This page describes running FreeBSD on OpenPOWER POWER8 systems, such as the Tyan GN70-BP010.

/!\ as of 20190219 some changes to enhance stability have been committed. If you have previously had problems with POWER8, try -CURRENT.

There are two ways to run these machines. FreeBSD targets both.


PowerKVM is the more mature of the two since it provides a firmware and hypervisor interface matching previous POWER systems. It is available on all supported FreeBSD releases.

The following incantations are sufficient to bring up FreeBSD on an Ubuntu 14.10 host:

root@ubuntu:~# ppc64_cpu --smt=off
root@ubuntu:~# modprobe -a kvm-hv
root@ubuntu:~# echo 100 > /proc/sys/vm/nr_hugepages
root@ubuntu:~# mkdir /dev/hugepages
root@ubuntu:~# mount -t hugetlbfs huge /dev/hugepages
root@ubuntu:~# qemu-system-ppc64 -enable-kvm -m 1536 -nographic -vga none -cdrom FreeBSD.iso -mem-prealloc -mem-path /dev/hugepages -smp cores=3 threads=8

Bare Metal

PowerNV support has been merged to HEAD and is accessible since r330240

Supported features

TODO list

powerpc/POWER8 (last edited 2019-02-21T23:00:50+0000 by MarkLinimon)