How to install FreeBSD with ZFS

Our FreeBSD images come pre-installed using UFS. However, if you'd like to install FreeBSD using ZFS, use this article.

Please keep in mind that we do not offer any assistance with the procedure outlined below. 

Configure your FreeBSD system and activate rescue mode 

To start your server in rescue mode, follow the steps below: 

  1. Go to the 'Server overview' 
  2. Under task, click “Start in rescue mode”. 
  3. Click the “Ok” button to begin the rescue mode. 

ZFS Installation 

You must complete the following steps after entering your server in rescue mode via Video Display: 

1. Select “Install”.
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2. Replace the default keyboard map with your own. If you're using the default US keyboard map, you can choose “Continue with default keymap option and Select.blobid1.png3. Set the desired hostname for your server and select “OK”.
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4. Select the components that you need to install using the arrow-keys to highlight the option and space bar to select. When finished, select “OK”.
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ZFS Partitioning 

After you've completed the preceding steps, you'll be greeted with the screen shown below. In this article, we will use “Auto (ZFS) Guides Root-on-ZSF”.
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You can also manually partition the server using the “Shell” or “Manual” options.

ZFS Configuration 

At this point, you'll need to configure ZFS for our installation . By default, bsdinstall creates a new GPT Partition scheme with a pool name of “zroot” and a swap-size of 2 GB. 
It's worth considering setting the swap size to 0 rather than 2G, as Tilaa servers come with a specific swap disk to use. Therefore, setting this value to 0 will free up some space on the main disk.

One of the main advantages of ZFS is its usage of RAID. However, Tilaa VPS's only come with one disk, as a result select “Stripe – No Redundancy
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Select your disk (/dev/vtbd0) and select “OK
The system will prompt you to destroy the disk. Choose “Yes” to continue.
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The installation will now start and FreeBSD will be re-installed with ZFS. You'll be prompted for the following additional information: 

  • Enter your root password. 
  • Network configuration (You can use DHCP to setup your network configuration for both IPv4 and IPv6). 
  • Resolver configuration (You can leave this at the default that's presented). 
  • Select local or UTC time (Pick option 'NO'). 
  • System configuration (optional).
  • Add additional system users (optional). 

Once you've completed these steps, you'll be presented with the final settings menu; you can now exit the installation and reboot your VPS. FreeBSD is installed using ZFS instead of UFS.
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Finishing installation FreeBSD 

The installation of FreeBSD on ZFS is now complete. If you'd like to make some final manual changes, select “Yes”, Otherwise, select “No”.  
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Setting up swap

After installation, we're going to configure swap. To do so, follow the steps below:
1. Log on to the server using the credentials you've set.

2. Use the following command:

swapon /dev/vtbd1

3. Open /etc/fstab using your favorite text editor and append it will the following:

# Swap space on a block device. 
/dev/vtbd1      none      swap    sw      0      0 
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