The installation files for PC-BSD can be downloaded for free and come with an .iso or .img file extension. Depending upon the type of file you choose, the size will vary between ~200MB and ~4GB. This section will show you how to select which file to download, how to verify the download, and how to burn the file to media.
If you have a slow download connection or wish to support the PC-BSD project financially, you can purchase PC-BSD DVDs from FreeBSD Mall.
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 the PC-BSD website to see if any Upcoming Events are happening near you. If you are organizing a PC-BSD booth, contact us to arrange for DVDs.
When you go to the Download page of the PC-BSD website, you will find a number of files available for download:
- DVD (requires a DVD burner)
- USB Flash (requires a USB memory stick or flash card)
- Boot-Only CD (requires a network connection during the install)
- Boot-Only USB (requires a USB memory stick or flash card and a network connection during the install)
There are two versions available for each type of file: one for 32 bit (i386) systems and one for 64 bit systems. It is important that you download a file that is correct for your computer's architecture (32 or 64 bit).
Note: If you plan to use VirtualBox to install PC-BSD, download the 32-bit version, even if your computer is 64-bit. At this time, VirtualBox can only install 32-bit operating systems. Don't worry, the 32-bit install will still work if you're using VirtualBox on a 64-bit system.
The rest of this section will show you how to verify the integrity of the ISO you downloaded, then how to burn it to media.
Data Integrity Check
After downloading the file that is correct for your architecture and installation type, it's a good idea to check that the file is exactly the same as the one on the PC-BSD server. While downloading, some bits and bytes may get "damaged" or lost, so it's wise to check the integrity of the downloaded file. Did you know that missing a few bits can make the installation file unusable?
On Unix-like systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, or PC-BSD, you can use the md5 commandline tool to check the data integrity. Run the command as seen in Example X-XX, substituting the name of the file that you downloaded. In this example, the file is located in the Downloads subdirectory of the user1's home (~) directory:
md5 ~/Downloads/PCBSD8.1-x86-DVD.iso MD5 (/home/user1/Downloads/PCBSD8.1-x86-DVD.iso) = 6702a54dc517e0dc18abccc04fdc11e7
You will find the MD5 checksum on the download page of PC-BSD for each .iso file. The checksum reported by either Mat-MD5, WinMd5Sum or md5 must be the same as the checksum listed on PC-BSD's download page. If the MD5 numbers don't match, you'd better download the file again.