Booting Into PC-BSD®/9.2

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(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 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.

NOTE: if another boot manager is installed on the system, see the section on Dual Booting for instructions on how to add a PC-BSD® entry to the GAG, GRUB, or EasyBCD boot menu programs.

After a few seconds, the boot should 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 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 You Encrypted a Filesystem

If you checked the box "Encrypt user data" during PC-BSD® installation, the boot process will pause, waiting for you to input your passphrase. Press enter at the splash screen so that you can see the message, similar to the one shown in Figure 4.1b, in order to type your passphrase.

Figure 4.1b: Prompt to Enter Passphrase


A * should appear for each character that you type, so type slowly and make sure that each keystroke is accepted. If you do not enter the passphrase correctly, this message indicates that you should try again:

GEOM_ELI: Wrong key for ada01se. Tries left: 2.

Once the correct passphrase is entered, you will see a message similar to the following and the boot sequence will proceed.

GEOM_ELI: Device ada01se.eli created.
GEOM_ELI: Encryption: AES-XTS 128
GEOM_ELI: Crypto: software

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 4.1c:

Figure 4.1c: 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.

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[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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