread, the isohybrid format used by many other operating systems will not boot from a USB stick on older hardware. The separate ISO and memstick images provided by FreeBSD therefore support a wider range of hardware options. E.g. I install FreeBSD from a USB stick on some old PowerEdge servers we use for development and testing, but have to use a CD/DVD to install CentOS, which is provided only in isohybrid format.
 

Chris_H

Daemon

Reaction score: 211
Messages: 1,076

Just for fun, and since the OT has largely been derailed. I'm posting an old script I used to use for convenience, when I had a single CD/DVD already available. Which saved me the time, and space of getting an .img too. It also saved me the time of remembering all the commands to accomplish the task. This sh(1) script will put, convert the FreeBSD install ISO onto a USB stick / drive. Make adjustments as needed for your own usage / requirements / needs.
Code:
#!/bin/sh -
#
# fbsdiso2usb
# PURPOSE: Use this to transfer the FreeBSD install disc1.iso files
# to a bootable USB stick/drive so it can be used to install from.
# First fetch the FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE-*-disc1.iso to your hard
# drive in /usr/. Then execute this script from the command line
# fbsdiso2usb

# NOTE This script must be run as root and your USB stick/drive
# must be plugged in before running this script.
# WARNING assumes you have no other md(4), or da(4) in use.
# Check these before use!

echo ' '
echo '* * * * Preparing disc1.iso for usage * * * * *'
echo ' '
cd /usr
mkdir dis
mdconfig -a -f /usr/9.0-RELEASE-*-disc1.iso md0
mount -v -t cd9660 /dev/md0 /usr/dis
echo ' '
echo '* * * * Preparing target USB stick * * * * *'
echo ' '
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da0 count=2
fdisk -vBI /dev/da0
bsdlabel -B -w da0s1
newfs -O 1 /dev/da0s1a
mount -v /dev/da0s1a /mnt
echo ' '
echo ' '
echo '* * * * Copying disc1.iso files onto the USB stick * *'
cd /usr/dis
find . -print -depth | cpio -dump /mnt
echo ' '
echo 'Finished! cleaning up...'
cd /usr
umount -v /mnt
umount -v /usr/dis
mdconfig -d -u 0
rmdir dis
echo ' '
echo ' '
echo "# # # Script finished # # #"

HTH

--Chris
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Reaction score: 12,258
Messages: 38,773

Code:
mdconfig -a -f /usr/9.0-RELEASE-*-disc1.iso md0
That's definitely an old script, 9.0 was quite some time ago :D
 

3guesses

Member


Messages: 23

Hi,

I'm new to FreeBSD (or at least I would like to be, if I could get it to install) and having read this thread I'd just like to offer a viewpoint from a prospective newbie.

I use various OSes on various PC hardware and I use a single 64GB USB stick to perform installations, run diagnostics etc. This USB stick was configured using WinSetUpFromUSB which allows me to add multiple ISOs to the USB stick, and then I am presented with a menu to choose which ISO I want to boot as if the equivalentCD/DVD had been inserted. This is incredibly convenient compared to having 20+ separate USB sticks or CDs/DVDs, one for each installer/tool. Unfortunately, the only package I have found that doesn't work with it is FreeBSD. Anyway, I overcame my disappointment and decided to try to make a decidated USB install stick for it from the .img file using Win32DiskImager as detailed in the Handbook. However, this appears to create a USB stick with a GPT partition schema. I'm not sure if this is the reason, but my PC simply ignores booting from this USB stick. The result is I have been unable to boot the FreeBSD installer.

So the conclusion from my experience is that the suite of FreeBSD installation options do not cover all hardware set-ups, and if the ISO were compatible with WinSetUpFromUSB it would make/have made my life a hell of a lot easier; but having read this thread I do recognise that there is a lot of resistance to making such a change, although I don't pretend to understand what the reasons for that resistance are.

Generally speaking, in life you don't get extra points for doing things the hard way.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,339
Messages: 4,304

3guesses It is not up to FreeBSD to make WinSetUpFromUSB work. It is up to this Windows software company to make their software work with FreeBSD. It is them you need to bring your problems up with.

As far as the installation not working with all hardware setups, no operating system works with all hardware setups, but we don't have a clue what yours is but, suffice to say, a lot of people install FreeBSD using a USB stick without issue and without "the hard way".

You need to understand that FreeBSD is a professional operating system for professionals. Dedicated hobbyists also love running FreeBSD and don't seem to have the same issues you are having.
 

ShelLuser

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,097
Messages: 3,790

First time I came across this thread and I find it both quite amusing and seriously depressing at the same time.

I mean... All FreeBSD does is follow the current standards for the image files (both memory stick images and ISO images). How one imagines this to become "more" compatible if it's already on-par with those standards is mind boggling for me to be perfectly honest.
 

3guesses

Member


Messages: 23

3guesses It is not up to FreeBSD to make WinSetUpFromUSB work. It is up to this Windows software company to make their software work with FreeBSD. It is them you need to bring your problems up with.

I have brought it up with them. Their response was that FreeBSD does not include what is needed in the boot scripts. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I was then directed to this thread. But if WinSetUpFromUSB works with all other ISOs then clearly it is WinSetUpFromUSB which is at fault as you assert.

As far as the installation not working with all hardware setups, no operating system works with all hardware setups, but we don't have a clue what yours is but, suffice to say, a lot of people install FreeBSD using a USB stick without issue and without "the hard way".

I'm using an Intel D945GCLF motherboard. I did make a post in the installation problems forum but got little help.

You need to understand that FreeBSD is a professional operating system for professionals. Dedicated hobbyists also love running FreeBSD and don't seem to have the same issues you are having.

As I said, if FreeBSD worked with WinSetUpFromUSB it would make my life easier and, from readng this thread, I guess a number of other people's too. But if it makes you feel better keeping it restricted to an elite few then good for you.
 

3guesses

Member


Messages: 23

First time I came across this thread and I find it both quite amusing and seriously depressing at the same time.

I mean... All FreeBSD does is follow the current standards for the image files (both memory stick images and ISO images). How one imagines this to become "more" compatible if it's already on-par with those standards is mind boggling for me to be perfectly honest.

As I said in my previous reply, if WinSetUpFromUSB works with all other ISOs then those ISOs must be doing something different to FreeBSD. I guess there are standards and there are de facto standards - ones that actually work.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,339
Messages: 4,304

Their response was that FreeBSD does not include what is needed in the boot scripts.
Sounds like they don't want to change their boot scripts but, as you said, we don't know what that means.

I did make a post in the installation problems forum but got little help.
There aren't that many people on this board so It can take time for someone with knowledge of that to appear. If it's a problem with that board, it's a different issue than if it's a problem with installing.

if WinSetUpFromUSB works with all other ISOs then those ISOs must be doing something different to FreeBSD.
True. It could be they only work with Windows and Linux but strictly with systemd which is Linux only.

if it makes you feel better keeping it restricted to an elite few then good for you.
FreeBSD does no such thing. If interested hobbyists and amateurs can make this work, so can you.

Did you follow instructions in the Handbook?

Your only issue is with this Windows software you are trying to make work, not FreeBSD. It is WinSetUpFromUSB that apparently is unwilling to help by passing you off onto us where we have no control over or knowledge of it and can do nothing about it.
 
G

giahung1997

Guest


To add some clarity to an old thread, the isohybrid format used by many other operating systems will not boot from a USB stick on older hardware. The separate ISO and memstick images provided by FreeBSD therefore support a wider range of hardware options. E.g. I install FreeBSD from a USB stick on some old PowerEdge servers we use for development and testing, but have to use a CD/DVD to install CentOS, which is provided only in isohybrid format.
Thanks. You said what I would said but better content. The OP asked why FreeBSD doesn't use hybridISO format. Many previous commenters just misunderstood :)
 

vigole

Daemon

Reaction score: 1,453
Messages: 1,266

With D14799 still needing review, I'm curious because (in my experience, the past three years or so) a USB drive written from a FreeBSD-provided .iso usually is bootable. At least, with AMD64.

Not me alone; <https://forums.FreeBSD.org/threads/81124/post-520434>
It may depends on machine. IIRC ISO-on-USB worked on one of my machine -- Don't take my word for it, I could be completely wrong. Check the difference between these two files:

src/release/amd64/make-memstick.sh
and
src/release/amd64/mkisoimages.sh

Maybe some "block size" related issue? I'm not sure.
 
Top