Frequently Asked Questions for FreeBSD 2.X


$Id: freebsd-faq.sgml,v 1995/11/15 07:58:12 jkh Exp $

This is the FAQ for FreeBSD systems version 2.X All entries are assumed to be relevant to FreeBSD 2.0.5+, unless otherwise noted. Any entries with a <XXX> are under construction.

1. Preface

1.1. What is FreeBSD?
1.2. What do I need to run FreeBSD?
1.3. Where can I get FreeBSD
1.4. What are the FreeBSD mailing lists, and how can I get on them?
1.5. What are the various FreeBSD news groups?
1.6. Books on FreeBSD
1.7. Other sources of information.

2. FreeBSD goals

2.1. Copyrights

3. Installation

3.1. How do I install FreeBSD?
3.2. Help! I have no space! Do I need to delete everything first?
3.3. Can I use compressed DOS filesystems from FreeBSD?
3.4. Can I mount my DOS extended partitions?
3.5. Can I run DOS binaries under FreeBSD?
3.6. Help! I can't install from tape! The install fails with a ``record too big'' error!
3.7. I want to install FreeBSD onto a SCSI disk that has more than 1024 cylinders. How do I do it?
3.8. When I boot FreeBSD it says ``Missing Operating System''.
3.9. When I install the boot manager and try to boot FreeBSD for the first time, it just comes back with the boot manager prompt again.
3.10. I'm having lots of trouble trying to disklabel a new SCSI drive.
3.11. I have an IDE drive with lots of bad blocks on it and FreeBSD doesn't seem to install properly.
3.12. I have 32MB of memory, should I expect any special problems?
3.13. My network card keeps getting errors like, ``ed1: timeout''. What's going on?
3.14. Do I need to install the complete sources?
3.15. DES encryption software can not be exported from the United States. If I live outside the US, how can I encrypt passwords?

4. Hardware compatibility

4.1. What kind of hard drives does FreeBSD run on?
4.2. What SCSI controllers are supported?
4.3. What CD-ROM drives are supported by FreeBSD?
4.4. What multi-port serial cards are supported by FreeBSD?
4.5. Does FreeBSD support the AHA-2xxx SCSI adapters from Adaptec?
4.6. I have a Mumbleco bus mouse. Is it supported and if so, how do I set it up for XFree86?
4.7. I have a PS/2 mouse (``keyboard'' mouse) (Alternatively: I have a laptop with a track-ball mouse). How do I use it?
4.8. What types of tape drives are supported under FreeBSD?
4.9. What sound cards are supported by FreeBSD?
4.10. What network cards does FreeBSD support?
4.11. I have a 386/486sx/486SLC machine without a math co-processor. Will this cause me any problems?
4.12. What other devices does 2.X support?
4.13. I am about to buy a new machine to run FreeBSD on and want an idea of what other people are running. Is there list of other systems anywhere?
4.14. I have a lap-top with power management. Can FreeBSD take advantage of this?

5. Commercial Applications

5.1. Where can I get Motif for FreeBSD?
5.2. Are there any commercial X servers for some of the high-end graphics cards like the Matrox or #9 I-128, or offering 8/16/24 bit deep pallettes?
5.3. Are there any Database systems for FreeBSD?
5.4. Any other applications I might be interested in?

6. User Applications

6.1. I want to run X, how do I go about it?
6.2. I've been trying to run ghostscript on a 386 (or 486sx) with no math co-processor and I keep getting errors. What's up?
6.3. I want all this neat software, but I haven't got the space or CPU power to compile it all myself. Is there any way of getting binaries?

7. Miscellaneous Questions

7.1. Hey! Chmod doesn't change the file permissions of symlinked files! What's going on?
7.2. How do I mount a CDROM? I've tried using mount(8), but it keeps on giving me an error like, ``/dev/cd0a on /mnt: Incorrect super block.''
7.3. When I try to mount a CDROM, I get a ``Device not configured'' error. What's going on?
7.4. My programs occasionally die with ``Signal 11'' errors. What's going on?
7.5. Help, some of my X Window menus and dialog boxes don't work right! I can't select them.
7.6. How do I access the virtual consoles?
7.7. How do I increase the number of virtual consoles?
7.8. I've heard of something called FreeBSD-current. How do I run it, and where can I get more information?
7.9. What is this thing called ``sup'', and how do I use it?
7.10. How do I create customized installation disks that I can give out to other people at my site?
7.11. How do I re-build my system without clobbering the existing installed binaries?
7.12. When my system booted, it told me that ``(bus speed defaulted)''. What does that mean?
7.13. I would like to track changes to current and do not have net access. Is there any way besides downloading the whole tree?
7.14. How do I split up large binary files into smaller 240k files like the distribution does?
7.15. <XXX> I've had a couple of system panics and would like to be able browse the system dumps. The normal kernel is stripped and I don't want to run a bloated kernel. What can I do?
7.16. I've got this neato kernel extension I just know everyone will will want. How do I get it included into the distribution?

8. Kernel Configuration

8.1. Ok, so how DO I compile my own kernel, anyway?
8.2. When I compile a kernel with multi-port serial code, it tells me that only the first port is probed and the rest skipped due to interrupt conflicts. How do I fix this?
8.3. FreeBSD is supposed to come with support for QIC-40/80 drives but when I look, I can't find it.
8.4. Does FreeBSD support IPC primitives like those in System V?
8.5. Will FreeBSD ever support other architectures?
8.6. I just wrote a device driver for a Foobar Systems, Inc. Integrated Adaptive Gronkulator card. How do I get the appropriate major numbers assigned?

9. System Administration

9.1. Hmm, where are my familiar BSD system files ? What's this /etc/sysconfig thing?
9.2. How do I add a user easily? I read the man page and am more confused than ever!
9.3. <XXX> I'm trying to use my printer and keep running into problems. I tried looking at /etc/printcap, but it's close to useless. Any ideas?
9.4. My keyboard mappings are wrong for my system. How can I fix them?

10. Networking

10.1. Where can I get information booting FreeBSD ``diskless'', that is booting and running a FreeBSD box from a server rather than having a local disk?
10.2. I've heard that you can use a FreeBSD box as a dedicated network router - is there any easy support for this?
10.3. Does FreeBSD support SLIP and PPP?
10.4. How do I get my network set up? I don't see how to make my /dev/ed0 device!
10.5. How do I get my 3C503 to use the other network port?
10.6. I'm having problems with NFS to/from FreeBSD and my Wuffotronics Workstation / generic NFS appliance, where should I look first?
10.7. Why can't I NFS-mount from a Linux box?
10.8. Why can't I NFS-mount from a Sun box?
10.9. I'm having problems with my NeXTStep machines and other FreeBSD ones accross PPP
10.10. I want to enable IP multicast support on my FreeBSD box, how do I do it? (Alternatively: What the heck IS multicasting and what applications make use of it?)

11. Serial Communications

11.1. How do I tell if FreeBSD found my serial ports or modem cards?
11.2. Hey, I just upgraded to 2.0.5 and my tty0X are missing!
11.3. How do I access the serial ports once FreeBSD is running?
11.4. How do I configure the kernel for my multiport serial card?
11.5. I have two multiport serial cards that can share irqs. Can FreeBSD handle this?
11.6. What's the difference between ttyd1, ttyid1, and ttyld1? Or, how can I set the default serial parameters for a port?
11.7. How can I enable dialup logins on my modem?
11.8. How can I make my spare computer a dumb terminal connected to my FreeBSD box?
11.9. Why can't I run tip or cu?
11.10. My stock Hayes modem isn't supported---what should I do?
11.11. How am I expected to enter these AT commands without resorting to some DOS-based terminal program?
11.12. Why doesn't the @ sign for the phone number capability work?
11.13. How can I dial a phone number on the command line?
11.14. Great---but how can I do that without having to specify the bps rate on the command line?
11.15. I want separate entries for various hosts I access through a terminal server, but I don't want to type ``CONNECT <host>'' each time once I'm connected. Can tip do that for me?
11.16. My university has 42 billion students but only 4 modem lines. Can tip automatically try each line?
11.17. How come I have to hit CTRL+P twice to send CTRL+P once?
11.18. Suddenly everything I type is all UPPER CASE. What gives?
11.19. How can I do file transfers with tip?
11.20. Okay, how can I run zmodem with tip?