FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system, bearing some similarities to Linux but also with a wide number of differences. While less prevalent than Linux, there are a number of reasons to consider using FreeBSD:

  • Whether by design or simply due to the smaller number of potential targets, some consider FreeBSD to be more secure than Linux
  • The core software supplied (kernel, init system, and command line tools) is all written by the FreeBSD development team, giving the system a clear and understandable structure.
  • Developers who want to know UNIX, and not just Linux, can benefit from exposure to alternative implementations
  • Its fun to try new things!

With Binary Lane's BYO Operating System functionality, our residents can upload an ISO and install any operating system* desired.  This guide will walk through the process of signing up, uploading the ISO, and installing FreeBSD 10.0.

* As long as the operating system has KVM drivers

1. Create your FreeBSD server

Head over to the signup page, the first step is to select an operating system - just click "BYO ISO" at the end of the list.

In the second step when selecting a plan, select the resources you require. FreeBSD will fit comfortably onto our cheapest plan, but you may need more resources for your intended workload. In the third step when selecting a hostname, simply enter the name you want to access the server by. Reverse DNS will be automatically set from this.

Proceed through the account and billing details setup, and in thirty seconds your VPS will be ready and waiting for your ISO upload.

2. Upload the FreeBSD ISO

After completing signup, mPanel will drop you straight into the Upload screen so that you can provide the ISO to use during installation:

Next to Upload Will: select "Create  new temporary image".  

When selecting where to Upload from - Binary Lane can accept ISOs either uploaded from your local PC, or a HTTP URL can be supplied for the ISO to be retrieved from. A local file is useful if you have a custom-modified distribution, but generally the HTTP server option is preferred since the operating system's mirror network can be used.

The HTTP URL: is the direct address for the .iso file.  For FreeBSD 10.0 x64, use

Finally, click the Start Upload button to transfer the ISO to Binary Lane.

3. Installing FreeBSD

Once the upload has completed, you will see a green success bar:

Click Attach & Boot CD and mPanel will load the ISO onto your cloud server, boot it up, and drop you into the dashboard:

From the dashboard, we can now run through FreeBSD installation just as you would on a physical server. Here is a summary of the required inputs during the installation process:

  1. From the boot screen (shown above) just press Enter.
  2. Select "Install", default keymap, and enter the hostname you chose during signup on Binary Lane.
  3. For Optional Components, use the default selections. For partitioning, selected Guided and then Entire Disk.
  4. Once the installation completes, you will be prompted to select a root password.
  5. When prompted to configure IPv4, choose "Yes"; but when prompted for DHCP choose No as Binary Lane requires static IP assignment.
  6. Your server's IP Address, Subnet Mask, and Default Route are found down the left-hand side of the dashboard.  For IPv6, you can leave it disabled.
  7. When prompted for the "Resolver Configuration", the Search box can be left blank; the nameservers to use are shown on the left-hand side of the dashboard.
  8. When prompted about whether the clock is UTC, the correct answer is Yes. Choose your preferred timezone, then enable sshd and ntpd.
  9. When asked about adding additional users, we recommend doing so because the default configuration will block SSH as root user.
  10. Finally, exit and apply configuration.
The last screen you will see is this one:

Rather than answering the question, click the Detach CD button in mPanel. This will remove the installation CD from the VPS and boot into FreeBSD!