I am trying to install FreeBSD 10.1 Release on a 10 year old 32 bit machine with 400GB disk and 3+ GB memory. It ran Linux for years without a problem.
I installed using the GUI install program. I accepted all of the defaults. Everything installed fine but then the system wouldn't boot. I presume that is because I should use MBR instead of GPT. Here is where all the problems start.
When you change to MBR you have to manually configure the partitions (slices). Fine. I create the BSD MBR just fine. I created:
Then I created:
but when I go into ada0s1, it will only accept freebsd-ufs. I can't create freebsd-boot or freebsd-swap. It keeps telling me "invalid argument".
I have spent hours trying to boot a basic machine with no luck. Sure appreciate some help.
(In reply to Blake McBride from comment #0)
Can you clarify with the gpart(4) commands you used from the start to get to the error you've seen? For reference, there are examples in the gpart(4) man page  as well as some excellent info externally at link .
Additionally, in the future keep in mind that the FreeBSD Forums at https://forums.freebsd.org or FreeBSD Questions mailing list at https://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions are usually the best venue for a user question rather than filing a bug report.
I didn't use gpart explicitly, nor did I enter the console. I used the install GUI. That gave the error I described.
Let me put this another way. I have 30+ years experience with Unix and software development. One of the things I learned is "have you tried it once"? I assure you that your GUI installer will not install a fresh MBR system on a 32 bit machine. Most who have tried, you have lost to Linux. The others figured out, as I did, how to do it manually with gpart.
The biggest problem you have with FreeBSD is the huge amount of bad or out-of-date documentation, and the fact that really basic stuff doesn't work. All you need is a tester worth his salt and someone who will listen to him.
FreeBSD could be a really great system, as those who suffered through the learning curve can attest. The distance between where you are now, and making a system that doesn't turn off all but the most committed isn't far.
(In reply to Blake McBride from comment #3)
Actually, what's with the 'freebsd-boot' partition with MBR? That's for bootstrap code and for GPT. What you would probably want it something like this for MBR.
adas1 #GB BSD
adas1a freebsd-ufs #GB /
adas1b freebsd-swap #GB none
An FYI, getting to the root cause of the issue with MBR/GPT selection, the SVN log does say more work is needed but r277950 in HEAD  may be the future fix for using MBR where appropriate.
Some general thoughts on the issue:
- Using the wrong size or mount point in bsdinstall(8) gives a usable error message output. Using the wrong partition type is pretty darn vague.
- The Handbook does mention partitions and give examples but it's all GPT focused . And there is no big letters saying don't use freebsd-boot for MBR other than it being under sections that say it's a GPT example. Some details showing MBR would be helpful.
(In reply to jason.unovitch from comment #4)
** Correction **
ada0s1 #GB BSD
ada0s1a freebsd-ufs #GB /
ada0s1b freebsd-swap #GB none