3.2. Hardware Requirements

3.2.1. Minimal Configuration

The minimal configuration to install FreeBSD varies with the FreeBSD version and the hardware architecture.

A summary of this information is given in the following sections. Depending on the method chosen to install FreeBSD, a floppy drive, CDROM drive, or network adapter may be needed. Instructions on how to prepare the installation media can be found in Section 3.3.7, “Prepare the Boot Media”.

3.2.1.1. FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/pc98

Both FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/pc98 require a 486 or better processor, at least 24 MB of RAM, and at least 150 MB of free hard drive space for the most minimal installation.

Note:

In the case of older hardware, installing more RAM and more hard drive space is often more important than a faster processor.

3.2.1.2. FreeBSD/amd64

There are two classes of processors capable of running FreeBSD/amd64. The first are AMD64 processors, including the AMD Athlon™64, AMD Athlon™64-FX, and AMD Opteron™ or better processors.

The second class of processors includes those using the Intel® EM64T architecture. Examples of these processors include the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, Quad, Extreme processor families, and the Intel® Xeon™ 3000, 5000, and 7000 sequences of processors.

If the machine is based on an nVidia nForce3 Pro-150, the BIOS setup must be used to disable the IO APIC. If this option does not exist, disable ACPI instead as there are bugs in the Pro-150 chipset.

3.2.1.3. FreeBSD/sparc64

To install FreeBSD/sparc64, use a supported platform (see Section 3.2.2, “Supported Hardware”).

A dedicated disk is needed for FreeBSD/sparc64 as it is not possible to share a disk with another operating system at this time.

3.2.2. Supported Hardware

A list of supported hardware is provided with each FreeBSD release in the FreeBSD Hardware Notes. This document can usually be found in a file named HARDWARE.TXT, in the top-level directory of a CDROM or FTP distribution, or in sysinstall(8)'s documentation menu. It lists, for a given architecture, which hardware devices are known to be supported by each release of FreeBSD. Copies of the supported hardware list for various releases and architectures can also be found on the Release Information page of the FreeBSD website.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at http://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.
Send questions about this document to <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.org>.