Re: should bsdinstall work?

From: Mark Millard <>
Date: Tue, 4 May 2021 14:37:30 -0700
tech-lists tech-lists at wrote on
Tue May 4 19:22:39 UTC 2021 :

> I've been trying to set up a boot-from-usb3 raspberry pi 4. I thought
> i'd be able to do this by booting into latest current snapshot image for
> arm64 rpi (written to microsd), and then running bsdinstall as root.

I've done something similar, deliberately making the root
file system ZFS based to experiment with bectl usage and
to have GPT instead of MBR, for example.

Even when other things work, do not expect bsdinstall to
deal with the RPi firmware or u-boot in the msdos file
system partition. I copied those over separately.

> I can select the auto-zfs option then select the usb3 disk as
> installation destination. The bsdinstall selects the sets and downloads
> them, but then get the error:
> "error while fetching 
> file://usr/freebsd-dist/MANIFEST
>  : No such file or
> directory"

As I remember, I had to use bsdinstall's DISTRIBUTIONS
environment variable to pick what to download in order
to get MANIFEST to download. Otherwise I got just the 2
files (base.txz and kernel.txz) and the complaint that
you report.

Ultimately I picked to get more than just base.txz and
kernel.txz as well.

I'll note that:

has the MANIFIEST file available. As does:

Unfortrunately, there has not been a successful snapshot
build for arm64/aarch64 or arm/armv7 recently. So there
are no .../13.0-STABLE/ examples yet.

Another place to stable-13 materials is paths matching:*/arm64/aarch64/

that have MANIFEST and *.txz files. For example,

has a snapshot as of one of today's commits. When looking
in such folders, be sure to check the dates on the files:
they might be older than the parent directory dates
suggest. Sometimes one finds the directory is empty
despite the arm64/aarch64/ level being created.)

There is also:

and aliases based on names like 13.0-STABLE and head .

> also tried via release/13 image, same error. Looks like it's downloading
> the files but then the installer can't see them, something like that.
> the downloaded files are there:
> root at generic
> :~ # ls -lah /mnt/usr/freebsd-dist/
> total 187454
> drwxr-xr-x  2 root  wheel     4B Apr  9 06:51 .
> drwxr-xr-x  6 root  wheel     6B Apr  9 06:50 ..
> -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel   158M Apr  9 06:51 base.txz
> -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel    25M Apr  9 06:51 kernel.txz

Yea, without DISTRIBUTIONS it seemed to grab just the
2 files without also getting MANIFEST. Or at least that
is my memory of how it went. I used DISTRIBUTIONS to
get more files and so also got MANIFEST.

You can also put the files in place separately and
tell bsdinstall to look in a file:///path that you
type as I remember. file:///usr/freebsd-dist could
be an example.

> root at generic
> :~ # 
> worth submitting a PR? or is bsdinstall legacy and I need to use some
> other method. I've not tried releng/12.2 yet.

Mark Millard
marklmi at
( went
away in early 2018-Mar)
Received on Tue May 04 2021 - 19:37:41 UTC

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