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Operating Systems Software BSD

A Taste of FreeBSD With VirtualBSD 43

Posted by timothy
from the touches-of-os-x dept.
ReeceTarbert writes "If you wanted to try FreeBSD but didn't have the right hardware, or enough time to make it useful on the desktop, VirtualBSD might fit the bill: it's a VMware appliance based on FreeBSD 7.1-RELEASE and features the Xfce 4 Desktop Environment and a few of the most common applications to make it very functional right out of the box. If you're curious you can have a look at the screenshots, or proceed to the download page and grab the torrent file right away. (Note: VirtualBSD also works in VirtualBox 2.x as long as you create a new virtual machine and select the virtual disk from the archive instead of creating a new one)."
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A Taste of FreeBSD With VirtualBSD

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  • Not quite... (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @09:16AM (#27133403) Journal

    Note: VirtualBSD also works in VirtualBox 2.x

    FreeBSD works in VirtualBox 2.1.2 and later. Earlier versions had a bug which prevented FreeBSD from working correctly.

    • Mod parent up (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nimey (114278)

      Until just recently FreeBSD installs always failed in VirtualBox.

    • Earlier this year (there's been 1 virtual box update since then) I installed FreeBSD in virtual box, no problems. However, non-trivial disk acivity (such as compiling a port) caused the OS to shit itself with geometry errors.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by jdong (1378773)

        However, non-trivial disk acivity (such as compiling a port) caused the OS to shit itself with geometry errors.

        That's my experience too, even with VBox 2.1.2-VBox 2.1.4: Any nontrivially intense disk activity will panic/oops the kernel with disk controller related errors. Once or twice it even was triggered in the installation phase when I elected to install some ports from the second CD. And forget about SCSI controller emulation as a workaround -- that instantly dies on newfs.

      • I have a FreeBSD 7.1 VM running in VirtualBox 2.1.4 that's managed to build world and a load of other stuff (llvm, etoile, etc) without issues. I am using the SATA adaptor for the virtual disk, which may make a difference. I have ACIP, VT-X and PAE enabled and am using the the Intel PRO/1000 T Server NIC.

        Prior to 2.1.2, this VM would fail with the eflags error on any heavy activity. This is a stock install of FreeBSD 7.1, with no extra patching, and now works perfectly. Running Xephyr on the host and

        • I've also got a working install of FreeBSD, I haven't done a build world, but I've buillt a number of ports, and it seems fine, using the IDE controller. The only quirk is that if I try and use any non-default option in the boot loader, including, ironically "safe mode", then the vm will fail to mount the virtual drive.
    • FreeBSD works in VirtualBox 2.1.2 and later. Earlier versions had a bug which prevented FreeBSD from working correctly.

      That's why VirtualBSD mentions VMware Player (or better) explicitly and only places hints about VirtualBox in /boot/loader.conf and /etc/X11/ReadmeVirtualBox.txt (you may also want to run /usr/local/bin/vmware-uninstall-tools.pl as you won't need them any longer).

      As I see it, the only problem is that there is no free (as in beer) VMware Player for OS X as the only option is VMware Fusion -- and I don't know if Parallels can run VMware appliances, but that one ain't free either.

      Reece

  • it's a VMware appliance

    Did I miss some sort of shift in terminology? When did virtual machines start getting referred to as "Appliances"? When I think "appliance", I usually think of toasters, microwaves, stoves, refrigerators, etc. Images for operating systems is the last thing that comes to mind.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      Did I miss some sort of shift in terminology? When did virtual machines start getting referred to as "Appliances"? When I think "appliance", I usually think of toasters, microwaves, stoves, refrigerators, etc. Images for operating systems is the last thing that comes to mind.

      I think it becomes an 'appliance' when it comes already configured and downloadable to you like a black box.

      VMware currently hosts some large number here [vmware.com]. Like an 'appliance', you plug it in and go without worrying about the fiddly bit

    • Yes, it's yet another buzzword, but its use has become fairly common. Good case in point: VMware's Virtual Appliance Marketplace [vmware.com] ;-)

      Reece
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by x2A (858210)

      "When did virtual machines start getting referred to as "Appliances"?"

      When vmware player was launched I do believe... and it's not just any virtual machine, it's the use of a virtual machine to distribute a ready working self contained machine that does what it says on the tin (yes, virtual machines come in tins these days) rather than lengthy install procedures or live cds. It's an appliance because it's ready to plug in and go. But, as vmware say, "hate the game, not the player'

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jo42 (227475)

      When did virtual machines start getting referred to as "Appliances"?

      When the "Marketing Department" got involved.

    • by iminplaya (723125)

      The Amana "Internet Appliance" will be the next big thing. A gigantic iPhone that floats in the air and follows(stalks?) you around the house.

  • Surely you jest (Score:5, Informative)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) * <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:25AM (#27134305) Homepage Journal

    don't have the right hardware

    It is almost more difficult to find wrong hardware for FreeBSD. Granted, it doesn't support quite as many systems as NetBSD, but unless you are running something quite odd it is likely you can run FreeBSD on it. Hell, most systems that are being thrown away right now can run it just fine.

    FreeBSD 7.1 was released for:

    And if you happen to be running an Alpha, you can still run FreeBSD 6.3 [freebsd.org]

    • It is almost more difficult to find wrong hardware for FreeBSD.

      True, as long as you run it as a server and don't need fancy graphics, audio, and whatnot -- and does a fine job at that. But try it on a modern, off the shelf PC, notebook or netbook and you won't be so lucky. I mean, even a onboard NIC might be problematic!

      That said, this is clearly not FreeBSD's fault (as vendors seldom release source code or specifications and stick to binary drivers for select Linux distributions at best) but the result doesn't change: it's a very daunting task to get any kind of mo

      • even a onboard NIC might be problematic

        I have several systems with onboard NICs, and even onboard wireless NICs, that worked fine right off the bat.

        desktop oriented FreeBSD (that's not their goal either, but I digress)

        Their motto still is

        The Power To Serve

        So I would say they aren't all that worried about desktop, yes

        I think an argument could be made that anyone who loads FreeBSD on their desktop probably didn't really understand the purpose of FreeBSD to begin with...

    • It is almost more difficult to find wrong hardware for FreeBSD. [...] Hell, most systems that are being thrown away right now can run it just fine.

      Right. But there is a proverb: "If you are so smart, why so poor?", IOW, if so cool, why popularity is so miserable and much smaller than Linux?

    • by jonadab (583620)
      > And if you happen to be running an Alpha, you can still run FreeBSD 6.3

      What if I have a Vax? What version of BSD can I get that will run on that?

      (This is largely theoretical, although I *do* have a MicroVax 3100-40 sitting around doing nothing in particular...)

      Also, you forgot to mention ARM processors, which are pretty common, and 8-bit and 16-bit x86 systems, which used to be pretty common, pre-PowerPC Macs (6800 processor), and the Z80, among other things.
  • Because then I could get it to run Linux.
  • I don't get it really. Can't run FreeBSD in a vm? Run FreeBSD in a vm!
  • OK, for the most part, I agree with this being a BFD,but, what the heck, I like wasting my time, so I downloaded the file, but I cannot find anywhere what the login name and password to use are. I just noticed that this post has been moded down. Maybe delete would be better.
    • by xioborg (1177539)
      Never mind. login/password prominently displayed ON LOGIN screen.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ReeceTarbert (893612)
      You have it right a the login screen and in the readme file contained in the archive! ;-)

      Anyway, here goes:

      Username: virtualbsd
      Password: virtualbsd

      root: root4u

      Reece

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