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Deploying FreeBSD

This is a guide which walks through the process of deploying FreeBSD from an operating system image.

Getting the Image

FreeBSD distributes their Operating System in a number of different formats, which are all available on the cloud-images site.

Below are two examples of images we can use:

FreeBSD-12.2-RELEASE-amd64.qcow2.xz 599212960   2020-Oct-23 06:27
FreeBSD-12.2-RELEASE-amd64.raw.xz   600337912   2020-Oct-23 06:44

Both images come with compressed with the xz compression format, you will need to decompress them with the xz command.

xz -d <file.xz>

The raw image is a disk image which ontains a full partition table (including OS and Swap partition) and boot loader for our FreeBSD system. You can examine this with losetup.

losetup -f -P ./FreeBSD-12.2-RELEASE-amd64.raw

fdisk -l /dev/loop1

Disk /dev/loop1: 5 GiB, 5369587712 bytes, 10487476 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 2346CB62-14FB-11EB-9C6B-0CC47AD8B808

Device         Start      End Sectors  Size Type
/dev/loop1p1       3      113     111 55.5K FreeBSD boot
/dev/loop1p2     114     1713    1600  800K EFI System
/dev/loop1p3    1714  2098865 2097152    1G FreeBSD swap
/dev/loop1p4 2098866 10487473 8388608    4G FreeBSD UFS

The raw image comes with everything that we will need to install and deploy FreeBSD.

The other image, with the extension .qcow2.xz is a compressed qcow2 filesystem image and is a full disk image including partition tables, partitions filled with filesystems and files, and importantly, a boot loader at the beginning of the disk image. However, if you want to use the qcow image you will have to convert it with the qemu-img CLI tool.

apt-get install -y qemu-utils

Then use the tool to convert the image into a raw filesystem.

qemu-img convert  ./FreeBSD-12.2-RELEASE-amd64.qcow2 -O raw ./FreeBSD-12.2-RELEASE-amd64.raw

Once you have a raw filesystem image, you can optionally compress the raw image to save on both local disk space and network bandwidth when deploying the image.

gzip ./FreeBSD-12.2-RELEASE-amd64.raw

The raw image will need to live at a locally accessible web server. To simplify, you can place the image in the Tinkerbell sandbox webroot, which allows access to the image at the IP address of the tink-server.

mv ./FreeBSD-12.2-RELEASE-amd64.raw.gz ./sandbox/deploy/state/webroot

Creating the Template

The template uses actions from the Artifact Hub.

  • image2disk - to write the image to a block device.
  • kexec - to kexec into our newly provisioned operating system.

Important: Don't forget to pull, tag and push prior to using it.

version: "0.1"
name: FreeBSD_deployment
global_timeout: 1800
  - name: "os-installation"
    worker: "{{.device_1}}"
      - /dev:/dev
      - /dev/console:/dev/console
      - /lib/firmware:/lib/firmware:ro
      - name: "stream-FreeBSD-image"
        timeout: 600
          DEST_DISK: /dev/sda
          IMG_URL: ""
          COMPRESSED: true
      - name: "kexec-FreeBSD"
        timeout: 90
        pid: host
          BLOCK_DEVICE: /dev/sda1
          FS_TYPE: ext4