1.2 Overview

A computer running FreeBSD can boot by several methods, although the most common method, booting from a harddisk where the OS is installed, will be discussed here. The boot process is divided into several steps:

The boot0 and boot2 stages are also referred to as bootstrap stages 1 and 2 in boot(8) as the first steps in FreeBSD's 3-stage bootstrapping procedure. Various information is printed on the screen at each stage, so you may visually recognize them using the table that follows. Please note that the actual data may differ from machine to machine:

may vary

BIOS (firmware) messages

F1    FreeBSD
F2    BSD
F5    Disk 2


>>FreeBSD/i386 BOOT
Default: 1:ad(1,a)/boot/loader


BTX loader 1.0 BTX version is 1.01
BIOS drive A: is disk0
BIOS drive C: is disk1
BIOS 639kB/64512kB available memory
FreeBSD/i386 bootstrap loader, Revision 0.8
Console internal video/keyboard
([email protected], Mon Nov 20 11:41:23 GMT 2000)
/kernel text=0x1234 data=0x2345 syms=[0x4+0x3456]
Hit [Enter] to boot immediately, or any other key for command prompt
Booting [kernel] in 9 seconds..._


Copyright (c) 1992-2002 The FreeBSD Project.
Copyright (c) 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
        The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
FreeBSD 4.6-RC #0: Sat May  4 22:49:02 GMT 2002
    [email protected]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/DEVNULL
Timecounter "i8254"  frequency 1193182 Hz


a. This prompt will appear if the user presses a key just after selecting an OS to boot at the boot0 stage.

This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <[email protected]>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <[email protected]>.