Booting Into PC-BSD®/9.2

From PC-BSD Wiki
Revision as of 08:07, 29 February 2012 by Drulavigne (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

(Sorry for the inconvenience)

After installation, PC-BSD will reboot and you will be prompted to configure your system and to login to a desktop.

Unless you unchecked the "Install bootable MBR" option in the advanced mode of the disk setup wizard, you will see a FreeBSD boot menu similar to this one when you first boot up:

F1  FreeBSD

Boot: F1

Your FreeBSD boot menu may vary if other operating systems are installed on the computer (see Dual Booting for instructions on how to configure other boot managers) or if your system does not support PXE booting. By default, the computer will automatically boot into PC-BSD (FreeBSD) after a few seconds unless you press another function key listed in the boot menu.

After a few seconds, boot will continue and you will be presented with the graphical PC-BSD boot menu, shown in Figure 4.1a.

Figure 4.1a: PC-BSD Graphical Boot Menu


If you press any key, this screen will pause, allowing you to read and select the desired options. Otherwise, it will pause for a few seconds then continue to load PC-BSD with the default options.

There are 6 boot options and 4 actions to choose from:

1 Disable ACPI: ACPI controls power management but may be problematic on some hardware. Select this option if you are unable to boot into PC-BSD.

2 Enable Safe Mode: select this option if the installation hangs when probing your hardware. It will boot with a forced PIO mode (disabling the use of DMA), disable write caching for all IDE hard drives and CD ROM drives, disable the probing of EISA slots (as very few systems have them), and (on i386 systems) disable the use of ACPI and APICs.

3 Enter single user mode: advanced users can use this option to fix critical system failures.

4 Enable verbose logging: select this option if you would like to see more detailed messages during the boot process. This can be useful if you are troubleshooting a piece of hardware.

5 Run X in VESA mode: select this option if PC-BSD is unable to load your video driver. PC-BSD will default to VESA mode which should work on any system with a video card.

6 Run the Display Wizard: if you are unable to access the GUI due to a display setting, enable this option to boot into the display settings wizard.

Press the number of an option to select that option. As you make a selection, the FreeBSD bobble-head icon will be filled in, indicating that that option has been selected. To de-select an option, press its number again. Once you have made your selection(s), you can choose from the following actions:

B Boot PC-BSD with above options: starts PC-BSD with the selected options enabled.

D Restore default options: clears your selections.

L Escape to loader prompt: advanced users can select this option to perform advanced operations, such as changing kernels or loading kernel modules. This prompt provides a limited set of commands which are described here.

R Reboot: reboots the computer.

Configuring Display Settings

Once the first boot is complete, the installer will attempt to set the optimal display settings. If this occurs, you will see a pop-up menu asking if you would like to accept these settings. Simply click Yes to continue to the post-installation configuration screens.

If for some reason the installer is unable to find the optimal display settings, you will instead see the Display Settings screen shown in Figure 4.1b:

Figure 4.1b: Display Settings Wizard


Here you can select your desired screen resolution, color depth, and video driver. By default, PC-BSD should list the name of your video card. However, it will select the "vesa" driver which should always work but will provide sub-optimal performance. Click the drop down menu and change "vesa" to the driver that most closely matches your video card's name.

You can also use the drop down menus to change the screen resolution and color depth values. If the value you desire is not listed, it may be that the selected driver does not support that resolution or depth.

Advanced users can select their monitor's horizontal sync and vertical refresh rate in the Advanced tab, seen in Figure 4.1c:

Figure 4.1c: Advanced Tab of Display Settings


Use caution and refer to your monitor's documentation if you make any changes here. If you're not sure what you're doing, leave the default values as-is.

If your computer is connected to two monitors, check the box "Enable Dual-Head support".

When you are finished, click the "Apply" button for your settings to be saved and tested. If anything goes wrong during testing, you should be taken back to the Display Settings screen so that you can try another setting. Once you are happy with the tested setting, click the Yes button to save the setting and to proceed to the login screen.

NOTE: if you wish to return to the display wizard at a later time, go to Control Panel ➜ Display.

Enabling Fast Boot

PC-BSD provides an option to decrease the amount of time that it takes the system to boot to the login screen. Without this option, the boot process waits for confirmation as each service starts up. If you enable this option, the boot process does not wait for confirmation as the services are started in the background.

To enable fast boot, become the superuser and look for this line in /etc/rc.conf:


Carefully edit that line to replace NO with YES. The next time you reboot, check to see if your boot time is faster.

The logfile /var/log/rc_delay.log will list which services were started in delayed mode. If you are having a problem with a delayed service and it is listed in the log, remove the path to that service in the fastboot_earlyrc line of /etc/rc.conf.

Creating a Custom Boot Theme

If you would like to change the image in the graphical boot loader, create a PCX image file. It is important that the file is saved in .pcx format as that is the only image format that the boot loader understands. Additionally, the image must be 640 x 480 pixels and 16 colors. The RGB colors that will be available in the menu text will be taken from the image's palette.

The default PC-BSD graphical boot theme is found in /boot/themes/default/. To create your own theme, create a new directory in /boot/themes/ (e.g. mkdir /boot/themes/mytheme) and copy your PCX file to that new subdirectory.

Next, copy /boot/themes/default/theme.conf to your new subdirectory. Open the copied file and edit this line to point to the location of your PCX file:


You can change the theme's colors by editing the RGB values in this file. You can also change the font by modifying the theme_font path to point to the font to use. Finally, you can change the location of the list of options and the actions menu. These are defined with the *_xy settings in the configuration file. The value must be two numbers which specify the X and Y coordinates in pixels, relative to the upper left corner.

To enable your theme, modify this line in /boot/loader.conf to point to the location of your theme.conf file:

Personal tools