Notes on PacBSD


PacBSD is a FreeBSD kernel/world with a PacMan Arch package manager and an optionnal OpenRC init system.

In short ZFS, DTrace and the FreeBSD kernel but the simplicity of Arch for packages management but the Gentoo init.

It’s experimental, uncompleted, unfinished, lacks proper documentations but it works and could be/should be the solution we are waiting for :).

Here is some notes on installation (in QEMU), note that it slightly diverges from the official install since it’s using a whole ZFS disk, so no GPT.

zpool create tank /dev/vtbd0
zfs create -o canmount=off -o mountpoint=legacy tank/ROOT
zfs create -o canmount=on -o compression=lz4 -o mountpoint=/ tank/ROOT/pacbsd
zfs create -o compression=lz4 -o mountpoint=/home tank/HOME
zfs create -o compression=lz4 -o mountpoint=/root tank/HOME/root
pacstrap /mnt base

Add to loader.conf

arch-chroot /mnt
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/zone/subzone /etc/localtime
rc-update add zfs default
echo 'hostname="pacbsd"' > /etc/conf.d/hostname
dd if=/boot/zfsboot of=/dev/vtbd0 count=1
dd if=/boot/zfsboot of=/dev/vtbd0 iseek=1 oseek=1024

Edit loader.conf


Reboot, manually starts dhcpd, explore …

dhcpcd vtnet0

Even with you don’t plan on installing PacBSD, the provided ISO is a useful bootable FreeBSD 11 kernel with zfs and pacman/pacstrap tools.