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a NanoBSD based FreeBSD distribution pre-configured to act as a host for bsdploy.
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PloyBSD is a NanoBSD based FreeBSD distribution pre-configured to act as a host for bsdploy.

Building PloyBSD

PloyBSD uses combines two existing approaches, namely mfsBSD and nanobsd by using the latter to assemble a bootable image using binary installation packages provided by the former. The end result of which is a disk image that can be

  • used to boot a virtual machine
  • can be written onto a USB stick or disk partition to boot an actual machine

Bootstrapping the build environment

Building PloyBSD represents a "chicken and egg" situation. To this end we have created an Ansible role that configures a FreeBSD host as a suitable build platform along with a ploy configuration that creates a vanilla FreeBSD 10.1 VirtualBox instance.

To use it, first download the mfsBSD installation medium at (use the so-called special edition because it contains the installation packages). Make sure you end up with an image named ~/Downloads/mfsbsd-se-10.1-RELEASE-amd64.iso.


ploy start nanobuild-vbox
ploy bootstrap
ploy configure nanobuild

Fetching sources

The easiest way to obtain nanobsd itself is to download the FreeBSD sources, because it's part of the official tools and while it's a bit overkill to download the entire sources, it's the easiest way to ensure that your nanobsd edition matches your system.

In this playbook we download the corrsponding 10.1 release sources like so:

ploy ssh nanobuild

root@nanobuild:~ svnup release10


Now you can commence with building:

root@nanobuild:~ cd /FreeBSD
root@nanobuild:/FreeBSD # sh release10/src/tools/tools/nanobsd/ -vc ploybsd.conf
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