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Freebsd on Vagrant

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

(Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.)

I love FreeBSD but it's a lot of work to get it running correctly on Vagrant. That's a shame, because more people should experience the quality of FreeBSD, the convenience of jails and a modern filesystem like ZFS.

Well, now you can! With this Vagrant box you get a fully tuned, latest FreeBSD with ZFS by copying a single file.

Table of Contents


Simply copy the Vagrantfile from this repository to the project you want to run the VM from and you are done. The box will be downloaded for you.


The box comes with a cloned_interface with IP address which can be used for jails. The range is already configured for you with a proxy by pf to have internet connectivity in a jail. To start a new jail, all you have to do is:

ezjail-admin install
ezjail-admin create 'lo1|'
ezjail-admin start

# Jump inside the jail
ezjail-admin console

If you want your jails started at boot, make sure to add ezjail_enable="YES" to /etc/rc.conf.

Create your own FreeBSD Box

This is for people who want to have their own customized box, instead of the box I made for you with the scripts in this repository.

The FreeBSD boxes are built from the excellent mfsBSD site. Download the 10.2 special edition ISO and create a new virtual machine.

Virtualbox Settings

Create a new Virtual Machine (minimal 1024MB Memory) with the following settings:

  • System -> Motherboard -> Hardware clock in UTC time
  • System -> Acceleration -> VT/x/AMD-V
  • System -> Acceleration -> Enable Nested Paging
  • Storage -> Attach a .vdi disk (this one we can minimize later)
  • Network -> Adapter 1 -> Attached to -> NAT
  • Network -> Adapter 1 -> Advanced -> Adapter Type -> Paravirtualized Network (virtio-net)
  • Network -> Adapter 2 -> Advanced -> Attached to -> Host-Only Adapter
  • Network -> Adapter 2 -> Advanced -> Adapter Type -> Paravirtualized Network (virtio-net)

I would also recommend to disable all the things you are not using, such as audio and usb.

Installation from mfsBSD ISO

Attach the ISO as a CD and boot it. You can login with root and password mfsroot. After logging in, start the base installation with:

mkdir /cdrom
mount_cd9660 /dev/cd0 /cdrom
zfsinstall -d /dev/ada0 -u /cdrom/10.2-RELEASE-amd64 -p zroot -s 1G

When the installation is done, you can poweroff and remove the CD from boot order in the settings.


Boot into your clean FreeBSD installation. You can now run the script from this repository. This will install and setup everything which is needed for Vagrant to run. First, login as root (no password required).

Select your keyboard:


Get an IP adress:

dhclient vtnet0

Bootstrap pkg manager by typing:


Github recently switched to new SSLv1.2 certificates which requires you to install the latest certificates. You can do so by fetching them from my own repository:

fetch --no-verify-peer
pkg add ca_root_nss-3.20.txz

In your FreeBSD box, fetch the installation script:

fetch -o /tmp/

Run it:

cd /tmp
chmod +x

Package for Vagrant

Before packaging, I would recommend trying to reduce the size of the disk a bit more. In Linux you can do:

VBoxManage modifyvdi <freebsd-virtual-machine>.vdi compact

You can now package the box by running the following on your local machine:

vagrant package --base <name-of-your-virtual-machine> --output <name-of-your-box>

What's Next?

You can find the TODO's in the at the root of this repository.


I got lots of useful configuration from xironix freebsd builds.


The above is released under the BSD license -- who would have thought! Meaning, do whatever you want, but I would sure appreciate if you contribute any improvements back to this repository.


FreeBSD with ZFS for Vagrant







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