Chapter 2. Hardware compatibility

Q: What kind of hard drives does FreeBSD support?
Q: Which SCSI controllers are supported?
Q: Which CD-ROM drives are supported by FreeBSD?
Q: Does FreeBSD support ZIP drives?
Q: Does FreeBSD support JAZ, EZ and other removable drives?
Q: Which multi-port serial cards are supported by FreeBSD?
Q: I have a USB keyboard. Does FreeBSD support it?
Q: I have an unusual bus mouse. How do I set it up?
Q: How do I use my PS/2 (``mouse port'' or ``keyboard'') mouse?
Q: Is it possible to make use of a mouse in any way outside the X Window?
Q: How do I cut and paste text with mouse in the text console?
Q: I have a USB mouse. Does FreeBSD support the USB mouse?
Q: My mouse has a fancy wheel and buttons. Can I use them in FreeBSD?
Q: My mouse does not seem working. The mouse cursor jumps around on the screen. The mouse has a wheel and is connected to the PS/2 mouse port.
Q: How do I use the mouse/trackball/touchpad on my laptop?
Q: What types of tape drives are supported?
Q: Does FreeBSD support tape changers?
Q: Which sound cards are supported by FreeBSD?
Q: Workarounds for no sound from es1370 with pcm driver?
Q: Which network cards does FreeBSD support?
Q: I don't have a math co-processor - is that bad?
Q: What other devices does FreeBSD support?
Q: Does FreeBSD support power management on my laptop?
Q: My Micron system hangs at boot time
Q: I have a newer Adaptec controller and FreeBSD can't find it.
Q: I have an internal Plug & Play modem and FreeBSD can't find it.
Q: How do I get the boot: prompt to show on the serial console?
Q: Why doesn't my 3Com PCI network card work with my Micron computer?
Q: Does FreeBSD support Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)?
Q: The boot floppy hangs on a system with an ASUS K7V motherboard. How do I fix this?

Q: What kind of hard drives does FreeBSD support?

A: FreeBSD supports EIDE and SCSI drives (with a compatible controller; see the next section), and all drives using the original "Western Digital" interface (MFM, RLL, ESDI, and of course IDE). A few ESDI controllers that use proprietary interfaces may not work: stick to WD1002/3/6/7 interfaces and clones.

Q: Which SCSI controllers are supported?

A: See the complete list in the Handbook.

Q: Which CD-ROM drives are supported by FreeBSD?

A: Any SCSI drive connected to a supported controller is supported.

The following proprietary CD-ROM interfaces are also supported:

  • Mitsumi LU002 (8bit), LU005 (16bit) and FX001D (16bit 2x Speed).

  • Sony CDU 31/33A

  • Sound Blaster Non-SCSI CD-ROM

  • Matsushita/Panasonic CD-ROM

  • ATAPI compatible IDE CD-ROMs



All non-SCSI cards are known to be extremely slow compared to SCSI drives, and some ATAPI CDROMs may not work.

As of 2.2 the FreeBSD CDROM from Walnut Creek supports booting directly from the CD.

Q: Does FreeBSD support ZIP drives?

A: FreeBSD supports the SCSI ZIP drive out of the box, of course. The ZIP drive can only be set to run at SCSI target IDs 5 or 6, but if your SCSI host adapter's BIOS supports it you can even boot from it. I don't know which host adapters let you boot from targets other than 0 or 1... look at your docs (and let me know if it works out for you).

ATAPI (IDE) Zip drives are supported in FreeBSD 2.2.6 and later releases.

FreeBSD has contained support for Parallel Port Zip Drives since version 3.0. If you are using a sufficiently up to date version, then you should check that your kernel contains the scbus0, da0, ppbus0, and vp0 drivers (the GENERIC kernel contains everything except vp0). With all these drivers present, the Parallel Port drive should be available as /dev/da0s4. Disks can be mounted using mount /dev/da0s4 /mnt OR (for dos disks) mount_msdos /dev/da0s4 /mnt as appropriate.

Also check out this note on removable drives, and this note on 'formatting'.

Q: Does FreeBSD support JAZ, EZ and other removable drives?

A: Apart from the IDE version of the EZ drive, these are all SCSI devices, so the should all look like SCSI disks to FreeBSD, and the IDE EZ should look like an IDE drive.

I'm not sure how well FreeBSD supports changing the media out while running. You will of course need to dismount the drive before swapping media, and make sure that any external units are powered on when you boot the system so FreeBSD can see them.

See this note on 'formatting'.

Q: Which multi-port serial cards are supported by FreeBSD?

A: There is a list of these in the Miscellaneous devices section of the handbook.

Some unnamed clone cards have also been known to work, especially those that claim to be AST compatible.

Check the sio man page to get more information on configuring such cards.

Q: I have a USB keyboard. Does FreeBSD support it?

A: USB device support was added to FreeBSD 3.1. However, it is still in preliminary state and may not always work as of version 3.2. If you want to experiment with the USB mouse support, follow the procedure described below.

  1. Use FreeBSD 3.2 or later.

  2. Add the following lines to your kernel configuration file, and rebuild the kernel.

        device  uhci
        device  ohci
        device  usb
        device  ukbd
        options KBD_INSTALL_CDEV
    

    In versions of FreeBSD before 4.0, use this instead:

        controller      uhci0
        controller      ohci0
        controller      usb0
        controller      ukbd0
        options         KBD_INSTALL_CDEV
    
  3. Go to the /dev directory and create device nodes as follows:

        # cd /dev
        # ./MAKEDEV kbd0 kbd1
    
  4. Edit /etc/rc.conf and add the following lines:

        usbd_enable="YES"
        usbd_flags=""
    

After the system is rebooted, the AT keyboard becomes /dev/kbd0 and the USB keyboard becomes /dev/kbd1, if both are connected to the system. If there is the USB keyboard only, it will be /dev/ukbd0.

If you want to use the USB keyboard in the console, you have to explicitly tell the console driver to use the existence of the USB keyboard. This can be done by running the following command as a part of system initialization.

    # kbdcontrol -k /dev/kbd1 < /dev/ttyv0 > /dev/null

Note that if the USB keyboard is the only keyboard, it is accessed as /dev/kbd0, thus, the command should look like:

    # kbdcontrol -k /dev/kbd0 < /dev/ttyv0 > /dev/null

/etc/rc.i386 is a good place to add the above command.

Once this is done, the USB keyboard should work in the X environment as well without any special settings.

Hot-plugging and unplugging of the USB keyboard may not work quite right yet. It is a good idea to connect the keyboard before you start the system and leave it connected until the system is shutdown to avoid troubles.

See the ukbd(4) man page for more information.

Q: I have an unusual bus mouse. How do I set it up?

A: FreeBSD supports the bus mouse and the InPort bus mouse from such manufactures as Microsoft, Logitech and ATI. The bus device driver is compiled in the GENERIC kernel by default in FreeBSD versions 2.X, but not included in version 3.0 or later. If you are building a custom kernel with the bus mouse driver, make sure to add the following line to the kernel config file

In FreeBSD 3.0 or before, add:

        device mse0 at isa? port 0x23c tty irq5 vector mseintr
      



In FreeBSD 3.X, the line should be:

        device mse0 at isa? port 0x23c tty irq5
      



And in FreeBSD 4.X and later, the line should read:

        device mse0 at isa? port 0x23c irq5



Bus mice usually comes with dedicated interface cards. These cards may allow you to set the port address and the IRQ number other than shown above. Refer to the manual of your mouse and the mse(4) man page for more information.

Q: How do I use my PS/2 (``mouse port'' or ``keyboard'') mouse?

A: If you're running a post-2.2.5 version of FreeBSD, the necessary driver, psm, is included and enabled in the kernel. The kernel should detect your PS/2 mouse at boot time.

If you're running a previous but relatively recent version of FreeBSD (2.1.x or better) then you can simply enable it in the kernel configuration menu at installation time, otherwise later with -c at the boot: prompt. It is disabled by default, so you will need to enable it explicitly.

If you're running an older version of FreeBSD then you'll have to add the following lines to your kernel configuration file and compile a new kernel.

In FreeBSD 3.0 or earlier, the line should be:

        device psm0 at isa? port "IO_KBD" conflicts tty irq 12 vector psmintr
      



In FreeBSD 3.1 or later, the line should be:

        device psm0 at isa? tty irq 12
      



In FreeBSD 4.0-CURRENT or later, the line should be:

        device psm0 at atkbdc? irq 12
      



See the Handbook entry on configuring the kernel if you've no experience with building kernels.

Once you have a kernel detecting psm0 correctly at boot time, make sure that an entry for psm0 exists in /dev. You can do this by typing:

        cd /dev; sh MAKEDEV psm0
      



when logged in as root.

Q: Is it possible to make use of a mouse in any way outside the X Window?

A: If you are using the default console driver, syscons, you can use a mouse pointer in text consoles to cut & paste text. Run the mouse daemon, moused, and turn on the mouse pointer in the virtual console:

        moused -p /dev/xxxx -t yyyy
        vidcontrol -m on
      



Where xxxx is the mouse device name and yyyy is a protocol type for the mouse. See the moused(8) man page for supported protocol types.

You may wish to run the mouse daemon automatically when the system starts. In version 2.2.1, set the following variables in /etc/sysconfig.

mousedtype="yyyy"
mousedport="xxxx"
mousedflags=""
      



In versions 2.2.2 to 3.0, set the following variables in /etc/rc.conf.

moused_type="yyyy"
moused_port="xxxx"
moused_flags=""
      



In 3.1 and later, assuming you have a PS/2 mouse, all you need to is add ``moused_enable="YES" to /etc/rc.conf.

In addition, if you would like to be able to use the mouse daemon on all virtual terminals instead of just console at boot-time, add the following to /etc/rc.conf.

 allscreens_flags="-m on"
      



Staring from FreeBSD 2.2.6, the mouse daemon is capable of determining the correct protocol type automatically unless the mouse is a relatively old serial mouse model. Specify ``auto'' as the protocol to invoke automatic detection.

When the mouse daemon is running, access to the mouse needs to be coordinated between the mouse daemon and other programs such as the X Window. Refer to another section on this issue.

Q: How do I cut and paste text with mouse in the text console?

A: Once you get the mouse daemon running (see previous section), hold down the button 1 (left button) and move the mouse to select a region of text. Then, press the button 2 (middle button) or the button 3 (right button) to paste it at the text cursor.

In versions 2.2.6 and later, pressing the button 2 will paste the text. Pressing the button 3 will ``extend'' the selected region of text. If your mouse does not have the middle button, you may wish to emulate it or remap buttons using moused options. See the moused(8) man page for details.

Q: I have a USB mouse. Does FreeBSD support the USB mouse?

A: USB device support was added to FreeBSD 3.1. However, it is still in a preliminary state and may not always work as of version 3.2. If you want to experiment with the USB mouse support, follow the procedure described below.

  1. Use FreeBSD 3.2 or later.

  2. Add the following lines to your kernel configuration file, and rebuild the kernel.

        device  uhci
        device  ohci
        device  usb
        device  ums
    

    In versions of FreeBSD before 4.0, use this instead:

        controller uhci0
        controller  ohci0
        controller  usb0
        device      ums0
    
  3. Go to the /dev directory and create a device node as follows:

        # cd /dev
        # ./MAKEDEV ums0
    
  4. Edit /etc/rc.conf and add the following lines:

        moused_enable="YES"
        moused_type="auto"
        moused_port="/dev/ums0"
        moused_flags=""
        usbd_enable="YES"
        usbd_flags=""
    

    See the previous section for more detailed discussion on moused.

  5. In order to use the USB mouse in the X session, edit XF86Config. If you are using XFree86 3.3.2 or later, be sure to have the following lines in the Pointer section:

        Device     "/dev/sysmouse"
        Protocol    "Auto"
    

    If you are using earlier versions of XFree86, be sure to have the following lines in the Pointer section:

        Device     "/dev/sysmouse"
        Protocol    "SysMouse"
    

Refer to another section on the mouse support in the X environment.

Hot-plugging and unplugging of the USB mouse may not work quite right yet. It is a good idea connect the mouse before you start the system and leave it connected until the system is shutdown to avoid trouble.

Q: My mouse has a fancy wheel and buttons. Can I use them in FreeBSD?

A: The answer is, unfortunately, ``It depends''. These mice with additional features require specialized driver in most cases. Unless the mouse device driver or the user program has specific support for the mouse, it will act just like a standard two, or three button mouse.

For the possible usage of wheels in the X Window environment, refer to that section.

Q: My mouse does not seem working. The mouse cursor jumps around on the screen. The mouse has a wheel and is connected to the PS/2 mouse port.

A: The PS/2 mouse driver psm in FreeBSD versions 3.2 or earlier has difficulty with some wheel mice, including Logitech model M-S48 and its OEM siblings. Apply the following patch to /sys/i386/isa/psm.c and rebuild the kernel.

    Index: psm.c
    ===================================================================
    RCS file: /src/CVS/src/sys/i386/isa/Attic/psm.c,v
    retrieving revision 1.60.2.1
    retrieving revision 1.60.2.2
    diff -u -r1.60.2.1 -r1.60.2.2
    --- psm.c   1999/06/03 12:41:13 1.60.2.1
    +++ psm.c   1999/07/12 13:40:52 1.60.2.2
    @@ -959,14 +959,28 @@
         sc->mode.packetsize = vendortype[i].packetsize;
    
         /* set mouse parameters */
    +#if 0
    +    /*
    +     * A version of Logitech FirstMouse+ won't report wheel movement,
    +     * if SET_DEFAULTS is sent...  Don't use this command.
    +     * This fix was found by Takashi Nishida.
    +     */
         i = send_aux_command(sc->kbdc, PSMC_SET_DEFAULTS);
         if (verbose >= 2)
        printf("psm%d: SET_DEFAULTS return code:%04x\n", unit, i);
    +#endif
         if (sc->config & PSM_CONFIG_RESOLUTION) {
             sc->mode.resolution
            = set_mouse_resolution(sc->kbdc,
    -           (sc->config & PSM_CONFIG_RESOLUTION) - 1);
    +                  (sc->config & PSM_CONFIG_RESOLUTION) - 1);
    +    } else if (sc->mode.resolution >= 0) {
    +   sc->mode.resolution
    +       = set_mouse_resolution(sc->kbdc, sc->dflt_mode.resolution);
    +    }
    +    if (sc->mode.rate > 0) {
    +   sc->mode.rate = set_mouse_sampling_rate(sc->kbdc, sc->dflt_mode.rate);
         }
    +    set_mouse_scaling(sc->kbdc, 1);
    
         /* request a data packet and extract sync. bits */
         if (get_mouse_status(sc->kbdc, stat, 1, 3) < 3) {

Versions later than 3.2 should be all right.

Q: How do I use the mouse/trackball/touchpad on my laptop?

A: Please refer to the answer to the previous question. And check out this note on the Mobile Computing page.

Q: What types of tape drives are supported?

A: FreeBSD supports SCSI, QIC-36 (with a QIC-02 interface) and QIC-40/80 (Floppy based) tape drives. This includes 8-mm (aka Exabyte) and DAT drives. The QIC-40/80 drives are known to be slow.

Some of the early 8-mm drives are not quite compatible with SCSI-2, and may not work well with FreeBSD.

Q: Does FreeBSD support tape changers?

A: FreeBSD 2.2 supports SCSI changers using the ch(4) device and the chio(1) command. The details of how you actually control the changer can be found in the chio(1) man page.

If you're not using AMANDA or some other product that already understands changers, remember that they're only know how to move a tape from one point to another, so you need to keep track of which slot a tape is in, and which slot the tape currently in the drive needs to go back to.

Q: Which sound cards are supported by FreeBSD?

A: FreeBSD supports the SoundBlaster, SoundBlaster Pro, SoundBlaster 16, Pro Audio Spectrum 16, AdLib and Gravis UltraSound sound cards. There is also limited support for MPU-401 and compatible MIDI cards. Cards conforming to the Microsoft Sound System specification are also supported through the pcm driver.

NOTE This is only for sound! This driver does not support CD-ROMs, SCSI or joysticks on these cards, except for the SoundBlaster. The SoundBlaster SCSI interface and some non-SCSI CDROMS are supported, but you can't boot off this device.

Q: Workarounds for no sound from es1370 with pcm driver?

A: You can run the following command everytime the machine booted up:

mixer pcm 100 vol 100 cd 100

Q: Which network cards does FreeBSD support?

A: See the Ethernet cards section of the handbook for a more complete list.

Q: I don't have a math co-processor - is that bad?

A: Note This will only affect 386/486SX/486SLC owners - other machines will have one built into the CPU.

In general this will not cause any problems, but there are circumstances where you will take a hit, either in performance or accuracy of the math emulation code (see the section on FP emulation). In particular, drawing arcs in X will be VERY slow. It is highly recommended that you buy a math co-processor; it's well worth it.

NOTE Some math co-processors are better than others. It pains us to say it, but nobody ever got fired for buying Intel. Unless you're sure it works with FreeBSD, beware of clones.

Q: What other devices does FreeBSD support?

A: See the Handbook for the list of other devices supported.

Q: Does FreeBSD support power management on my laptop?

A: FreeBSD supports APM on certain machines. Please look in the LINT kernel config file, searching for the APM keyword.

Q: My Micron system hangs at boot time

A: Certain Micron motherboards have a non-conforming PCI BIOS implementation that causes grief when FreeBSD boots because PCI devices don't get configured at their reported addresses.

Disable the "Plug and Play Operating System" flag in the BIOS to work around this problem. More information can be found at http://cesdis.gsfc.nasa.gov/linux/drivers/vortex.html#micron

Q: I have a newer Adaptec controller and FreeBSD can't find it.

A: The newer AIC789x series Adaptec chips are supported under the CAM SCSI framework which made it's debut in 3.0. Patches against 2.2-STABLE are in ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/development/cam/. A CAM-enhanced boot floppy is available at http://people.FreeBSD.org/~abial/cam-boot/. In both cases read the README before beginning.

Q: I have an internal Plug & Play modem and FreeBSD can't find it.

A: You will need to add the modem's PnP ID to the PnP ID list in the serial driver. To enable Plug & Play support, compile a new kernel with controller pnp0 in the configuration file, then reboot the system. The kernel will print the PnP IDs of all the devices it finds. Copy the PnP ID from the modem to the table in /sys/i386/isa/sio.c, at about line 2777. Look for the string "SUP1310" in the structure "siopnp_ids[]" to find the table. Build the kernel again, install, reboot, and your modem should be found.

You may have to manually configure the PnP devices using the `pnp' command in the boot-time configuration with a command like

   pnp 1 0 enable os irq0 3 drq0 0 port0 0x2f8
   

to make the modem show.

Q: How do I get the boot: prompt to show on the serial console?

A:

  1. Build a kernel with options COMCONSOLE.

  2. Create /boot.config and place -P as the only text in the file.

  3. Unplug the keyboard from the system.



See /usr/src/sys/i386/boot/biosboot/README.serial for information.

Q: Why doesn't my 3Com PCI network card work with my Micron computer?

A: Certain Micron motherboards have a non-conforming PCI BIOS implementation that does not configure PCI devices at the addresses reported. This causes grief when FreeBSD boots.

To work around this problem, disable the "Plug and Play Operating System" flag in the BIOS.

More information on this problem is available at URL: http://cesdis.gsfc.nasa.gov/linux/drivers/vortex.html#micron

Q: Does FreeBSD support Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)?

A: SMP is supported in 3.0-STABLE and later releases only. SMP is not enabled in the GENERIC kernel, so you will have to recompile your kernel to enable SMP. Take a look at /sys/i386/conf/LINT to figure out what options to put in your kernel config file.

Q: The boot floppy hangs on a system with an ASUS K7V motherboard. How do I fix this?

A: Go in to the BIOS setup and disable the boot virus protection.

For questions about FreeBSD, e-mail <questions@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.