FreeBSD is a free and open-source Unix-like operating system based on Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) Unix. It the most popular BSD-based operating system designed for stability and performance. FreeBSD comes as a complete operating system with its kernel, device drivers, shell tools and many system tools ready for use.

FreeBSD has seen a wide adoption by Internet Service Providers, students, researchers, computer professionals, and home users all over the world. There are over 20,000 packages ranging from databases, web servers, Developer tools, Desktop Applications , gaming, and business software available for easy installation.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how you can install FreeBSD 12 on VirtualBox and KVM virtualization platforms. The installation steps are not strict to the aforementioned platforms, they can be applied to different hypervisor or physical server environments.

Physical Server/Desktop Installation

Step 1: Download FreeBSD 12 Image

Download a copy of FreeBSD 12 image from FreeBSD releases page.


Step 2: Create FreeBSD 12 bootable USB (Only for Desktop/Physical servers)

After the FreeBSD 12 image file is downloaded, create a bootable USB drive using dd command if you’re running Linux on your local machine.

Example to create a FreeBSD bootable USB by running the command:

sudo dd if=FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img of=/dev/sdb bs=1M conv=sync


  • FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img is the path to the image file.
  • /dev/sdb is your USB device location.

Alternative tools for creating bootable device are Etcher, PowerISO, WoeUSB, and Win32DiskImager.

Install FreeBSD 12 on VirtualBox – Preparation

For guys on VirtualBox, select creation of new VM. Click “New

Give VM a name and choose OS type and version:

Provide VM resources – Memory

Choose hard disk creation in the next window.

Choose hard disk file type.

Select Dynamic or fixed size storage type.

Type desired disk size – default is in GB

VM template is created and ready for start.

Click the “Start” button and choose ISO image path in the next window shown.

Install FreeBSD 12 on KVM – Preparation

Create New VM

Choose ISO image to use and OS type.

Input Memory and CPU settings for the VM.

Specify disk size for the VM.

Provide a name of the VM to be created.

Installation of FreeBSD 12 on KVM/VirtualBox – Steps

The installer will start once the VM creation is done. Hit enter key to proceed.

Begin installation of FreeBSD 12 by clicking on “install”.

Select keymap.

Provide a hostname for the VM

On the next screen, choose the components to install in the system.

If the software packages are not available on the local disk, they’ll be downloaded – internet connection required if this is true.

Select your network interface to configure.

If you’re using IPv4, agree to configure.

Choose DHCP or No if static IP addressing is in use in your network.

If using IPv6, select “Yes” to configure.

Configure DNS.

Select installation mirrors closest to you.

Pick a method used to partition hard disk.

Installation to the disk should begin.

Configure Timezone

Choose services to be started at boot.

Optionally choose hardening options.

Set root password and add other users to the system.

Exit installer to apply configurations.

You have completed installation of FreeBSD 12 on VirtualBox and KVM. Reboot the system to start system configurations.

Some FreeBSD 12 guides:

How to install Webmin on FreeBSD 12

How to Install PostgreSQL 11 on FreeBSD 12

How to Install Netdata on FreeBSD 12

How to Install pgAdmin4 on FreeBSD 12

How To Install pip Python package manager on FreeBSD 12