FreeBSD

Install notes for IBM Thinkpad T60

I am new to FreeBSD so I am not saying this is the way to do it, but it works for me:

  1. Install pkg drm_kmod
  2. load radeon drivers on boot with rc.conf 'kld_list="radeonkms"' (don't use the recommended option of loading /boot/modules/radeonkms.ko, as this crashes during boot with a page fault)
  3. adduser - add an unprivileged user. While running this command, answer the question to join additional groups with "video" to make use of a graphical user interface and "wheel" to allow the command "su".
  4. Install pkg xorg, xinit and xfce
  5. Enable dbus in rc.conf 'dbus_enable="YES"' as required by xfce
  6. Start xfce with "startxfce4" command

Btw sound worked out of the box, which I not always had with a fresh Linux.

Unsolved problems

Running sway: It works when started from whithin xfce. Started outside, it fails with a DRM warning message.

WIFI: It seems there are compatibility problems between FreeBSD and OpenWRT. Using an old "cheap plastic router" works. Also, DHCP is not always responsive and takes two or three trials. I also had the feeling I had to switch off "powerd" on FreeBSD first (which I enabled during the FreeBSD install process) in order to get WIFI working at all, even with the plastic router. This behaviour is not confirmed though and might be coincidence.

Thinkpad Trackpad: The trackpoint (little red dot) works for mouse interactions, but the trackpad is dead

Link list

Change keyboard layout

kbdmap or in rc.conf with keymap="de.kbd"

Jail

man jail is a great resource including examples on how to get started.

  1. Dedicate a directory (/usr/jail/myjail; /data/jail/myjail etc) or a new zfs dataset (zfs create zroot/myjail) to the new jail.
  2. Load the directory with FreeBSD files by running bsdinstall jail /usr/jail/myjail.
  3. Start a simple jail with jail -c path=/usr/jail/myjail mount.devfs host.hostname=testhostname ip4.addr=192.0.2.100 command=/bin/sh

It is possible to copy a binary into the jail filesystem and execute it from whithin the jail.

Delete a jail directory

When doing rm -rf on the jail directory, even as root, it fails to execute on a few files. The reason is that some files are marked with the "system immutable" flag. To remove it run chflags -R noschg /jaildir and try rm again. It could still fail if devices got mounted. Check mount and unmount in that case.