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BSD Introduction
BSD Overview
BSD Installation Synopsis
Pre-installation Tasks
Starting the Installation
Introducing Sysinstall
Allocating Disk Space
Choosing What to Install
Installation Media
Committing the Installation
Advanced Installation Guide
Preparing Your Own Installation Media
Installation Process
Post Installation
FreeBSD OS Basic Example
The FreeBSD Kernel
FreeBSD Network interfaces
FreeBSD Firewall
FreeBSD Gatewya/Router
Nat and IPFW

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Post Installation

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Post Installation

Now that you have FreeBSD installed, lets go over how to enable and disable services that come with the system. That will lead us nicely into the next section.

In order to turn on and off these services, we will need to do some configuration of the system. Let's do it!

FreeBSD Config Files

Compared to most Unices, FreeBSD has a pretty nice way of setting things up quickly. It has 1 main configuration file that starts every service up when you boot your system (This is not entirely true but will hold for this section). This file is called rc.conf and it resides in /etc. Let's take a look:


	> vi /etc/rc.conf


You should see a bunch of lines like the following:


	network_interfaces="xl0 lo0"
	ifconfig_xl0="inet netmask"


These are options that are set at boot time. An important concept to understand is that this file is for options that are different from the defaults. That is, you only need to put options in here if you wish to override the defaults. So how do you know what the defaults are? There is a default rc.conf located at /etc/defaults/rc.conf. This default rc.conf file not only has the default boot options for services, it also contains general descriptions for the options. I STRONGLY suggest you look through this file. The rc.conf man page is also very valueable as it gives you all the information about rc.conf, including the full options.

Turning on options is now a snap. Let's look at a couple of examples for adding and changing options for rc.conf.

Example 1 => Changing the default gateway

Your gateway address gets set when you first install FreeBSD. So if you wanted to change it, you would edit /etc/rc.conf :

	# vi /etc/rc.conf
and change:
What you just did is change the default gateway from to Save and exit the file.


Keep in mind that these options are set at boot time. They are not changed automatically when you save the file. In order for your change to take affect you would have to reboot your FreeBSD machine.

And yes, you can change your default gateway without rebooting, but that comes later.

Example 2 => Activating a firewall

Suppose you wanted to turn a firewall on to play with or secure your network. You would add the following options to /etc/rc.conf:

This turns on the ipfw firewall within the kernel. Like before, it does not become active until you reboot. Setting firewall_type="OPEN" just means to keep the firewall open to all packets. You want to add that until you actually configure the firewall or you will be not be able to do anything on the network as the default is to DENY all packets. Firewalling will be covered later.


As you can see, its pretty easy to turn basic system services on and off by working with /etc/rc.conf. We will visit /etc/rc.conf through the rest of this Tutorial.

FreeBSD Ports

I went over how to turn on and off system services (ie, Programs that come with the system) above. FreeBSD has another collection of addon programs which you can choose from and install onto your system. These 3rd-party programs are known as the Ports Collection. There are currently 6000+ programs you can install on your system. If you chose to install the "Ports Collection" when you installed FreeBSD, you should have the ports collection on your system. If you did not choose to install the ports during the install process...don't can still get them. First let's explain what the ports are.

All the ports collection is is a categorized skeleton structure of how to retrieve, compile, and install a program on your system. This skeleton is installed in /usr/ports. Within /usr/ports lies the ports Categories. Lets have a look:

	> cd /usr/ports
	> ls
	INDEX        audio         editors       mail        sysutils
	LEGAL        benchmarks    emulators     math        textproc
	Makefile     biology       ftp           mbone       vietnamese
	Mk           cad           games         misc        www
	README       chinese       german        net         x11
	README.html  comms         graphics      news        x11-clocks
	Templates    converters    irc           palm        x11-fm
	Tools        databases     japanese      print       x11-fonts
	YEAR2000     deskutils     java          russian     x11-servers
	archivers    devel         korean        security    x11-toolkits
	astro        distfiles     lang          shells      x11-wm

These are the Categories. Actually they are directories. For example, the "games" directory contains all the ports that deal with games, the "databases" directory contains all the ports that deal with databases. You get the idea. How do you know which ports are what? You can find out a several of ways. The easiest way is to look inside the port directory for a file called pkg-descr or DESCR. WIthin this file will be a brief description of what the port is. Let's looks at one.

	Let's look in Math Categories:

	# cd /usr/ports/math
	# ls
	Makefile      femlab        libranlib      pspp          umfpack
	PDL           fftpack       linalg         py-gnuplot    vtk
	R-a4          fftw          linpack        py-scientific wingz
	R-letter      freefem       metis          pygist        wmcalc
	README.html   fudgit        netcdf         rcalc         xgfe
	Scilab        geg           ngraph         rng           xgraph
	abs           glove         ntl            sc            xldlas
	add           gnumeric      numpy          siag          xlispstat
	apc           gnuplot       octave         simpack       xmgr
	blas          gnuplot+      oleo           slsc          xplot
	calc          grace         p5-MatrixReal  snns          xspread
	calctool      grpn          p5-Set-IntSpan spin		     xwpl
	concorde      gsl           pari           ss
	dcdflib       hexcalc       parmetis       superlu
	eispack       lapack        pkg            topaz
	eval          libneural     plplot         umatrix

	Hmm, what is 'spin'?  Let's find out:

	# cd spin
	# cat pkg-descr
	Spin is an efficient on-the-fly verification system
	(a `model checker') for asynchronous concurrent systems,
	such as data communication protocols, distributed operating
	systems, database systems, etc.
	It can be used to prove both safety and liveness properties,
	including all correctness requirements expressible in linear
	time temporal logic.
	Spin uses a high level language to specify systems descriptions,
	called PROMELA (PROcess MEta LAnguage).
Now we know what the spin program i


Now let's actually install spin !

	Let's make sure we're in the right place to install 'spin':
	# pwd

	Good, Let's install it now:

	# make install
What your FreeBSD system does at this point is:
	1) Download the source tarball (The actual source code for spin) from the internet
	2) Place the tarball in /usr/ports/distfiles
	3) Extract the tarball in the 'work' directory in the current directory (ie, /usr/ports/math/spin/work)
	4) apply any source code patches that are needed for your system to run this program
	5) if you need other ports to compile or run this port (dependancies), repeat steps 1-6
	6) compile dependancies and this port
	7) Install dependancies and this port
All ports related files usually get installed in /usr/local. This includes your compiled program, config files, libraries, etc. So its usually safe to say that everything in /usr/local is anything you've added to your system that is not part of the base FreeBSD system. The 'make' process takes care of worrying about dependancies you may need to compile/run your port.


Uninstalling ports is just as easy. Let's uninstall the 'spin' port we just installed above.

	Let's make sure we're in the right place to uninstall 'spin':
	# pwd

	Good, Let's uninstall it now:

	# make deinstall
This will remove spin from your system.


So that's the famous Ports collection. Very powerful and easy to use. There are other ways of installing 3rd party programs. You can get precompiled binaries (aka FreeBSD packages) as well. This is usually another way to get the program you want without actually compiling it. You can also manually download the source code compile and install it yourself without ever using the ports or packages.


FreeBSD also comes with a GUI called sysinstall. You can use this GUI to do a lot of the main configuration of the system as well as:

	-Upgrading the System (aka Binary Upgrade)
	-Add System distribution sets (add on system software, not ports)
	-Partition and label newly added hard drives 
	-Configure a mouse
	-Configure some system startup services (like we did above in the Config section)
	-Install FreeBSD packages (packages not ports)
	- and so on and etc.
Sysinstall is a nice little GUI that can do a lot of things, but not all things. It's worth mentioning because I wanted to follow up on the question I posed earlier: What if I didn't install the ports collection during the install process. You can now use sysinstall to install the ports skeleton framework.
	# /stand/sysinstall

	A window will pop up.  Select:

		"Do post-install configuration of FreeBSD"

	then select:

		"Install additional distribution sets"

	then hit the space bar to put an "X" in the line at says:

		"The FreeBSD Ports Collection"

	hit [ENTER] button. Now choose where you want to install it from.
Once this gets done you can exit out of sysinstall and you should now have a complete ports skeleton framework in /usr/ports!


You might have recognized used it when you installed FreeBSD for the first time! I would recommend running through the menus as I will not be going into great detail simply because it's a GUI.

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