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Thread: Building the FreeBSD OS from scratch

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Building the FreeBSD OS from scratch

    Are you tired of being victimized? Sick of those funny virilli and trojans that keep infecting your Windows machine, the clunky antivirus/antimalware programs you continually have to update in an effort to deal with them, and the concept of "layered security"? Feeling like a slave to Bill Gates? Then you, my friend, should kick Windows off YOUR machine and start using FreeBSD! And, no, I don't mean Linux.

    "FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system descended from Research Unix via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). Although for legal reasons FreeBSD cannot use the Unix trademark, it is a direct descendant of BSD, which was historically also called "BSD Unix" or "Berkeley Unix". The first version of FreeBSD was released in ****, and today FreeBSD is the most widely used open-source BSD distribution, accounting for more than three-quarters of all installed systems running open-source BSD derivatives.[2]

    FreeBSD has similarities with Linux, with two major differences in scope and licensing: FreeBSD maintains a complete operating system, i.e. the project delivers kernel, device drivers, userland utilities and documentation, as opposed to Linux delivering a kernel and drivers only and relying on third-parties for system software;[*] and FreeBSD source code is generally released under a permissive BSD license as opposed to the copyleft GPL used by Linux.

    The FreeBSD project includes a security team overseeing all software shipped in the base distribution. A wide range of additional third-party applications may be installed using the pkgng package management system or the FreeBSD Ports, or by directly compiling source code. Due to its permissive licensing terms, much of FreeBSD's code base has become an integral part of other operating systems such as Juniper JUNOS and Apple's OS X."

    We'll be building FreeBSD from scratch, which starts you off with the base system and a terminal. No flashy graphics, no desktop, no file manager, no web browser, no image manipulator, etc. You start with the base system, a terminal, and build *rd party apps as you see fit. If you're not familiar with the CLI, Command Line Interface, it's where you will be doing a good part of your work from, and all of it till you build a Window Manager, like Fluxbox, or Desktop Environment, like Gnome, as a GUI, or Graphic User Interface, which is what you're familiar with as a Windows or Linux user. If you've got an old PC or laptop laying around that just can't run the bloat that is Windows, FreeBSD can breathe new life in it and is the perfect solution to it collecting dust.

    The base system itself is very secure, is widely used as a server, and any vulnerabilities that are found from time to time are updated post haste. It's the *rd party apps you add on that are usually at the root of the problem, as in Flash or JAVA exploits. FreeBSD is not vulnerable to the Windows virus, trojans, or the vast majority of the exploits that plague it, or are beginning to plague Linux as it becomes more popular. However, it is still vulnerable to rootkits and you'll want to periodically run a program like rkhunter, but you can forget about an antivirus program if you adhere to basic computer security practices and restrain your clicking finger.

    There is a FreeBSD flavour called PC-BSD which already comes with a DE or WM and many of the programs you'll be using, but I do not recommend or use it personally.

    Go to and download the proper ISO to burn to a CD or DVD, or memstick img to transfer to a USB stick. You should take a look at the FreeBSD Handbook while you're there to give you a rough idea what's entailed in using the OS. It's an invaluable resource and answers any questions you may have down the road. While you're at it, check out the ports page to see what software is available for FreeBSD at no charge.*-*/books/handbook/

    FreeBSD is very different from using Windows, but you will be proud of yourself once you put in the time and effort to become proficient in it and leave Windows in the dust. As you should be. It's a major learning experience and not an undertaking for the weak at heart, but you can do it! I'm going to show you how.

    I'm going to take you though the process of getting it up and running, but before we get started I advise you to take a look at the installation process as it's outlined in the Handbook to get a rough idea what you're in for. Don't be put off by the images of the installer and think it's too complicated for you to do. It manages to make it sound even harder than it really is by going though a detailed explanation of the partitioning process as well as every other possible problem you might, but probably won't, encounter. It will, however, describe how to transfer the memstick image to a Flash drive from inside Windows so if you're going to use that method check it out.*-*/books/handbook/bsdinstall.html

    As this is a lengthy process and tutorial, I'll break it up into sections in consecutive posts to preserve continuity. And yes, this is my hand-typed tutorial drawn from close to *0 years of using FreeBSD as my sole OS, not something I plagiarized from another source, and my effort to give something back to the forum after being a non-participating member for years. I've tried my best to be clear and concise and make what can seem like a daunting task as easy as possible for someone with no previous *NIX experience. Now lets get started.
    Last edited by Siseneg; 06-22-2016 at 05:00 PM. Reason: clarity

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