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bsdinstall(8)           FreeBSD System Manager's Manual          bsdinstall(8)

     bsdinstall - system installer

     bsdinstall [target] [...]

     bsdinstall is used for installation of new systems, both for system setup
     from installation media (e.g. CD-ROMs) and for use on live systems to
     prepare VM images and jails.

     Much like make(1), bsdinstall takes a target and possible parameters of
     the target as arguments. If invoked with no arguments, it will invoke the
     auto target, which provides a standard interactive installation, invoking
     the others in sequence. To perform a scripted installation, these
     subtargets can be invoked separately by an installation script.

     Most of the following targets are only useful for scripting the
     installer.  For interactive use, most users will be interested only in
     the auto and jail targets.

     auto                     Run the standard interactive installation,
                              including disk partitioning.

     jail destination         Sets up a new chroot system at destination,
                              suitable for use with jail(8).  Behavior is
                              generally similar to auto, except that disk
                              partitioning and network setup are skipped and a
                              kernel is not installed into the new system.

     keymap                   If the current controlling TTY is a syscons(4)
                              console, asks the user to set the current
                              keymap, and saves the result to the new system's

     hostname                 Prompts the user for a host name for the new
                              system and saves the result to the new system's
                              rc.conf.  If BSDINSTALL_CONFIGCURRENT is set,
                              also sets the host name of the current system.

     netconfig                Interactively configures network interfaces
                              (first invoking wlanconfig on wireless
                              interfaces), saving the result to the new
                              system's rc.conf and resolv.conf.  If
                              BSDINSTALL_CONFIGCURRENT is set, also configures
                              the network interfaces of the current system to

     autopart                 Provides the installer's interactive guided disk
                              partitioner for single-disk installations.
                              Partitions disks, runs newfs(8), and writes the
                              new system's fstab.

     partedit                 Provides the installer's interactive manual disk
                              partitioner, with support for multi disk setups,
                              non-UFS file systems, and manual selection of
                              partition schemes. Partitions disks, runs
                              newfs(8), and writes the new system's fstab.

     mount                    Mounts the file systems previously configured by
                              autopart or partedit under BSDINSTALL_CHROOT.

     distfetch                Fetches the distributions in DISTRIBUTIONS to
                              BSDINSTALL_DISTDIR from BSDINSTALL_DISTSITE.

     checksum                 Verifies the checksums of the distributions
                              listed in DISTRIBUTIONS against the distribution

     distextract              Extracts the distributions listed in
                              DISTRIBUTIONS into BSDINSTALL_CHROOT.

     rootpass                 Interactively invokes passwd(1) in the new
                              system to set the root user's password.

     adduser                  Interactively invokes adduser(8) in the new

     time                     Interactively sets the time, date, and time zone
                              of the new system.

     services                 Queries the user for the system daemons to begin
                              at system startup, writing the result into the
                              new system's rc.conf.

     config                   Installs the configuration files destined for
                              the new system (e.g. rc.conf fragments generated
                              by netconfig, etc.) onto the new system.

     The following environment variables control various aspects of the
     installation process. Many are used internally during installation and
     have reasonable default values for most installation scenarios. Others
     are set by various interactive user prompts, and can be usefully
     overridden when making scripted or customized installers.

     DISTRIBUTIONS           The set of distributions to install (e.g. "base
                             kernel ports"). Default: none

     BSDINSTALL_DISTDIR      The directory in which the distribution files can
                             be found (or to which they should be downloaded).
                             Default: /usr/freebsd-dist

     BSDINSTALL_CHROOT       The directory into which the distribution files
                             should be unpacked and the directory at which the
                             root file system of the new system should be
                             mounted.  Default: /mnt

     BSDINSTALL_LOG          Path to a log file for the installation. Default:

     BSDINSTALL_TMPETC       Directory where files destined for the new
                             system's /etc will be stored until the config
                             target is executed. If this directory does not
                             already exist, it will be created. Default:

     This version of bsdinstall first appeared in FreeBSD 9.0.

     Nathan Whitehorn <>

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE          June 11, 2011         FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


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