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Frequently Asked Questions for FreeBSD 2.X

The FreeBSD Documentation Project

$Date: 1998/08/06 14:37:01 $


This is the FAQ for FreeBSD systems version 2.X All entries are assumed to be relevant to FreeBSD 2.0.5 and later, unless otherwise noted. Any entries with a <XXX> are under construction. If you are interested in helping with this project, send email to the the FreeBSD documentation project mailing list <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.ORG>. The latest version of this document is always available from the FreeBSD World Wide Web server. It may also be downloaded in plain text, postscript, PDF or HTML with HTTP or gzip'd from the FreeBSD FTP server. You may also want to Search the FAQ.

1. Preface

1.1. What is the purpose of this FAQ?
1.2. What is FreeBSD?
1.3. What are the goals of FreeBSD?
1.4. Why is it called FreeBSD?
1.5. What is the latest version of FreeBSD?
1.6. What is FreeBSD-current?
1.7. What is the FreeBSD-stable concept?
1.8. Why did the 2.1-stable branch end with 2.1.7.1?
1.9. When are FreeBSD releases made?
1.10. Is FreeBSD only available for PCs ?
1.11. Who is responsible for FreeBSD?
1.12. Where can I get FreeBSD?
1.13. Where do I find info on the FreeBSD mailing lists?
1.14. What FreeBSD news groups are available?
1.15. Are there FreeBSD IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels?
1.16. Books on FreeBSD
1.17. How do I access your Problem Report database?
1.18. Where can I get ASCII/PostScript versions of the FAQ?
1.19. Where can I get ASCII/PostScript versions of the Handbook?
1.20. The ASCII handbook isn't plain text!
1.21. I'd like to become a FreeBSD Web mirror!
1.22. I'd like to translate the documentation into Friesian.
1.23. Other sources of information.

2. Installation

2.1. Which file do I download to get FreeBSD?
2.2. Help! The boot floppy image will not fit on a single floppy!
2.3. Where are the instructions for installing FreeBSD?
2.4. What do I need in order to run FreeBSD?
2.5. I have only 4 MB of RAM. Can I install FreeBSD?
2.6. How can I make my own custom install floppy?
2.7. Can I have more than one operating system on my PC?
2.8. Can Windows 95 co-exist with FreeBSD?
2.9. Windows 95 killed my boot manager! How do I get it back?
2.10. Can I install on a disk with bad blocks?
2.11. Strange things happen when I boot the install floppy!
2.12. Help! I can't install from tape!
2.13. Can I install on my laptop over PLIP (Parallel Line IP)?
2.14. Which geometry should I use for a disk drive?
2.15. Any restrictions on how I divide the disk up?
2.16. What about disk managers? Or, I have a large drive!
2.17. When I boot FreeBSD I get ``Missing Operating System''
2.18. I can't get past the boot manager's `F?' prompt.
2.19. I have >16MB of RAM. Will this cause any problems?
2.20. Do I need to install the complete sources?
2.21. Do I need to build a kernel?
2.22. I live outside the US. Can I use DES encryption?
2.23. The boot floppy starts but hangs at the ``Probing Devices...''
2.24. I get a ``panic: cant mount root'' error when rebooting the system after installation.
2.25. What are the limits for memory?
2.26. What are the limits for ffs filesystems?
2.27. How can I put 1TB files on my floppy?

3. Hardware compatibility

3.1. What kind of hard drives does FreeBSD support?
3.2. Which SCSI controllers are supported?
3.3. Which CD-ROM drives are supported by FreeBSD?
3.4. Does FreeBSD support ZIP drives?
3.5. Does FreeBSD support JAZ, EZ and other removable drives?
3.6. Which multi-port serial cards are supported by FreeBSD?
3.7. I have an unusual bus mouse. How do I set it up?
3.8. How do I use my PS/2 (``mouse port'' or ``keyboard'') mouse?
3.9. Is it possible to make use of a mouse in any way outside the X Window?
3.10. How do I cut and paste text with mouse in the text console?
3.11. My mouse has a fancy wheel and buttons. Can I use them in FreeBSD?
3.12. How do I use the mouse/trackball/touchpad on my laptop?
3.13. What types of tape drives are supported?
3.14. Does FreeBSD support tape changers?
3.15. Which sound cards are supported by FreeBSD?
3.16. Which network cards does FreeBSD support?
3.17. I don't have a math co-processor - is that bad?
3.18. What other devices does 2.X support?
3.19. Does FreeBSD support power management on my laptop?
3.20. Workarounds for specific hardware problems
3.21. I have a newer Adaptec controller and FreeBSD can't find it.
3.22. I have an internal Plug & Play modem and FreeBSD can't find it.
3.23. How do I get the boot: prompt to show on the serial console?
3.24. Why doesn't my 3Com PCI network card work with my Micron computer?
3.25. Does FreeBSD support Symmetric Multiproccessing (SMP)?

4. Troubleshooting

4.1. I have bad blocks on my hard drive!
4.2. FreeBSD does not recognize my Bustek 742a EISA SCSI!
4.3. My HP Netserver's SCSI controller is not detected!
4.4. What's up with this CMD640 IDE controller?
4.5. I keep seeing messages like ``ed1: timeout''.
4.6. When I mount a CDROM, I get ``Incorrect super block''.
4.7. When I mount a CDROM, I get ``Device not configured''.
4.8. My printer is ridiculously slow. What can I do ?
4.9. My programs occasionally die with ``Signal 11'' errors.
4.10. When I boot, the screen goes black and loses sync!
4.11. I have 128 MB of RAM but the system only uses 64 MB.
4.12. FreeBSD 2.0 panics with ``kmem_map too small!''
4.13. ``CMAP busy panic'' when rebooting with a new kernel.
4.14. ahc0: brkadrint, Illegal Host Access at seqaddr 0x0
4.15. Sendmail says ``mail loops back to myself''
4.16. Full screen applications on remote machines misbehave!

5. Commercial Applications

5.1. Where can I get Motif for FreeBSD?
5.2. Where can I get CDE for FreeBSD?
5.3. Are there any commercial high-performance X servers?
5.4. Are there any Database systems for FreeBSD?

6. User Applications

6.1. So, where are all the user applications?
6.2. Where do I find libc.so.3.0?
6.3. ghostscript gives lots of errors with my 386/486SX.
6.4. When I run a SCO/iBCS2 application, it bombs on socksys.
6.5. How do I configure INN (Internet News) for my machine?
6.6. What version of Microsoft FrontPage should I get?

7. Kernel Configuration

7.1. I'd like to customize my kernel. Is it difficult?
7.2. My kernel compiles fail because _hw_float is missing.
7.3. Interrupt conflicts with multi-port serial code.
7.4. How do I enable support for QIC-40/80 drives?

8. System Administration

8.1. Where are the system start-up configuration files?
8.2. How do I add a user easily?
8.3. How can I add my new hard disk to my FreeBSD system?
8.4. I have a new removable drive, how do I use it?
8.5. How do I mount a secondary DOS partition?
8.6. Can I mount other foreign filesystems under FreeBSD?
8.7. How can I use the NT loader to boot FreeBSD?
8.8. How do I boot FreeBSD and Linux from LILO?
8.9. How do I boot FreeBSD and Linux using BootEasy?
8.10. Will a ``dangerously dedicated'' disk endanger my health?
8.11. How can I add more swap space?
8.12. I'm having problems setting up my printer.
8.13. The keyboard mappings are wrong for my system.
8.14. I can't get user quotas to work properly.
8.15. What's inappropriate about my ccd?
8.16. Why can't I edit the disklabel on my ccd?
8.17. Does FreeBSD support System V IPC primitives?
8.18. How do I use sendmail for mail delivery with UUCP?
8.19. How do I set up mail with a dialup connection to the 'net?
8.20. Eek! I forgot the root password!
8.21. How do I keep Control-Alt-Delete from rebooting the system?
8.22. How do I reformat DOS text files to UNIX ones?
8.23. How do I kill processes by name?
8.24. Why is su bugging me about not being in root's ACL?
8.25. How do I uninstall Kerberos?

9. The X Window System and Virtual Consoles

9.1. I want to run X, how do I go about it?
9.2. Why doesn't my mouse work with X
9.3. X Window menus and dialog boxes don't work right!
9.4. What is a virtual console and how do I make more?
9.5. How do I access the virtual consoles from X?
9.6. How do I start XDM on boot?
9.7. When I run xconsole, I get ``Couldn't open console''.
9.8. My PS/2 mouse doesn't behave properly under X.
9.9. My PS/2 mouse from MouseSystems doesn't seem to work.
9.10. When building an X app, imake can't find Imake.tmpl. Where is it?
9.11. How do I reverse the mouse buttons?

10. Networking

10.1. Where can I get information on ``diskless booting''?
10.2. Can a FreeBSD box be used as a dedicated network router?
10.3. Can I connect my Win95 box to the Internet via FreeBSD?
10.4. Why does recompiling the latest BIND from ISC fail?
10.5. Does FreeBSD support SLIP and PPP?
10.6. Does FreeBSD support NAT or Masquerading
10.7. I can't make ppp work. What am I doing wrong ?
10.8. I can't create a /dev/ed0 device!
10.9. How can I setup Ethernet aliases?
10.10. How do I get my 3C503 to use the other network port?
10.11. I'm having problems with NFS to/from FreeBSD.
10.12. Why can't I NFS-mount from a Linux box?
10.13. Why can't I NFS-mount from a Sun box?
10.14. I'm having problems talking PPP to NeXTStep machines.
10.15. How do I enable IP multicast support?
10.16. Which network cards are based on the DEC PCI chipset?
10.17. Why do I have to use the FQDN for hosts on my site?
10.18. ``Permission denied'' for all networking operations.
10.19. How much overhead does IPFW incur?
10.20. How can I redirect service requests from one machine to another?

11. Serial Communications

11.1. How do I tell if FreeBSD found my serial ports?
11.2. How do I tell if FreeBSD found my modem cards?
11.3. I just upgraded to 2.0.5 and my tty0X are missing!
11.4. How do I access the serial ports on FreeBSD?
11.5. How do I enable support for a multiport serial card?
11.6. Can FreeBSD handle multiport serial cards sharing irqs?
11.7. Can I set the default serial parameters for a port?
11.8. How can I enable dialup logins on my modem?
11.9. How can I connect a dumb terminal to my FreeBSD box?
11.10. Why can't I run tip or cu?
11.11. My stock Hayes modem isn't supported---what can I do?
11.12. How am I expected to enter these AT commands?
11.13. The @ sign for the pn capability doesn't work!
11.14. How can I dial a phone number on the command line?
11.15. Do I have to type in the bps rate every time I do that?
11.16. I access a number of hosts through a terminal server.
11.17. Can tip try more than one line for each site?
11.18. Why do I have to hit CTRL+P twice to send CTRL+P once?
11.19. Suddenly everything I type is in UPPER CASE??
11.20. How can I do file transfers with tip?
11.21. How can I run zmodem with tip?
11.22. FreeBSD can't seem to find my serial ports, even when the

12. Miscellaneous Questions

12.1. FreeBSD uses far more swap space than Linux. Why?
12.2. Why use (what are) a.out and ELF executable formats?
12.3. Why won't chmod change the permissions on symlinks?
12.4. Why are login names still restricted to 8 characters?
12.5. Can I run DOS binaries under FreeBSD?
12.6. What is ``sup'', and how do I use it?
12.7. How cool is FreeBSD?
12.8. Who's scratching in my memory banks??
12.9. What does 'MFC' mean?

13. For serious FreeBSD hackers only

13.1. What are SNAPs and RELEASEs?
13.2. How do I make my own custom release?
13.3. How do I create customized installation disks?
13.4. ``make world'' clobbers my existing installed binaries.
13.5. When my system boots, it says ``(bus speed defaulted)''.
13.6. Can I follow current with limited Internet access?
13.7. How did you split the distribution into 240k files?
13.8. I've written a kernel extension, who do I send it to?
13.9. How are Plug N Play ISA cards detected and initialized?
13.10. Will FreeBSD ever support other architectures?
13.11. I need a major number for a device driver I've written.
13.12. Alternative layout policies for directories

14. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Updated September 8, 1998