Cavium's ThunderX platform is the primary reference target for the FreeBSD/arm64 port.

FreeBSD installation via UEFI USB flash stick (memstick) boot

The standard bsdinstall instructions apply to ThunderX. Support was introduced as of FreeBSD 11.0-ALPHA5. Note that only available installation media is memstick (no cd, dvd, etc.).

It is recommended that a USB 3.0 flash stick be used.

<!> Some or all UEFI firmware versions have a bug where the USB flash stick may not boot after cold start. If this occurs perform a warm reset and the system should then boot properly. Wiki page to be updated with specific version information once there is a confirmed fix.

Network booting FreeBSD on Cavium ThunderX

  1. Install a supported network interface card (see below)
  2. Build the world and kernel, and install to an NFS-exported location
  3. Configure a TFTP server to provide loader.efi
  4. Boot the ThunderX and break to the boot selection menu
  5. Add a new entry to boot from TFTP on the PCIe NIC.
    • Configure the “Use DHCP”, “TFTP Server IP address” and “loader.efi location” settings as appropriate for your environment.
    • Answer YES for “is the application an OS loader.” Leave “loader.efi arguments” empty.

Supported UEFI network interface cards



A USB network adapter must be installed in the bottom USB slot. The top slot is connected to the BMC.

arm64/ThunderX (last edited 2016-07-06T14:50:23+0000 by EdMaste)