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NomadBSD is a persistent live system for flash drives, based on FreeBSD.


Ready to use Image

Visit to download the recent image.

Requirements for Running NomadBSD

  • A >= 5GB flash drive
  • A (amd64/i386) system with a 1.2GHz CPU and 1G of RAM (2G when using ZFS) should be able to run NomadBSD decently.

Building the Image

Requirements for Building the Image

  • A recent FreeBSD system with approx. 30GB free disk space.
  • The build machine's major FreeBSD version must be >= the base system's major version of the image you want to build.
  • A recent ports tree.
  • The packages x11-fonts/mkfontscale, and textproc/markdown must be installed.

Cloning the Repository

% git clone --recursive

Building the Image


If your copy of the NomadBSD repository is not owned by the root user, run

# git config --global --add /full/path/to/NomadBSD

as root before the first build. Otherwise the build script can't correctly generate the image name.


By default, the build script builds a 64-bit (amd64) image. For a 32-bit (i386) image, or a Mac image set ARCH=i386 or ARCH=mac accordingly in build.cfg. ARCH can also be defined via the -a option.

NomadBSD can be build with UFS (default), and ZFS as file system. The file system can be defined via FILESYSTEM in build.cfg, or via the -f option.

# ./build all

Resuming from Build Errors

If something went wrong, you can resume the build after locating and fixing the problem that caused the build to stop.

# ./build resume

Writing the image to a USB memory stick

# dd if=nomadbsd.img of=/dev/da0 bs=1M conv=sync