Install FreeBSD 10 on gmirror/gstripe/simple UFS partitions (GPT or MBR)

Begin installation

by ross at 14:29:07 on December 18, 2013

The new installer

FreeBSD 10 has nice and simple partition editor (Expert mode). Still, if you want gmirror/gstripe setup you have to use "Shell" mode and do things manually.

This guide will help you create a FreeBSD system using gmirror/gstripe by hand.

Boot from FreeBSD 10 installation media.

Start installation, answer the questions until you endup on "Partitioning" screen. Choose "Shell" here.

First, lets have a look at the drives list:

# camcontrol devlist                                                                     [9:21:57]
<WDC WD800JB-00JJA0 05.01C05>      at scbus0 target 0 lun 0 (pass0,ada0)
<WDC WD360ADFD-00NLR4 21.07QR4>    at scbus1 target 0 lun 0 (pass1,ada1)
<WDC WD360ADFD-00NLR5 21.07QR5>    at scbus2 target 0 lun 0 (pass2,ada2)
<Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 JP4OA39C>  at scbus4 target 0 lun 0 (pass3,ada3)
<ASUS DRW-1814BLT 1.04>            at scbus6 target 0 lun 0 (pass4,cd0)

SATA/IDE disks usually have names like adaN and SCSI as daN. You see the correspondence of adaN devices to the particular drive. While installation do require use of correct N, we will setup our system to use labels, so if later we change SATA port of a drive nothing will break.

Here you see my old IDE drive used for backups, then two old WD Raptors 10k RPM which I will use as devices for the system and the 1TB Hitachi drive with one UFS2 partition on the entire drive I will mount as /share (holds various stuff not worth for mirrored /usr/home like video).

Prepare the drives

If the disks are not empty refer to this article to clear them. Or if you are going to dual boot prepare empty space for FreeBSD.

If you ever encounter "operation not permitted" error message, disable GEOM protection with the command:
sysctl kern.geom.debugflags=16


This was helpful. Would be great if these were updated to have the '-a 4k' option
Also, would be good to note the '-j' option for newfs, and possibly the '-t' option for SSDs that support it.
-- Will
Saturday, March 19, 2016, 1:35:57