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Choosing an Architecture

Most users of FreeBSD will have hardware for either the amd64, i386, or armv6 architectures.

Modern PCs use the amd64 architecture, including those with Intel® branded processors. Computers with more than 3 GB of memory should use amd64. If the computer is an older, 32-bit only model, use i386. For embedded devices and single-board computers (SBC) such as the Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone Black, Panda Board, and Zed Board, use the armv6 SD card image which supports ARMv6 and ARMv7 processors.

All other users should reference the complete list of supported FreeBSD platforms.

Choosing an Image

The FreeBSD installer can be downloaded in a number of different formats including CD (disc1), DVD (dvd1), and Network Install (bootonly) sized ISO Disc Images, as well as regular and mini USB memory stick images. Recent versions of FreeBSD are also offered as prebuilt expandable Virtual Machine images, and as SD Card images for embedded platforms.

FreeBSD Deployment Statistics

While FreeBSD does not gather deployment statistics, having statistical information available is essential. Please consider installing the sysutils/bsdstats package, which collects hardware and software statistics, helping developers understand how to best focus their efforts. The information collected is available at the website.


Installer Images Virtual Machine Images SD Card Images Documentation


Installer Images Virtual Machine Images SD Card Images Documentation

Help With The Next FreeBSD Release

Our developers and release engineers are working on the next release of FreeBSD; if you wish to help with testing, please download the latest build. Please note that these images are, by their very nature, intended for testing and should not be used in production environments.

FreeBSD 12.2-RC3

Installer Images Virtual Machine Images SD Card Images Documentation

Development Snapshots

If you are interested in a purely experimental snapshot release of FreeBSD-CURRENT (AKA 13.0-CURRENT), aimed at developers and bleeding-edge testers only, then please see the FreeBSD Snapshot Releases page. For more information about past, present and future releases in general, please visit the release information page.


Installer Images Virtual Machine Images SD Card Images Documentation



Installer Images Virtual Machine Images SD Card Images Documentation

If you plan on getting FreeBSD via HTTP or FTP, please check the listing of mirror sites in the Handbook to see if there is a site closer to you.

Install FreeBSD

There are many options for installing FreeBSD, including installation from CD-ROM, DVD, USB Memory Stick or even directly using anonymous FTP, HTTP, or NFS. Please read through the FreeBSD installation guide before downloading the entire FreeBSD distribution.

Purchase FreeBSD Media

FreeBSD can be acquired on CD-ROM or DVD from FreeBSD Mall, or one of the other CD-ROM and DVD Publishers.

Past Releases

For downloading past releases, please visit the FTP archive.

FreeBSD-derived Operating System Distributions

FreeBSD is widely used as a building block for other commercial and open-source operating systems. The projects below are widely used and of particular interest to FreeBSD users.

  • FreeNAS is an open source storage platform based on FreeBSD and supports sharing across Windows, Apple, and UNIX-like systems.

  • FuryBSD is a brand new, open source FreeBSD desktop. FuryBSD pays homage to desktop BSD projects of the past PC-BSD and TrueOS with its graphical interface and adds additional tools like a live, hybrid USB/DVD image. FuryBSD is completely free to use and distributed under the BSD license.

  • GhostBSD is derived from FreeBSD, GhostBSD uses the GTK environment to provide a beautiful looks and comfortable experience on the modern BSD platform offering a natural and native UNIX® work environment.

  • MidnightBSD is a BSD-derived operating system developed with desktop users in mind. It includes all the software you'd expect for your daily tasks: mail, web browsing, word processing, gaming, and much more.

  • pfSense is a FreeBSD based customized distribution tailored for use as a firewall and router.

Applications and Utility Software

The Ports Collection

The FreeBSD Ports Collection is a diverse collection of utility and application software that has been ported to FreeBSD.

See Installing Applications: Packages and Ports in the Handbook.

For information about how you can contribute your favorite piece of software to the Ports Collection, have a look at The Porter's Handbook and the article Contributing to FreeBSD.