There are a number of questions asking about installing/running FreeBSD on the Pi – it looks like there are a lot of problems. Is FreeBSD runnable on the Pi? How can I get started?

  • 1
    The reason I added this question is that many of the older questions were about specific and "out of date" problems. I thought it would be a good thing to have a more generic and maintainable question and answer(s).
    – dlu
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


A lot has changed, for the better, since the early days of FreeBSD on the Pi. In my experience installing and running a recent version (11 or 12) is pretty painless these days.

Here are the steps that work for me on the "big" boards – I don't have a Pi Zero so I can't speak to them:

  1. Download an SD card image (both STABLE and CURRENT images are available, for version 3 boards look here for the 64-bit CURRENT build) details of what is working are on the wiki.

  2. Decompress the image

    xz --decompress ...

  3. Then dd the image to an empty SD or microSD card

    dd if=<FreeBSD image file> of=/dev/<SD card mount> bs=1M

  4. Install the card in your Pi and apply power to boot.

Once the Pi is up and running, login – ssh, keyboard & display, or serial all work (for credentials use freebsd/freebsd or you can also login with root/root if you're on a serial line or the keyboard) and have fun.

If you are doing a headless install it may be a trick to get ssh to connect to the Pi. Find Raspberry PI address on local network gives some good techniques for finding the IP address assigned to your Pi.

Once you have it:

ssh [email protected]

should do the trick.

You can find more info on the FreeBSD Wiki.

  • Are the images up to date for running on RPi 3B+?
    – Ingo
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 23:34
  • The latest (20180329) ones don't seem to be, they are hanging for me on network configuration on a Pi 3B and I've heard reports of problems on the 3B+ as well.
    – dlu
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 21:46

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