FreeBSD on the Raptor Blackbird


The Blackbird from Raptor Computing Systems is a recent powerpc64 mainboard which started shipping 2019Q2. More information can be found on the manufacturer's wiki page.

This board uses a slightly different implementation than the Talos II mainboard. The Talos II has been known to be usable with FreeBSD since late in 2018.

FreeBSD 12 and 13 boot and install correctly on this board. pkg(8) and many common packages install without incident.

Status Outputs

From an early version of the board accessed remotely at Integricloud:

Notes on physical assembly

Notes on booting and software installation

/!\ Do not use the .img file; use the .iso file instead.

/!\ This section needs to be rewritten to be less specific to remote booting 20190705 TODO

/!\ If you are using the remote access at Integricloud, please contact MarkLinimon for the actual numbers to use. This requires getting permission from Raptor.


Now you are ready to turn on the powerpc64 host (if you have not already) and speak to petitboot running there:

# obmcutil poweron
# obmc-console-client

After a delay, you should see the petitboot menu, which will look something like this. (Screenshot credit: Adi Gangidi's OpenPower Blog.) The first block will be different.

Scroll down and select Exit to shell. From the shell you can do:

# uname -a
Linux skiroot 4.19.0-openpower1 #2 SMP Fri May 3 17:05:52 UTC 2019 ppc64le GNU/Linux

Now you need to set up the host network access:

# ifconfig enP4p1s0f2 <YOUR_IP_ADDR> netmask up
# route add default gw <YOUR_GW_ADDR>
# echo 'nameserver <YOUR_NAMESERVER_ADDR>'>/etc/resolv.conf

Note the trailing f2 in the ifconfig command. This will correspond to the FreeBSD device bge2.

Now download the FreeBSD powerpc64 ISO. For this example, let's assume you have sufficient space on the host's flash drive, and have a USB stick inserted:

# cd /tmp
# scp <YOUR_USERID>@<YOUR_COMPUTER>:FreeBSD-13.0-CURRENT-powerpc-powerpc64-20190503-r347033-disc1.iso .
# dd if=FreeBSD-13.0-CURRENT-powerpc-powerpc64-20190503-r347033-disc1.iso of=/dev/XXX conv=osync,notrunc

/!\ MarkLinimon was having difficulty with the networking and thus used scp, but wget is probably preferable.

The above ISO was the latest snapshot available at the time via the official FreeBSD download site. Use disc1.iso instead of the memstick image files.

Now type

# exit

to go back to the petitboot menu. The first block should have changed: there should be a FreeBSD heading and a FreeBSD <something> entry underneath it. If the menu did not change, scroll down and select Rescan devices. When the petitboot menu is displayed again, you should see the menu change.

Scroll down and select the FreeBSD <something> entry.

You should now be taken to the standard FreeBSD installer. Once you are done installing, exit via rebooting. You should see your FreeBSD installation boot..

When you are done testing:

freebsd # shutdown -p now

and you should be taken back to the BMC menu.

# obmcutil poweroff

and you are done.

Tips and Tricks


powerpc/Raptor/Blackbird (last edited 2020-03-31T05:00:54+0000 by MarkLinimon)