Burning the Installation Media/10.0

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Once you have downloaded PC-BSD® and verified its checksum, burn the file to either a DVD or removable USB device. This section demonstrates how to do so using several different applications and operating systems.


Burning to DVD 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 "Burn disk image" to open the screen shown in Figure 2.5a. Select the DVD device in the "Disk burner" drop-down menu and then click "Burn" to write the disc. See the Microsoft article Burn a CD or DVD from an ISO file[1] for more detailed instructions.


InfraRecorder[2] 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 2.5b:

Figure 2.5b: 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 2.5c:

Figure 2.5c: 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.

Burning to DVD 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[3] 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. If KDE is installed, it can be run from any desktop by typing k3b.

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

Figure 2.5d: Selecting the Burn Image Tool Within K3B
Figure 2.5e: 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[4] 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 and the dialog window shown in Figure 2.5f will be displayed. Alternately, type brasero from within any window manager.

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

Figure 2.5f: Brasero's Initial Screen
Figure 2.5g: 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 2.5g 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.


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 install 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=PCBSD10.0-RELEASE-x64-DVD-USB.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 to DVD on a Mac OS X System

To burn the ISO on a Mac OS X system, go to Finder ➜ Applications ➜ Utilities ➜ Disk Utility. With a blank media inserted into the burner, highlight the device representing the DVD writer and click the "Burn" button. This will open up a browser where you can select the ISO to burn.

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 DVD media.


Writing to a USB Device

To write to a USB device, you will need the following:

  • 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.

NOTE: If there is a card reader on the system or used via USB dongle, the device enumeration may be affected. For example, with the USB card reader dongle as the destination for the image burn below, the device name would be /dev/da1 instead of /dev/da0.

Writing to USB on a BSD or Linux System

To write the .iso file to a flash card or removable USB drive on a BSD or Linux system, use the dd command line utility. On a FreeBSD system, the superuser can use this command to write the file to the first plugged in USB device:

dd if=PCBSD10.0-RELEASE-x64-DVD-USB.iso of=/dev/da0 bs=1m                3658+1 records in 3658+1 records out 3836317696 bytes transferred in 670.278574 secs (5723468 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
NOTE: 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 to USB on a Windows System

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

To burn the image file on a Windows system, you can use win32-image-writer[5]. 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.

If you launch win32-image-writer.exe, it will start the "Win32 Disk Imager" utility, shown in Figure 2.5i. 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.

Writing to USB on a Mac OS X System

To burn the .iso file on Mac OS X, 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 /dev/disk0 #: 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 /dev/disk1 #: 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/PCBSD10.0-RELEASE-x64-DVD-USB.iso of=/dev/rdisk1 bs=4m Password: 3658+1 records in 3658+1 records out 3836317696 bytes transferred in 670.278574 secs (5723468 bytes/sec)


  1. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Burn-a-CD-or-DVD-from-an-ISO-file
  2. http://infrarecorder.org/
  3. http://www.kde.org/applications/multimedia/k3b/
  4. http://projects.gnome.org/brasero/
  5. https://launchpad.net/win32-image-writer
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