Version 2 (modified by yerenkow, 6 years ago) (diff)


ASusEee is a series of little and handy notebooks. I have one, 900-linux model actually, and I made install PCBSD on external drive -WD Passport 80. On this page I'll explain how I did this, and what struggles I had, and what workarounds I found out.

  1. Booting from SD card.

Well, plain and simple. got ISO, extract to SD card; when powering Eee pressing Esc - boot menu appears, chose SD card. No boot. Placed freebsd boot loader to SD - also no boot. Okay, I have Linux version of Eee, so I have GRUB, yes? For show grub menu we need a little trick - press Esc at start, chose our 1st Hard drive. After that we have countdown from 9,8..1 till boot. We can wait, and can press Esc again for boot. But I suggest pressing F9 fast, and simultinously Esc - if success then we are in Grub. Phew.
Press "c" for grub command prompt. this prompt have tab-complition, like bash; typing:
root (hd2,0) --- hd2 in my case, if you have connected more devices, then you'll need to know what disk is correct one.
kernel /boot/loader --- bsd loader
and here we go! but, not far :(
bsd loader can't find kernel.

We have here to enter two more command:
set currdev=disk2s1 (actually I think loader could guessed itself, but due to some bug, or incompatibility with grub, this var is set to disk2s1' - yes, with quote, I don't know why)
include /boot/loader.rc --- yes, we have well-known boot menu! starting normal mode, and... crushed, as we booted are not from CD.

  1. Patching files for USB boot.

On our card, or usb-stick we have file /boot/mfsroot.gz. Shortly saying, It's GZipped file mfsroot - file with UFS file system.
I unGZipped it, then mdconfig -af mfsroot and mount /dev/md0 ~/localmfs
Well, I looked at ~/localmfs/etc/rc and found there this:


for i in $CDDEVS
  # Find the CD Device
  /sbin/mount_cd9660 $i /mnt >/dev/null 2>/dev/null
  if [ -e "/mnt/uzip/usr.uzip" ]
   /sbin/umount /mnt >/dev/null 2>/dev/null

I changed it to:


for i in $CDDEVS
  # Find the CD Device
  /sbin/mount_msdosfs $i /mnt >/dev/null 2>/dev/null
  if [ -e "/mnt/uzip/usr.uzip" ]
   /sbin/umount /mnt >/dev/null 2>/dev/null

Actually we can not replace CD mount, but append after first block second one, later in PCBSD scripts

Well, is this helps? Yes, now I booted again and see PCBSD installation system! :)

By the way, Installer have Ok-Cancel-buttons below screen, hotkey for Next is Alt-N.

But I couldn't install, PCBSD itself have scripts which mounts CD, and fails, because our card is MSDOSFS, instead of CD9660. I tried to fix them, but they are placed in ISO with symlinks and UZIP-ed, so I couldn't manage it yet.

  1. Installing manually

Okay, what to do then? edit our mfsroot'ed file /etc/ttys


#ttyv5  "/usr/libexec/getty Pc"         cons25  on  secure
#ttyv6  "/usr/libexec/getty Pc"         cons25  on  secure


ttyv5   "/usr/libexec/getty root"               cons25  on  secure
ttyv6   "/usr/libexec/getty root"               cons25  on  secure

now, after boot I have two consoles.

In short terms, I fdisked and bsdlabeled and newfsed my external drive, then cd to the new root and lzma -dc /path-where-mounted-card/PCBSD.tar.lzma | tar -vpxf - and extracted kernel.

Reboot, chose my WD in boot menu, boot till PCBSD login. but wait, I didn't have any users here :) CTRL-ALT-F5 or any of them, login as root, add user, change root password, and then back to graphics - CTRL-ALT-F9.

Logged In, and I have PCBSD!!! Without ethernet, wi-fi, camera and suspend-resume.

  1. Installing wi-fi and ethernet.

Actaully it pretty explained here, so I write my experience a bit later.

  1. Patch files for correct install.
  1. Tweaking pcbsd for normal work.

The main problem is that many KDE dialogs have their Ok, Apply below bottom border of screen. This is very bad :(

  1. Final Post "we have now usb-PCBSD bootable version"

soon I hope :)