Mammoth Cloud provides an assortment of pre-installed operating systems to deploy including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Windows. Our cloud infrastructure also supports installing your server's operating system from an .iso file in the same manner you may be familiar with on a physical server. In this article we will demonstrate how to install FreeBSD, but the process is essentially the same no matter what operating system you want to install as long as it is available as an .iso download.
What is FreeBSD?
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.
Creating your VPS
Head over to the signup page, proceed through the signup and when prompted to select an Operating System, choose "BYO Operating System":
Selecting a plan with the resources you require. FreeBSD will fit comfortably onto our smallest plan, but you may need more resources for your intended workload. Proceed through the account and billing details setup, and in thirty seconds your VPS will be ready and waiting for your ISO upload.
Uploading 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 we 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 10.2 x64, use http://ftp.au.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/ISO-IMAGES/10.2/FreeBSD-10.2-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso
Finally, click the Start Upload button to upload the ISO to Mammoth Cloud
Once the upload has completed, you will see a green success bar:
Click Attach & Boot CD and mPanel will load the ISO onto your VPS, 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:
- From the boot screen (shown above) just press Enter.
- Select "Install", default keymap, and enter the hostname you chose during signup.
- For Optional Components, use the default selections. For partitioning, selected Guided and then Entire Disk.
- Once the installation completes, you will be prompted to select a root password.
- When prompted to configure IPv4, choose "Yes"; but when prompted for DHCP choose No as Mammoth requires static IP assignment.
- 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.
- 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.
- When prompted about whether the clock is UTC, the correct answer is Yes. Choose your preferred timezone, then enable sshd and ntpd.
- When asked about adding additional users, we recommend doing so because the default configuration will block SSH as root user.
- 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!