Booting Into PC-BSD®/9.2

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

The graphical PC-BSD® bootloader menu, is shown in Figure 4.1a.

Figure 4.1a: PC-BSD® Graphical Boot Menu

This menu is provided by GRUB and will show the installed operating systems and any previously created boot environments. If you are familiar with editing GRUB, you can press e to access the GRUB editor or c to access the GRUB command line.

NOTE: if you are dual booting and your other operating system was not automatically added to GRUB by the installer, see Dual Booting.

Unless you press a key, this screen will pause for a few seconds then continue to the screen shown in Figure 4.2a.

Figure 4.1b: PC-BSD® Graphical Boot Menu 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 in the FreeBSD Handbook[1].

R Reboot: reboots the computer.

As the system continues to boot, the PC-BSD® splash screen will appear. If you prefer to watch the boot messages, press any key.

If Your Display is Not Automatically Detected

Once the first boot is complete, the installer will attempt to set the optimal display settings. A pop-up menu will ask if you would like to accept these settings. Simply click "Yes" to continue. PC-BSD® will now play a short video. You can press Esc to skip the video and move on to the Language screen of the post-installation process.

If you instead select "No", or 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

The settings in this screen are described in more detail in Display. If you wish to return to this display wizard at a later time, go to Control PanelDisplay.

If you change any display settings, click the "Apply" button for the settings to be tested. If anything goes wrong during testing, you will 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.

Fast Boot

PC-BSD® uses a "fast boot" script to decrease the amount of time that it takes the system to boot to the login screen. When this script is enabled, which is the default, services are started in the background and the boot process does not wait for confirmation from each service as it starts. This is referred to as delayed mode.

The fast boot script is controlled by these lines in /etc/rc.conf:

fastboot_enable="YES" fastboot_earlyrc="/etc/rc.d/netif /etc/rc.d/moused /etc/rc.d/dhclient /etc/rc.d/pf /etc/rc.d/routing /etc/rc.d/devd /usr/local/etc/rc.d/pefs /usr/local/etc/rc.d/dbus /usr/local/etc/rc.d/hald /usr/local/etc/rc.d/gdm"
  • fastboot_enable - If set to YES, will only start the services listed in fastboot_earlyrc before showing a login prompt.
  • fastboot_earlyrc - List of service files to start before showing a login prompt. (Dependencies started automatically)
  • /var/log/rc_delay.log - Output of services started in the background

The logfile /var/log/rc_delay.log shows the startup messages for the services which were started in delayed mode. If this log indicates that a delayed mode service is not starting correctly, become the superuser, remove the path to that service in the fastboot_earlyrc line of /etc/rc.conf, and reboot to see if that fixes the problem.

If a faster boot time is not important to you and you prefer to watch each service as it starts at boot time, you can disable fast boot by changing the "YES" to a "NO" in the fastboot_enable line of /etc/rc.conf.

These mods are contained in /etc/rc && /etc/rc.delay.

Creating a Custom Boot Theme

If you would like to change the image in the graphical boot loader, create a PCX[2] 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 locations 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:



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