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Date:      Sun, 27 Sep 2009 01:08:51 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Bret Busby <>
Subject:   Re: Question about FreeBSD installation procedure
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Sat, 26 Sep 2009 22:01:18 +0800 (WST), Bret Busby <> wrote:
> From what I understand, FreeBSD (and possibly all BSD) uses hard
> disc slices rather than partitions, and therefore cannot
> easily be installed in a free partition, but needs for 
> hard disc slices to be used.

I see a terminology problem first. FreeBSD's slices are "DOS
primary partitions", and FreeBSD needs one of them to be
installed into. FreeBSD's partitions are... they are like...
erm... they are partitions. :-) You can imagine them as a
subdivision to hold a file system. Slices are divided into
at least one partition, or more than one, e. g. for the
file system root, the swap partition, the home partition.

Please note that (hard) disk != (optical) disc.

> Is it yet possible to install FreeBSD into a hard disc
> partition, rather than needing to install into hard disc
> slices?

Both words are refering to the same thing. Everything you need
is a free "DOS primary partition", which is called a slice.

> I have attached a copy of the screenshot showing the partition table; I 
> wanted to install FreeBSD into sda8.

I cannot see it. Furthermore, I'm not familiar with the naming
convention of Linux. As far as I remember, sd refers to disks,
and sda is the first disk. sda8 would be... the 8th partition
on it? Is this even possible?

>From FreeBSD's naming convention, ad refers to ATA disks. The
first disk is ad0. You would possibly already have other operating
systems on that disks, e. g. occupying slices ("DOS primary
partitions") s1 and s2, so ad0s1 and ad0s2 cannot be used.
If there's unpartitioned space, you start the installation
of FreeBSD with creating a new slice, ad0s3. Into this slice
the installation goes, and the partitions are ad0s3b for the
swap and ad0s3a for /; if you do partitioning with filesystems
on their own partitions, you can of course do that.

Refer to the handbook's chapter about installing FreeBSD for
a much more detailed explaination.

> Can this be done.

See above, and note that FreeBSD needs a "DOS primary partition"
which is different from a "logical volume inside an extended

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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