Obtaining PC-BSD®/10.1

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PC-BSD® version numbers are similar to those used by FreeBSD. In addition, PC-BSD® provides two branches. The branch that you choose to install or upgrade determines whether or not you will receive updates as new features and drivers are added to the operating system. Image names will include the version number, where 10.1 is the most recent version, and either the word RELEASE or STABLE, where:

- RELEASE: indicates that new drivers and features will not be added to the operating system until the next RELEASE version becomes available and the user upgrades to that new version. If reliability is more important to you than new features or drivers, use the RELEASE version.

- STABLE: around the 1st of each month, Update Manager will provide a patch which will update the operating system to include all of the new features and drivers. If you wish to have or test the latest features and drivers as they become available and can tolerate possible breakage caused by new features being available before the next RELEASE, use the STABLE version.

The installation file for the current RELEASE can be downloaded from the PC-BSD® website[1]. Earlier versions and STABLE versions can be downloaded from the PC-BSD® CDN[2].

The file that you download will end in an .iso file extension. If you plan to install a graphical desktop, download the file with PCBSD in its name and either burn it to a DVD media or write it to a removable USB device. If you prefer to install a command-line only server, you can either download the same ISO or download the ISO with TRUEOS in the name. The TRUEOS download is smaller and can be burned to a CD or written to a removable USB device.

NOTE: PC-BSD® 10.1 also provides virtual image files which end in an .xz extension. See Using the Downloadable VirtualBox or VMWare Disk for instructions on how to use these files.

This section demonstrates how to verify the downloaded file's checksum. The next section will demonstrate how to burn the file to bootable media. You can install additional components and applications after the installation using AppCafe®.

If you have a slow download connection or wish to support the PC-BSD® project financially, you can purchase PC-BSD® DVDs from the FreeBSD Mall[3].

Members of the PC-BSD® project attend many IT conferences across the globe and give out PC-BSD® DVDs at conference booths. Visiting a PC-BSD® booth is an excellent way to meet other PC-BSD® users and to get your questions answered. Check the PC-BSD® Blog[4] to see if any events are happening near you. If you are organizing a PC-BSD® booth, contact us[5] to arrange for DVDs.

Data Integrity Check

After downloading the .iso file, it is a good idea to check that the file is exactly the same as the one on the PC-BSD® server. While downloading, a portion of the file may get damaged or lost, making the installation file unusable.
Figure 2.4a: Verifying a Checksum Using FastSum
Each PC-BSD® installation file has an associated MD5 and SHA256 checksum. If a checksum of the file you downloaded matches, your download was successful. If a checksum does not match, try downloading the file again. In order to verify a checksum, you will need to use a checksum verification utility.
NOTE: You only need to verify one of the checksums. The PC-BSD® website[1] only lists the SHA256 while the PC-BSD® CDN[2] lists both the .md5 and the .sha256 checksum files. This section demonstrates how to verify an MD5 checksum.

If you are currently using a Windows system, you can download and install the FastSum[6] utility in order to verify the MD5 checksum. Once installed, launch the program and click the "Files" button, shown in Figure 2.4a, to browse to the location of your downloaded file.

Once the file is selected, click the green arrow to calculate the checksum. Once calculated, it will be listed in the "Checksum\State" column, though FastSum will capitalize the letters.

On Linux and BSD systems you can use the built-in md5 (or md5sum) command line tool to check the data integrity of the MD5 checksum. In this example, the file is located in the Downloads subdirectory. You should substitute the name and location of the file that you downloaded:

md5 Downloads/PCBSD10.1-RELEASE-x64-DVD-USB.iso                         


  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.pcbsd.org/en/download.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://iso.cdn.pcbsd.org/
  3. http://www.freebsdmall.com/cgi-bin/fm/scan/su=yes/fi=prod_bsd/sf=sku/sf=title/sf=category/se=pcbsd
  4. http://blog.pcbsd.org/
  5. http://www.pcbsd.org/en/support/
  6. http://www.fastsum.com/
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