Setting up FreeBSD for the BSD n00b (ie me)

This is not intended for those that have an idea of what they are doing. I have mostly been a Debian user, so much of this is new especially the way apps work.

Once you have downloaded your ISO of choice from www.freebsd.org you can put it on to an optical disk of USB thumb drive, or like I did mount it in VMware.

The basic wizard should get you setup fairly quick, what I would advise though is installing all the options, especially the src (which are needed when installing stuff like the OpenVM tools).

For us Linux users the first two things you will notice missing are bash and sudo, and the difference in installing them is quite clear. FreeBSD uses Ports for software installs, so first things first, let’s update the library.

$ su
password: <enter root password>
# portsnap update extract

What this does is connect to the Ports repo, download latest ports list and update the local repo on your installation. If you have not yet run it you may need to do a

# portsnap fetch

Installation of bash

# cd /usr/ports/shells/bash
# make install clean

What happens here is you are first changing to the directory in the local repo that has all the instructions needed for make to fetch and install the dependencies for bash, as well as installs for bash.
Next you will need to set up bash. By default it installs to /usr/local/bin/bash , so entering

# chsh -s /usr/local/bin/bash

where username is the username of the user that bash is going to be configured on.

Strictly speaking you do not need sudo install, you could use su and then run commands that way, but for doing a shutdown I prefer to just do a sudo shutdown

Installation of sudo

# cd /usr/ports/security/sudo
# make install clean

There are a few security options you can do in the sudoers config file

# visudo

Look for the section

## User privilege specification

Under there you can remove the hash (#) for the option that makes sense to you. Personally I use the one that allows users of wheel to sudo with password requested.

# sudo reboot

Will ask for root password and reboot your system

That’s it for now, expect more soon 😉

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