Burning the Installation Media/9.2

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Once you have downloaded PC-BSD® and verified its checksum, burn the file to the correct media type. This section demonstrates how to do so using several different applications and operating systems. Each application assumes that the correct media (CD, DVD, or USB flash drive) for the type of file is inserted.


Burning the CD/DVD ISO File on a BSD or Linux System

This section demonstrates how to burn the installation ISO on a Linux or BSD system using the following tools: K3B, Brasero, and growisofs.


K3B[1] is an easy-to-use graphical burning application for Linux and BSD systems. On a PC-BSD® system, it is installed with the KDE desktop. You can also install the K3B PBI using Using AppCafe®.

To burn your ISO, launch K3B, browse to the location of the .iso file in the screen shown in Figure 2.5f and click ToolsBurn Image... to see the screen in Figure 2.5g.

Figure 2.5f: Selecting the Burn Image Tool Within K3B


Figure 2.5g: K3B's Burn Image Screen


Click the "Start" button to burn the file. K3B will automatically eject the media once the burn is complete.


Brasero[2] is an easy to use burning application included with the GNOME desktop. A PBI is also available within AppCafe®. To launch Brasero within GNOME, click ApplicationsMultimediaBrasero Disk Burner and the dialog window shown in Figure 2.5h will be displayed. Alternately, type brasero from within any window manager.

Figure 2.5h: Brasero's Initial Screen


Click Burn image to open the screen seen in Figure 2.5i. Use the Click here to select a disk image button to select your .iso file.

Figure 2.5i: Brasero Image Burning Setup


The name and size of your .iso file should appear and Brasero will indicate the size of the media. The lower portion of Figure 2.5i shows the menu that appears if you click on the "Properties" button. You can change these options if you wish, but the default settings are fine in most cases. When you are ready, click the "Burn" button and Brasero will burn your ISO.


Available as PBI and installed with XFCE. Add instructions for 9.2 Handbook.


If you are familiar with using the command line on a FreeBSD or PC-BSD® system, you can use the growisofs command line utility to burn the DVD. This utility is included with the dvd+rw-tools FreeBSD port which is installed by default on a PC-BSD® system. If that software is not yet installed on a FreeBSD system, issue this command as the superuser:

pkg_add -r dvd+rw-tools

Depending upon the type of DVD burner hardware, you may have to configure the system to use it. If the device is ATAPI (i.e. not USB or SCSI), the ATAPI driver must be loaded. The superuser can issue this command:

kldload atapicam

If you just get your prompt back, the driver successfully loaded. If you get the message "kldload: cannot load atapicam: File exists", this means that the driver was already loaded. If the device is USB or SCSI, no additional drivers need to be loaded if you are running the generic FreeBSD kernel. After inserting the DVD media into the device, you can start the burn using this command:

 growisofs -Z /dev/cd0=PCBSD9.1-x64-DVD.iso

If your device is not the first CD device, change the number 0 accordingly. If your ISO has a different name, substitute the correct name in the command shown above.

Burning the CD/DVD ISO File on a Mac OSX System

To burn the ISO on a Mac OSX system, go to "Finder ➜ Applications ➜ Utilities ➜ Disk Utility". With a blank media inserted into the burner, highlight the device representing the CD/DVD writer and click the "Burn" button. This will open up a browser where you can select the ISO to burn. In the example shown in Figure 2.5j, the DVD ISO has been selected and the device is a Sony DVD writer.

Figure 2.5j: Using Disk Utility on Mac OSX


Once the ISO is highlighted, click the "Burn" button. A pop-up message will indicate that the device is ready to burn. Click "Burn" once more and "Disk Utility" will write the ISO to the CD/DVD media.

Burning the CD/DVD ISO File on a Windows System

Several burning applications are available for Windows. This section will demonstrate how to use Windows 7's Disc Image Burner, ImgBurn, and InfraRecorder.

Windows 7 Disc Image Burner

Windows 7 has built-in support for writing ISO images to disc. Right-click on the .iso file in Windows Explorer and select "Open with ➜ Windows Disc Image Burner" to open the screen shown in Figure 2.5a. Click "Burn" to write the disc. See the Microsoft article Burn a CD or DVD from an ISO file[3] for more detailed instructions.

Figure 2.5a: Windows Disc Image Burner



ImgBurn[4] is an easy to use ISO burner for Windows that is available for free download. After installing and launching ImgBurn, select "Write image file to disk" from the main menu, seen in Figure 2.5b:

Figure 2.5b: Initial ImgBurn Screen


You can then use File ➜ Browse for a source file... to select the .iso file to burn; once selected, your screen should look similar to Figure 2.5c. Click the Write icon in the lower left corner to begin the burn.

Figure 2.5c: Selecting the Source and Destination in ImgBurn


ImgBurn will provide a status bar to indicate the progress of the burn. When it is finished, ImgBurn will eject the burner tray then reclose it in order to verify the burn. If the tray does not return itself, which may occur on a laptop, push the tray back in if you wish to verify the burn.


InfraRecorder[5] is an open source burning application for both CDs and DVDs. Once installed, open InfraRecorder and click on the "Write Image" button shown in Figure 2.5d:

Figure 2.5d: Initial InfraRecorder Screen


InfraRecorder will display a screen where you can browse to the location of the .iso file. Once selected, you will be presented with an options screen shown in Figure 2.5e:

Figure 2.5e: Burn Options in InfraRecorder


You can accept the defaults and click "OK" to start the burn. When finished, the burner tray will open and a dialog box will appear indicating that the burning process has finished.

Writing an ISO File to USB Using SUSE Studio ImageWriter


SUSE Studio ImageWriter[6] is a utility for burning ISO files to a USB flash drive. It works on Linux and Windows.

To use this utility, download ImageWriter.exe[7]. If you open this executable on a Windows system, you will see the screen shown in Figure 2.5k.

Figure 2.5k: Using ImageWriter in Windows

Image writer.png

Due to a bug in the Windows implementation, you will need to type *.* and press enter in order for the ISO file to show in the selection screen. Once you have selected the ISO and the USB device, click the "Copy" button to burn the image to the device. The application will warn that all existing data on the device will be deleted.

Writing an IMG File to USB

To write an .img.bz2 file you will need the following:

  • a utility that can extract .bz2 zipped files
  • a utility that can write the image to a USB media; the utility that you use will depend upon your operating system
  • a USB thumb drive or hard drive large enough to hold the image

Once the image is written, boot from the removable device and proceed with the PC-BSD® installation.

Writing the IMG File on a BSD or Linux System

If you selected to download an .img.bz2 file instead of an ISO, you can write the image file to a flash card or removable USB drive using the bunzip2 and dd command line utilities on a BSD or Linux system. On a FreeBSD system, the superuser can use these commands to extract the specified image and write it to the first plugged in USB device:

bunzip2 PCBSD9.1-x64-USBFULL.img.bz2
dd if=PCBSD9.1-x64-USBFULL.img of=/dev/da0 bs=64k conv=sync
63200+0 records in
63200+0 records out
4141875200 bytes transferred in 1395.261087 secs (2968531 bytes/sec)

When using the dd command:

  • if= refers to the input file to be written; it should end with an .img extension
  • of= refers to the output file (the device name of the flash card or removable USB drive); increment the number in the name if it is not the first USB device
  • bs= refers to the block size
  • conv=sync pads the final block so it is the specified block size

NOTE for Linux users: if you type mount with the USB stick inserted, you will see two or more device nodes corresponding to the USB stick. For example, /dev/sdc and /dev/sdc1, where /dev/sdc1 corresponds to the primary partition of the USB stick. Before using the dd command, ensure that the usb stick is first unmounted. When using the dd command, remember to use /dev/sdc (device node without the number) as the option for the output file of=. Once the dd completes, you might not be able to mount the USB stick on Linux, as Linux has very limited support for UFS (the BSD filesystem that gets created on the USB stick).

Writing the IMG File on a Mac OSX System

To extract the .img.bz2 file on a Mac system, use Finder to browse to the location of the file, as seen in Figure 2.5m.

Figure 2.5m: Extracting the Image on Mac


Simply double-click the file to extract it to the .img format. Finder will create a second file with the .img extension.

To burn that .img file, insert a USB stick and open "Terminal". Run the diskutil list command to find out the device name of the USB disk, unmount the USB disk, then use dd to write the image to the raw disk (rdisk). In the following example, an 8GB USB stick has a device name of /dev/disk1 and a raw device name of /dev/rdisk1.

diskutil list 
  #:        TYPE NAME            SIZE       IDENTIFIER
  0:   GUID_partition_scheme    *500.1 GB   disk0
  1:                     EFI     209.7 MB   disk0s1
  2:  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD     499.2 GB   disk0s2
  3:  Apple_Boot Recovery HD     650.0 MB   disk0s3  
  #:        TYPE NAME            SIZE       IDENTIFIER
  0:  FDisk_partition_scheme    *8.0 GB     disk1
  1:     DOS_FAT_32 UNTITLED     8.0 GB     disk1s1
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1
Unmount of all volumes on disk1 was successful
sudo dd if=/Users/dru/Downloads/PCBSD9.1-x64-USBFULL.img of=/dev/rdisk1 bs=4m
375+0 records in
375+0 records out
1572864000 bytes transferred in 86.742798 secs (18132502 bytes/sec)

Writing the IMG File on a Windows System

To burn the image file on a Windows system, you can use win32-image-writer txt=Missing Link[8]. You will also need a utility that can extract .bz2 files such as 7-Zip[9].

When downloading win32-image-writer, download the latest version that ends in -binary.zip and use a utility such as Windows Explorer or 7zip to unzip the executable.

To extract the PC-BSD® image file using 7-Zip, browse to the location containing your downloaded .img.bz2 file, as seen in the example in Figure 2.5k.

Figure 2.5k: Using 7-Zip to Extract Image File


Click the "Extract" button and browse to the location where you would like to save the extracted image. Once extracted, your image will end in .img, and will be ready to be written to a USB device using the win32-image-writer application.

If you launch win32-image-writer.exe, it will start the "Win32 Disk Imager" utility, shown in Figure 2.5l. Use the "Browse" button to browse to the location of the .img file. Insert a USB thumb drive and select its drive letter (in this example, drive D). Click the "Write" button and the image will be written to the USB thumb drive.

Figure 2.5l: Using Win32 Disk Imager to Write the Image



  1. http://www.kde.org/applications/multimedia/k3b/
  2. http://projects.gnome.org/brasero/
  3. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Burn-a-CD-or-DVD-from-an-ISO-file
  4. http://www.imgburn.com/
  5. http://infrarecorder.org/
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUSE_Studio_ImageWriter
  7. https://github.com/downloads/openSUSE/kiwi/ImageWriter.exe
  8. https://launchpad.net/win32-image-writer win32-image-writer
  9. http://www.7-zip.org/
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