Mark's random ramblings

Setting up FreeBSD in VirtualBox

There are a number of tutorials for this, including in the FreeBSD handbook. However VirtualBoxhas some fairly conservative settings by default so I'll share what I have set up.

You should have FreeBSD sources installed as a part of this process (/usr/src should be populated with the source tree and match what you have installed as a kernel). The reason for this is because virtualbox-ose-additions and virtualbox-ose-additions-kmod need to be built against the kernel source and requires the kernel module to match the version of your kernel


  1. Increase Base Memory - VirtualBox defaults to 1GB, if you have more and intend to run X or ZFS it is highly recommended to increase this to at least 4GB
  2. Processor - VirtualBox defaults to 1 CPU at 100%, and again it's recommended to increase this if possible for X or ZFS
  3. Display - it is possible to enable 3D acceleration for X. Increase Video Memory if you intend to do this
  4. Storage - VirtualBox defaults to IDE controllers, not SATA. It is safe to remove the IDE controller and (re)add the HDD and CDROM devices once you have added a SATA controller

This will help speed things up in general. You can also set a dedicated network controller if you have one available in your system, or set up bridging etc.

Setting up virtualbox-ose-additions

This assumes you wish to use X. If not, use /usr/ports/emulators/virtualbox-ose-additions-nox11

Type the following as root in to your console:

# cd /usr/ports/emulators/virtualbox-ose-additions && make config && make -DBATCH

You should see:

You'll see I have selected OpenGL and X11 as I will be using both in the virtual machine. -DBATCH means to build every dependency with the default options selected

Now hit enter. It will begin downloading the source required to build and start compiling.

Be prepared to wait a while depending on your memory, disk I/O and CPU speed.

Listening to

Armin van Buuren - A State Of Trance Episode 384 - 25-12-2008 (2008 Yearmix).mp3

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