FreeBSD The Power to Serve

Get FreeBSD

For general information about past, present and future releases, see Release Information.

Choosing an Architecture

Most users of FreeBSD will have hardware for amd64 or aarch64. These architectures are well-supported.

Most modern PCs, including those with Intel® processors, use amd64.

Embedded devices and single-board computers (SBCs) such as the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4, ESPRESSObin, as well as many Allwinner and Rockchip boards, use aarch64.

For all other architectures, please see the table of supported platforms.

Choosing an Image

For the FreeBSD installer: formats include CD (disc1), DVD (dvd1), and network install (bootonly) sized ISO, plus regular and mini USB memory sticks.

For virtual machines: virtual disk images have FreeBSD preinstalled.

For embedded platforms: SD card images are available.

Development and Testing

Pre-RELEASE versions of FreeBSD, not intended for use in production environments:

  • CURRENT – the main branch, the core of development

  • STABLE – branched from CURRENT, long-term preparations for release engineering

  • release engineering – ALPHA, BETA, release candidates (RC) – branched from STABLE.

Uppercase has special meaning. For example:

  • a first beta release is not a (production) RELEASE.

The word CURRENT is sometimes a source of confusion:

  • if you are looking for the current version of FreeBSD, you most likely want a RELEASE version (see above) – not CURRENT

CURRENT has special meaning in the development process.

Development Snapshots

FreeBSD 14.0-CURRENT

Installer and SD card images are available for amd64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, powerpc64le, powerpcspe, armv6, armv7, aarch64, and riscv64.

VM images are available for amd64, i386, aarch64, and riscv64.

FreeBSD 13.1-STABLE

Installer and SD card images are available for amd64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, powerpc64le, powerpcspe, armv6, armv7, aarch64, and riscv64.

VM images are available for amd64, i386, aarch64, and riscv64.

Installation

Options include:

  • images

  • direct download (anonymous FTP, and HTTPS).

Before downloading an entire distribution, please read the installation guide.

If you plan to get FreeBSD via FTP or HTTPS, check the FreeBSD Handbook for suitable mirrors for your region.

Purchase FreeBSD Media

FreeBSD can be acquired on CD-ROM or DVD from FreeBSD Mall, and other CD-ROM and DVD publishers.

Applications and Utility Software

The Ports Collection

A diverse collection of utility and application software that has been ported to FreeBSD.

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

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 of particular interest.

  • TrueNAS is network attached storage (NAS) software that shares and protects data from modern-day threats like ransomware and malware. TrueNAS makes it easy for users and client devices to access shared data through virtually any sharing protocol.

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

  • MidnightBSD was forked from FreeBSD 6.1 beta, and continues to use parts of more recent FreeBSD code bases. Developed with desktop users in mind, MidnightBSD includes everything that you would expect for your daily tasks: mail, web browsing, word processing, gaming, and much more.

  • NomadBSD is a persistent live system for USB flash drives, based on FreeBSD. Together with automatic hardware detection and setup, it is configured to be used as a desktop system that works out of the box, but can also be used for data recovery, for educational purposes, or to test FreeBSD hardware compatibility.

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

Archives

Past releases of FreeBSD.


Last modified on: November 11, 2022 by Glen Barber