Possible new end user FAQs. ThwackAFAQ for existing ones

This page contains a series of question & answers of things that end-users may care about.

FAQ 9.4 Which partitions can safely use Soft Updates? I have heard that Soft Updates on / can cause problems.

Journaled Soft Updates (SU+J) is now default on FreeBSD 9.x-RELEASE installs. This feature keeps a journal on soft updates which avoids a background filesystem check and speeds up a filesystem check during boot to a few seconds or less. For history and technical details see: http://jeffr-tech.livejournal.com/22716.html and http://www.*bsdcan*.org/2010/schedule/attachments/141_suj-slides.pdf

This can also be enabled/disabled with tunefs -j enable | disable For more information see man 8 tunefs

If you want to use snapshot (dump -L) then disable the soft updates journal for that filesystem

It would be helpful to include information on how to do that during install (still trying to figure that out myself), and using the recover CD for when you forget to do it during install.

Right now, when installing a new system it's easiest to reboot to single user mode after the install and tunefs -j disable 'the filesystems' to disable journaling of soft updates.

If you want to accomplish this during the install, choose shell at the disk partitioning part and add slices and/or partitions with gpart and then newfs them with the appropriate options, then mount them on /mnt and the appropriate places beneath and continue the install by quitting the shell.

There are some nice entries on http://wiki.freebsd.org/RootOnZFS Just substitute the ZFS stuff with the easier gpart and then newfs -U etc... then make sure the filesystems are mounted under /mnt and continue the installation. I hope that I will not confuse you too much with the proposed solution i.e. use these resources as a guideline. Else see reboot to single user mode after install above and tunefs

You are right. From the FAQ I understand with 'kernel so big' the contents of the /boot/kernel directory is being referred to as a whole? Thus disabling (commenting) makeoptions DEBUG=-g (which is default the last couple of releases, since 7?) and then rebuilding and installing the kernel you get rid if them 'the right way'

So FAQ 8.3 is still right just changing that nowadays it's default for GENERIC to be build with the debug symbols.

9.28 I have heard about TRIM for Solid State Drives (SSD), is it supported by FreeBSD?

The TRIM filesystem flag is very useful for devices that use flash-memory (SSD for instance) and support the BIO_DELETE command. This flag is not enabled by default and can be enabled/disabled with tunefs -t enable | disable For more information see man 8 tunefs

Important when using tunefs:

FIlesystems have to be mounted read-only or not mounted at all

misc new content

This may be request for new questions, or this can be supplemented partially in hardware ones I think;

- new default partition layout and it's justification (single partition nowadays, I believe?) - default block size and it's justification (is it 4K? why?) - NCQ support with ada/ahci - ahci power managment [*] - why or why not default settings are just fine with SSD (regarding journaling, SU, trim and what not).

8.8 I get a lot of 'spurious interrupts detected' messages on a modified i386 build kernel and my computer does not work right. What did I do wrong?

You have a single processor computer, build your own customized kernel and disabled options SMP (multiprocessor). Probably you also disabled the line below, device apic # I/O APIC

This is code for the advanced programmable interrupt controller which also controls interrupts for your attached devices, being ethernet cards and others. Do not disable this device.

While I don't know about apic, there used to be "KEEP THIS!!!" comments in GENERIC's conf file. I guess this would be more on the spot than a FAQ you'd read *after* removing this.

Just my 2c.

You're probably right. It must have been before 6.3-RELEASE, where there are no KEEP THIS comments in GENERIC. Though in NOTES it says "Mandatory".

It is a very stupid user error on my side, which I stumbled upon quite a time ago and maybe not even FAQ worthy then.

What security features are present in &os;

give hints to securelvel, jails, mac, capsicum, ssh, openssl, geli, gbde, ipsec, etc, audit, ipfw, pf, ProPolice, etc.

embedded platforms

could also comment that embedded systems and appliances have picked up architectural features previously found only in higher-end systems, leading to widespread deployment in appliances and embedded products -- e.g., Junos, NetApp OnTap, etc. you overstate recently, you'll make it sound like support is immature and some of our embedded ports have been around for a while now . more generally: embedded ports were contributed back by industrial consumers of freebsd in non-x86 environments -- e.g., by timing solutions, juniper, cisco, etc.

ppp braindump from Daniel O'Connor

I would also add a section about MTU - I expect the dominant use case for PPP is ADSL these days. In this case the MTU is usually limited to 1492 bytes (1500 byte ethernet frame minus PPP framing overhead). If all ICMP is blocked at some part of the link then packet fragmentation doesn't work properly and you end up with symptoms like interactive SSH logins work but bulk SCP or FTPs don't.

boot floppy hangs

Can This question explain more about USB drives?


Just FYI, "Microsoft Sound System Specification" probably was meant to be Windows Sound System (?), severely obsolete standard...

"WSS was based on Analog Devices AD1848 codec chip with Yamaha OPL3 (YMF262-M) FM synthesis sound chip."

Probably already axed, it was supported by dev/sound/isa/mss.c and isa/snd/ad1848.c I think.

Closest now would be ancient snd_ad1816, maybe it could be usable with it but it's pure speculation, good luck with finding hardware and testing that :)

AdLib ROX! :-)



At computer demoscene there are still guys that use this stuff to create muzik :-)



I think HAST (hastd) is faq-worthy, as since release 9, it covers area previously vocally missed by some.

what video cards are supported


KDE or gnome

Q: Which should I install KDE or GNOME? A: After you toss the knives into the rink for the monkey knife fight, you can download both from pcbsd.org


Will be based on my ports@ post: PKGNG overview, status and FAQ - BryanDrewery

Xorg synaptics driver

If you plan to use the Xorg synaptics driver you *must* remove moused_enable from rc.conf, Xorg can't use the synaptics mouse if the moused already sits on the /dev/psm0 device. This is not really well documented, tough.

I've sent a PR to document pkg-message for xf85-input-synaptics but it has never been checked, http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=ports/148591

See the documentation in the patch.txt, it should works.

===== jails documentation ====== 2. The jails documentation (not part of your email) should probably be revised in light of the bsdinstall jail /path/to/newjail target, which installs a jail system to a directory without rebuilding world.

more braindumps

<bsdimp> and leave it at that... <bsdimp> And 4.3.5: I'd add Most ATAPI compatable PATA and SATA CD and DVD drives. <bsdimp> and expand 4.3.6 in a similar way to talk about DVD with growisofs() and a pointer to the appropriate port(s). bonus points to include DVDauthor and friends. <bsdimp> 4.4.3: The answer is basically yes.


[3.9. I booted from my ATAPI CD-ROM, but the install program says no CD-ROM is found. Where did it go?]

it should probably be rephrased:

"[...] CD-ROM/DVD drive. The ATAPI specification does not allow for a CD-ROM/DVD drive to be connected as a slave device with no master device on the same IDE channel. Reconfigure your system so that the CD-ROM/DVD is either the master device on the IDE controller it is attached to, or make sure that it is the slave on an IDE controller that also has a master device. Note that this FAQ only refers to ATAPI CD-ROM/DVD drives, not to SATA ones."

NewFAQs (last edited 2013-01-29 14:42:55 by EitanAdler)