Опубликован: 06.08.2012 | Доступ: свободный | Студентов: 1189 / 25 | Оценка: 5.00 / 5.00 | Длительность: 53:41:00
Лекция 5:

Installing FreeBSD

System boots, but doesn't run correctly

If you get the system installed to the point where you can start it, but it doesn't run quite the way you want, don't reinstall. In most cases, reinstallation won't help. Instead, try to find the cause of the problem—with the aid of the FreeBSD-questions mailing list if necessary—and fix the problem.

Root file system fills up

You might find that the installation completes successfully, and you get your system up and running, but almost before you know it, the root file system fills up. This is relatively unlikely if you follow my recommendation to have one file system for /, /usr and /var, but if you follow the default recommendations, it's a possibility. It could be, of course, that you just haven't made it big enough—FreeBSD root file systems have got bigger over the years. In the first edition of this book I recommended 32 MB "to be on the safe side." Nowadays the default is 128 MB.

On the other hand, maybe you already have an128 MB root file system, and it still fills up. In this case, check where you have put your /tmp and /var file systems. There's a good chance that they're on the root file system, and that's why it's filling up.


Sometimes the system gets into so much trouble that it can't continue. It should notice this situation and stop more or less gracefully. You might see a message like:

panic: free vnode isn't

Syncing disks 14 13 9 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 giving up

dumping to dev 20001 offset 0
dump 16 32 48 64 80 96 112 128 succeeded
Automatic reboot in 15 seconds - press a key on the console to abort

Just because the system has panicked doesn't mean that you should panic too. It's a sorry fact of life that software contains bugs. Many commercial systems just crash when they hit a bug, and you never know why, or they print a message like General protection fault, which doesn't tell you very much either. When a UNIX system panics, it usually gives you more detailed information-in this example, the reason is free v node isn't. You may not be any the wiser for a message like this (it tells you that the file system handling has got confused about the current state of storage on a disk), but other people might. In particular, if you do get a panic and you ask for help on FreeBSD-questions, please don't just say "My system panicked, what do I do?" The first answer—if you get one— will be "What was the panic string??" The second will be "Where's the dump?"

After panicking, the system tries to write file system buffers back to disk so that they don't get lost. This is not always possible, as we see on the second line of this example. It started off with 14 buffers to write, but it only managed to write 9 of them, possibly because it was confused about the state of the disk. This can mean that you will have difficulties after rebooting, but it might also mean that the system was wrong in its assumptions about the number of buffers needed to be written.

In addition to telling you the cause of the panic, FreeBSD will optionally copy the current contents of memory to the swap file for post-mortem analysis. This is called dumping the system, and is shown on the next two lines. To enable dumping, you need to specify where the dump should be written. In /etc/defaults/rc.conf, you will find:

dumpdev="NO"         # Device name to crashdump to (if enabled)

To enable dumping, put something like this in /boot/loader.conf:


This enables the dumps to be taken even if a panic occurs before the system reads the /etc/rc.conf file. Make sure that the name of the dumpdev corresponds to a swap partition with at least as much space as your total memory. You can use pstat to check this:

# pstat –s
Device      1024-blocks    Used   Avail  Capacity  Type
/dev/ad0s1b       51200   50108    1028     98%    interleaved
/dev/da0s1b       66036   51356   14616     78%    interleaved
/dev/da2s1b      204800   51220  153516     25%    interleaved
Total            321844  152684  169160     47%

As long as this machine doesn't have more than about 192 MB of memory, it will be possible to take a dump on /dev/da2s1b.

In addition, ensure that you have a directory called /var/crash. After rebooting, the system first checks the integrity of the file systems, then it checks for the presence of a dump. If it finds one, it copies the dump and the current kernel to /var/crash.

It's always worth enabling dumping, assuming your swap space is at least as large as your memory. You can analyze the dumps with gdb—see page 623 for more details.

To get the best results from a dump analysis, you need a debug kernel.This kernel is identical to a normal kernel, but it includes a lot of information that can be used for dump analysis. See page 614 for details of how to build a debug kernel. You never know when you might run into a problem, so I highly recommend that you use a debug kernel at all times. It doesn't have any effect on the performance of the system.

Fixing a broken installation

A really massive crash may damage your system to such an extent that you need to reinstall the whole system. For example, if you overwrite your hard disk from start to finish, you don't have any other choice. In many cases, though, the damage is repairable. Sometimes, though, you can't start the system to fix the problems. In this case, you have two possibilities:

  • Boot from the second CD-ROM (Live Filesystem). It will be mounted as the root file system.
  • Boot from the Fixit floppy. The Fixit floppy is in the distribution in the same directory as the boot diskette, ftjppies. Just copy ftoppies/fixit.fp to a disk in the same way as described for boot diskettes on page 85. To use the fixit floppy, first boot with the boot diskette and select "Fixit floppy" from the main menu. The Fixit floppy will be mounted under the root MFS as /mnt2.

In either case, the hard disks aren't mounted; you might want to do repair work on them before any other access.

Use this option only if you have a good understanding of the system installation process. Depending on the damage, you may or may not be successful. If you have a recent backup of your system, it might be faster to perform a complete installation than to try to fix what's left, and after a reinstallation you can be more confident that the system is correctly installed.

Alternative installation methods

The description at the beginning of this chapter applied to the most common installation method, from CD-ROM. In the following sections we'll look at the relatively minor differences needed to install from other media. The choices you have are, in order of decreasing attractiveness:

  • Over the network. You have the choice of ftp or NFS connection. If you're connected to the Internet and you're not in a hurry, you can load directly from one of the distribution sites described in the FreeBSD handbook.
  • From a locally mounted disk partition, either FreeBSD (if you have already installed it) or Microsoft.
  • From floppy disk. This is only for masochists or people who really have almost no hardware: depending on the extent of the installation, you will need up to 250 disks, and at least one of them is bound to have an I/O error. And don't forget that a CD-ROM drive costs a lot less than 250 floppies.
Preparing boot floppies

If your machine is no longer the youngest, you may be able to read the CD-ROM drive, but not boot from it. In this case, you'll need to boot from floppy. If you are using 1.44 MB floppies, you will need two or three of them, the Kernel Disk and the MFS Root Disk and possibly the DriversDisk to boot the installation programs. If you are using 2.88 MB floppies or a LS-120 disk, you can copy the single Boot Disk, which is 2.88 MB long, instead of the kernel and MFS root disks. The images of these floppies are on the CD-ROM distribution in the files floppies/kern.fp, floppies/mfsroot.fp, floppies/driv-ers.flp and foppies/boot.fp respectively. If you have your CD-ROM mounted on a Microsoft system, they may be called FLOPPIESKERN.FLP, FLOPPIESMFS-ROOT.FLP, FLOPPIES\DRIVERS.FLP and FLOPPIES\BOOT.FLP respectively. The bootstrap does: not recover bad blocks, so the floppy must be 100% readable.

The way you get the boot disk image onto a real floppy depends on the operating system you use. If you are using any flavour of UNIX, just perform something like:

# dd if=/cdrom/floppies/k:erri.flp of=/dev/fd0 bs=36b
change the floppy
# dd if=/cdrom/floppies/mfsroot.flp of=/dev/fd0 bs=36b
change the floppy
# dd if=/cdrom/floppies/drivers.flp of=/dev/fd0 bs=36b

This assumes that your software is on CD-ROM, and that it is mounted on the directory /cdrom. It also assumes that your floppy drive is called /devfd 0. This is the FreeBSD name as of Release 5.0, and it's also the name that Linux uses. Older FreeBSD and other BSD systems refer to it as /dev/fd0c.

The dd implementation of some versions of UNIX, particularly older System V variants, may complain about the option bs=36b. If this happens, just leave it out. It might take up to 10 minutes to write the floppy, but it will work, and it will make you appreciate FreeBSD all the more.

If you have to create the boot floppy from Microsoft, use the program FDIMAGE.EXE, which is in the tools directory of the first CD-ROM.

Booting from floppy

In almost all cases where you don't boot from CD-ROM, you'll boot from floppy, no matter what medium you are installing from. If you are installing from CD-ROM, put the CD-ROM in the drive before booting. The installation may fail if you boot before inserting the CD-ROM.

Boot the system in the normal manner from the first floppy (the one containing the kern.flp image). After loading the kernel, the system will print the message:

Please insert MFS root floppy and press enter

After you replace the floppy and press enter, the boot procedure carries on as before.

If you're using the 2.88 MB image on a 2.88 MB floppy or an LS-120 drive, you have every thing you need on the one disk, so you don't get the prompt to change the disk. Depending on your hardware, you may later get a prompt to install additional drivers from the driver floppy.

Installing via ftp

The fun way to install FreeBSD is via the Internet, but it's not always the best choice. There's a lot of data to transfer, and unless you have a really high-speed, non-overloaded connection to the server, it could take forever. On the other hand, of course, if you have the software on another machine on the same LAN, and the system on which you want to install FreeBSD doesn't have a CD-ROM drive, these conditions are fulfilled, and this could be for you. Before you decide, though, read about the alternative of NFS installation below: if you don't have an ftp server with the files already installed, it's a ot easier to set up an NFS installation.

There are two ftp installation modes you can use:

  • Regular ftp mode does not work through most firewalls but will often work best with older ftp servers that do not support passive mode. Use this mode if your connection hangs with passive mode.
  • If you need to pass through firewalls that do not allow incoming connections, try passive ftp.

Whichever mode of installation and whichever remote machine you choose, you need to have access to the remote machine. The easiest and most common way to ensure access is to use anonymous ftp. If you're installing from another FreeBSD machine, read how to install anonymous ftp on page 450. This information is also generally correct for other UNIX systems.