The New Installer Of FreeBSD 9.0
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 8 September 2011 at 07:09 PM EDT. 3 Comments
FreeBSD 9.0 Beta 2 was officially released yesterday, about one month's late, but it comes with several new features. One of the new features to FreeBSD 9.0 is a new installer (pc-sysinstall) for this BSD operating system, which the developers have requested that it be put through its paces.

The new system installer is described as a modern installer for FreeBSD that's able to take advantage of its more modern features. The pc-sysinstall installer, which is a complete replacement to its earlier installer, is written 100% in shell.

This new FreeBSD 9.0 installer has back-end support for ZFS file-systems (with support for RAIDZ, Mirror/Multiple Device Pool setup), GELI-based encryption, auto-labeling of file-systems using glabel, big disk support using GPT/EFI, and full installation logging.

This new installer has been in the works for a while, but has already been used a bit within the PC-BSD variant. FreeBSD 9.0 is using the text-based back-end rather than an X11 variant.


Sadly, this new FreeBSD installer still isn't quite as usable as the text-based Debian installer or Red Hat's Anaconda. At least pc-sysinstall is a functional improvement over the earlier sysinstall.


Besides the new inseraller, other FreeBSD 9.0 enhancements is an updated version of the ZFS file-system, USB 3.0 support, new device drivers, and further work on building under Clang/LLVM. Due to development delays, the final release of FreeBSD 9.0 is still at least another month out.


For those Linux desktop users that may want to toy around with FreeBSD but are looking for a GUI-based installer and a desktop environment provided by default with easy package management, try out PC-BSD.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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