Check the latest FreeBSD release and compare to uname -a.

Upgrade the system:

sudo pkg upgrade -y
sudo bash -c 'PAGER=cat freebsd-update fetch'
sudo bash -c 'PAGER=cat freebsd-update install'

PAGER=cat is used to ignore messages about added, removed and overriden configuration files.

Minimum packages to develop on FreeBSD


pkg  # first command proposes to install it
pkg install sudo
sudo pkg install vim-console git


  • Coredump filename: sudo sysctl -w 'kern.corefile =%N.%P.core'


  • Rerun the installer configuration, run:: bsdconfig.

  • Change the keyboard layout: run kbdmap.

Upgrade to newer FreeBSD

Upgrade to FreeBSD 12.0-RC2:

sudo freebsd-update fetch
sudo freebsd-update upgrade -r 12.0
sudo freebsd-update install
sudo reboot
# after reboot
sudo freebsd-update install

Repair pkg

Repair pkg, if needed:

sudo pkg bootstrap -f

If something goes wrong, reinstall everything installed by pkg:

sudo pkg-static upgrade -f

Install FreeBSD VM

Install VM image

  • : Download amd64/qcow2 virtual machine image,

  • Uncompress the image: unxz file.qcow2.xz

  • Move the image to /var/lib/libvirt/images/

  • Create a FreeBSD VM using this disk image

  • Add “freebsd” hostname to /etc/hosts

Classic installer (old way)

  • Download

  • Uncompress: unxz FreeBSD-11.0-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso.xz

  • Create a new VM:

    • Name: FreeBSD

    • Boot from an ISO: specify the path to the .iso file

    • System: select Show all, select UNIX, pick FreeBSD 11

    • 1 cpu, 1 GB of RAM

    • Disk size: 20 GB

    • Select network: shared interface, br0

  • FreeBSD installer:

    • <install>

    • Keymap: French ISO-8859-1

    • Hostname: freebsd

    • Distribution: only keep [*] ports

    • Partition: auto, <Entire disk>, MBR, Finish, Commit

    • (choose a root password)

    • network: configure IPv4, use DHCP, yes, configure IPv6, auto, yes

    • Time Zone: 8 Europe, 14 France

    • Date/Time: Skip

    • Service started at boot: sshd

    • (no option)

    • Add a new user: username vstinner

    • Exit: Manual config? No

    • Reboot

Enlarge qcow2 image

  • Shutdown the VM

  • On the host: sudo qemu-img resize /var/lib/libvirt/images/freebsd.qcow2 40G

  • Boot the VM, in FreeBSD: sudo /etc/rc.d/growfs onestart

Configure as root

  • Log as root

  • kbdcontrol -l fr.iso

  • pkg install sudo bash tmux vim

  • visudo: uncomment %whell ALL.. without password

  • adduser: add user, add it to the wheel group

  • to add wheel group to an user: pw usermod -n vstinner -G wheel

  • Enable the SSH server:

  • Log out

Configure as your user

  • Log in as the your user

  • chsh -s /usr/local/bin/bash

  • Log out and log in again to get bash

  • sudo pkg install git

Commands to develop Python on FreeBSD


sudo pkg install pkgconf

Use ports

By default, ports are not installed:

vstinner@freebsd$ ls /usr/ports
ls: /usr/ports: No such file or directory

Install ports:

sudo git clone /usr/ports --depth=1


Which package provides a file?

vstinner@freebsd$ pkg which /usr/local/bin/git
/usr/local/bin/git was installed by package git-2.41.0

FreeBSD source code: