DragonFly BSD


Chapter 2 Installation from CD

This document describes the installation of DragonFly BSD. This process uses a bootable DragonFly CD, usually referred to as a 'live CD'. This CD is available at one of the current mirrors, which distribute the images by various protocols. The authoritative list can be found at the DragonFly website.

First steps

Upon booting, you see the following screen:

As you can see, it gives you the option of logging in as root to run the live CD and play around or logging in as installer to install DragonFly to your hard drive.

Log in as installer. You will then see the following screen:

Set up Disk for Installation

Note the warning to backup important data. Things can always go wrong and if, for example, you have another partition with important files, a mistype or other error might lose all the information on that partition. Assuming this is done, or that you aren't worried about other data on the machine, again, select install DragonFly BSD and you will be taken to the next screen:

If you have multiple disks installed, chose one where you want to install DragonFly. We chose da0 here.

After selecting the disk we need to decide how much of the disk we want to use. We choose to use the entire disk and see the next screen. Now we can chose between the two file systems on DragonFly. HAMMER is the brand-new file system with a big number of features like snapshots, history tracking, mirroring etc. UFS is the old BSD file system.

We select HAMMER and see now the following screen:

The screen (shown above) gives the default partition scheme for this drive. As the screen says, the * indicates that it will use remainder of the disk. If you chose HAMMER as your file system there is no need to change the default settings. One swap partition is created and the remaining space is assigned to the root partition. The installer will automatically add sub-partitions (called Pseudo File Systems (PFS) in HAMMER) for /home, /usr, /var, /var/crash, /var/tmp and /tmp for you. If you want to get more information about HAMMER, have a look in the man page.

Install to Disk

The following steps show how DragonFly can be installed to your hard disk:

Depending on your hardware installing DragonFly will take some time. Once installation is complete, you are given an option to install bootblocks. Note that if you are installing bootblocks and the DragonFly installation is above the 1024th cylinder (approximately 8 gigs) accept the default of having packet mode selected:

Next, we are given an option to configure the system or reboot:

Set up your system

The following menu of the installer allows you to configure your previously installed system.

This includes setting a password for your root account:

Be sure to select the correct keyboard map for your system, and configure a hostname.

Add a new user

To perform your daily work, it is recommended to work as an unprivileged user. Use the following screen to create such an account. If you want to allow your user to use su(1), also add him to the wheel group:

Configure the Network

The next screen allows you to setup your network. The installed card seen here is an Intel Ethernet 1000 powered by em(4):

After finishing your configuration you can escape into a live shell or reboot the system into your installation.

If you find that your network is working with numeric ips but not working with domain names, you might want to make sure you have a file called /etc/resolv.conf and that it has your local DHCP server in it, something like this:


If you find that the ethernet auto-configuration feature is unable to reach your DHCP server, you can still let it create your network configuration file which is called /etc/rc.conf. If you are familiar with Linux device names you might notice that in BSD flavour Unixes, device names like /dev/de0 or /dev/em0 are the BSD equivalent of the Linux name /dev/eth0.