Obtaining PC-BSD®/9.2

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(Sorry for the inconvenience)

The installation files for PC-BSD® can be downloaded for free and end with an .iso or .img.bz2 file extension. Depending upon the type of file you choose, the size will vary between ~650MB and ~3.5GB. This section will show you how to select which file to download and how to verify the downloaded file's checksum. The next section will demonstrate how to burn the file to bootable media.

If you have a slow download connection or wish to support the PC-BSD® project financially, you can purchase PC-BSD® DVDs from the FreeBSD Mall[1].

Members of the PC-BSD® project attend many IT conferences across the globe and give out PC-BSD® DVDs at conference booths. Visiting a PC-BSD® booth is an excellent way to meet other PC-BSD® users and to get your questions answered. Check the PC-BSD® Blog[2] to see if any events are happening near you. If you are organizing a PC-BSD® booth, contact us[3] to arrange for DVDs.

Selecting Which File to Download

When you go to the Download[4] page of the PC-BSD® website, you will find a number of files available for download:

  • DVD-live: contains a live version of PC-BSD® running the KDE4 desktop; requires a DVD burner. Note that the live version is read-only. It does provide an installer icon on the destkop should you decide to install PC-BSD®.
  • DVD: contains the full version of PC-BSD® (all system components, ports, and source); requires a DVD burner.
  • USB: contains the full version of PC-BSD® (all system components, ports, and source); requires a USB memory stick or flash card.
  • USB-lite: contains a stripped down version of PC-BSD® and the LXDE desktop (no system components, ports, source, or FreeBSD/TrueOS™); requires a USB memory stick or flash card.
  • VMware disk image: contains a pre-installed version of PC-BSD® with the GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Openbox, and XFCE desktops. See the section on Using VirtualBox for instructions on using the VMware disk image.
  • VirtualBox disk: contains a pre-installed version of PC-BSD® with the GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Openbox, and XFCE desktops. See the section on Using VirtualBox for instructions on using the VirtualBox disk.

The larger the installation file size, the more components that come with that installation.

Regardless of which media you use to install PC-BSD®, you have the option to install additional components and applications after the installation using System Manager and AppCafe®.

There are two versions available for each type of file: one for 32-bit (i386) systems and one for 64-bit (amd64) systems. It is important that you download a file that matches your computer's processor type (32- or 64-bit). For example, if the system is 64-bit or has more than 4GB or RAM, download the amd64 version, even if the brand is not AMD. Each media type includes the pcbsd-media-details file which identifies the release version, architecture, media type, and date of creation.

NOTE: If you plan to use VirtualBox to install PC-BSD®, you can install the 32-bit version, even if your computer is 64-bit. Depending upon your processor's capabilities, you may or may not be able to install the 64-bit version on a 64-bit system using VirtualBox.

Data Integrity Check

After downloading the file that is correct for your architecture and installation media, it is a good idea to check that the file is exactly the same as the one on the PC-BSD® server. While downloading, a portion of the file may get damaged or lost, making the installation file unusable. Each PC-BSD® download has an associated MD5 checksum which is listed next to the download link. If the checksum of the file you downloaded has the same number, your download was successful. If the MD5 numbers do not match, you should download the file again, preferably from a different mirror. In order to verify the checksum, you will need to use a checksum verification utility.

If you are currently using a Windows system, you can download and install the FastSum[5] utility. Once installed, launch the program and click the Files button, shown in Figure 2.5a, to browse to the location of your downloaded file:

Figure 2.5a: Verifying a Checksum Using FastSum


Once the file is selected, click the green arrow to calculate the checksum. Once calculated, it will be listed in the Checksum\State column. In this example, the checksum is e66acb8ff1013c6c5e114191e9556580 (though FastSum will capitalize the letters).

On Linux and BSD systems you can use the built-in md5 (or md5sum) command line tool to check the data integrity of the downloaded file. In this example, the file is located in the Downloads subdirectory of a user's home (~) directory. You should substitute the name and location of the file that you downloaded:

md5 ~/Downloads/PCBSD9.0-RELEASE-x86-DVD.iso 
MD5 (Desktop/PCBSD9.0-RELEASE-x86-DVD.iso) = e66acb8ff1013c6c5e114191e9556580


  1. http://www.freebsdmall.com/cgi-bin/fm/scan/su=yes/fi=prod_bsd/sf=sku/sf=title/sf=category/se=pcbsd
  2. http://blog.pcbsd.org/
  3. http://pcbsd.org/en/support/
  4. http://pcbsd.org/en/download.html
  5. http://www.fastsum.com/
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