Questions and answers collected mostly from IRC channels. One day they should be incorporated into handbooks or manpages. If they are already present there then we should figure out how to make it easier to find them.
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FreeBSD does not boot from an installation USB stick
- In the bootloader escape to the loader prompt and run:
Does a boot partition exist in FreeBSD? (2018.05.09)
- Your standard FreeBSD install will have one slice (what Linux and Windows call a partition), further subdivided into partitions. Those will be one for the bootcode, one for swap, and one for the filesystem.
So partition for bootcode should be mounted as /boot?
- The boot partition is usually a MBR, GPT or ESP which loads boot1 in /boot on the filesystem, which loads boot2, which loads loader.
The process is more or less described here: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/books/arch-handbook/boot.html - although that only covers MBR it's essentially no different from GPT and ESP boot processes are well-documented elsewhere.
- The bootcode partition contains a pile of binary code. It can't be mounted. /boot goes with the rest of your files (well you can give it its own partition if you want).
What is recommended size for /boot? (2018.05.09)
- 2G (minimum) for /boot will be needed if you ever want to be able to update the kernel (via make installkernel) without running out of space in the process.
Why doesn't FreeBSD use Git instead of SVN? (2018.05.09)
Because when FreeBSD switched from CVS to something else, Git would crash upon importing FreeBSD source repository. It simply couldn't handle projects as big as FreeBSD is, back then. Switching VCS is a HUGE job so SVN is here to stay for some time. Nowadays SVN is used for official repositories but many developers use Git for development. There's also a Git mirror hosted on GitHub, and FreeBSDs Phabricator provides many of the features that GitHub offers.
Also, see VCSWhy.