How to install FreeBSD 10.1 inside a Wandboard and use it as a backup server part 1


In the previous post I did a quick overview of what I think are two valid alternatives to the common development boards as Raspberry or BeagleBoard. Radxa and Wandboard. Since i would like to use the Wandboard as a little backup server I’ve decided to put inside it FreeBSD 10.1 .

So this  guide will help you to install, configure and setup a little server that you can use for anything you want, for mirroring your website, or just for fun to have a shell into a board at home with low power consumption.

First of all , obtain the image of the OS from here :

search for FreeBSD-10.1-BETA2-arm-armv6-WANDBOARD-QUAD.img.bz2 and unzip it . Then if you use Windows , it’s better that you download two useful tools that you will need to format the microSD and install the image:

1) SD formatter ( )

2) Win32 Disk Imager ( )

Ok, once you’ve done first format the microSD with a FAT32 partition (the whole SD). Then open WIn32 Disk Imager and write the FreeBSD image inside it.


OK now you have your OS image ready to start inside the board! Next step , insert the microSD in the UPPER part (near the CPU) . You can use a Null modem cable and connect it with the PC. So now you have to collect some other stuffs, if you have linux/unix you can use

#apt-get install screen
#screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200 8N1

or in WIndows simply Putty program will work. Check your COM port of your adapter and then connect to it with a speed of 115200. Then press enter to get inside the shell. Username is root without password.

If everything went OK you should have your system shell opened inside the WandBoard! Congratulations! Expand the SD file-system to use the full disk space with

# gpart show mmcsd0 # gpart resize -i 2 mmcsd0 # gpart show mmcsd0 # reboot # gpart show # gpart resize -i 1 mmcsd0s2 # gpart show mmcsd0s2 # growfs / # reboot

start the engine and build UNIX ports tree with these commands :

# portsnap fetch
# portsnap extract

Normally you should have a DHCP connection working inside as default  in the /etc/rc.conf file but to be sure you can edit it to set a static IP into your LAN to have an immediate access inside (or outside too if you have a dynamic DNS). This last command will take a while. This is a funny video that I’ve made while using a portable VLF magnetic receiver made by a friend of mine, Renato Romero. ( ) . The sound you are going to hear is the VLF/ELF sounds of the i.MX6 Quad Cortex-A9 Quad core working and the “Buzz” noise is produced by electrical discharge while writing (extracting) port packages inside the microSD!

ok now you are almost done. You have your ports inside so you can add all the software you need, just go to /usr/ports/ and choose you preferred software. For example you can install Bash like this ( BATCH=yes is need to prevent boring optional features and press enter each time)

# /usr/ports/shells/bash/make install clean BATCH=yes

remember to customize your sshd_config file to have a fully custom access to ssh (the configuration file is in /etc/ssh/sshd_config here is an example :

The CPU consumption is extremely low with FreeBSD with no load. As you can see I’ve setup a ntp daemon that synchronize the system time with NIST F1 Atomic Clock in Boulder, Colorado. We’ll see how to setup a NTP client for perfect time synchronization using NTP / UDP fast and reliable.


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