FreeBSD? Nope!

I had a bit of free time this weekend, so I decided I’d have a crack at seeing how FreeBSD worked on this MacBook Pro (2011, 17”). It’s been a bit since I ran FreeBSD on anything, and burning yourself with lit cigarettes is still much too expensive a hobby in Australia, so why not?

I freed up another 10GB from MacOS, downloaded the memstick.img and set about installing it. I was going to do ZFS-on-root, but it wants to use the whole disk for that and I’m not ready for the commitment yet (luckily), so I just went with the guided UFS installation, pointed it at the 10GB partition and off it went.

Rebooted, and it came up suspiciously quickly… yep it’s blown away rEFInd on me! Worse still, it won’t boot FreeBSD either! After some quick checking for some reason it picked disk0p4 (Linux’s root partition) as the FreeBSD root instead of disk0p3 as it should have. But a simple set currev=disk0p3 and a boot got me into it, and after that putting that same value into loader.env made the fix permanent.

Fixing rEFInd was a bit harder, it turned out I had to add the boot configuration back with efibootmgr, and then use efibootmgr -o to set the order so that FreeBSD wasn’t the first, then the missing part when that still didn’t work was I had to do efibootmgr -a -b 1 to set it active (indicated by an asterisk next to the configuration name).

Now my dual (well, trio) boot config works correctly! Alas, it was all for naught, it seems as though the Broadcom BCM4331 that’s in this Macbook Pro is not supported by FreeBSD - the driver firmware blob isn’t loaded onto the card so it doesn’t come up.


Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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