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Revision as of 12:26, 7 July 2010 by Ecrist (Talk | contribs) (Configuration / Installing Packages)

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This document will describe how to get a rudimentary Live CD built on your own system from a working/running FreeBSD install.

Getting Started

To begin, start by building world and the proper kernel for your live CD. You can build a live CD on a 64-bit box for 32-bit fairly easily. The process is described briefly here.

Building world and kernel for a live CD is no different than building it for a running system. During the install process, we want to specify a new location, which will be our live CD. You do this with the DESTDIR variable, given to make.

# cd /usr/src
# make buildworld DESTDIR=/path/to/livecd
# make installworld DESTDIR=/path/to/livecd
# make distribution DESTDIR=/path/to/livecd

If you're building a 64-bit live CD on a 32-bit box, or something else, add TARGET_ARCH and TARGET variables to your build/install. Here's an example of a 32-bit build being done on a 64-bit system:

# make buildworld TARGET_ARCH=i386 TARGET=i386 DESTDIR=/path/to/livecd
# make installworld TARGET_ARCH=i386 TARGET=i386 DESTDIR=/path/to/livecd
# make distribution TARGET_ARCH=i368 TARGET=i386 DESTDIR=/path/to/livecd

Configuration / Installing Packages

Once these operations are complete, you will have a 'working' system in /path/to/livecd (make sure the directory exists before putting files there!) Now, you can chroot to this directory and install a ports tree, add packages, etc. Again, if you're building a 32-bit live CD on a 64-bit system, or something similar, you need to do a couple things first.

  1. Setup a working devfs in your chroot:
# mount -t devfs devfs /path/to/livecd/dev
# chroot /path/to/livecd

As above, if you're cross-compiling, you need to set a couple environment variables. Once inside your chroot, set the following environment variables:


You should now be able to pkg_add or build any ports you need for your live CD. In our example, we're using this live CD to restore backups via rsync from a remote server.


mkisofs -no-emul -r -b boot/cdboot -J -V FreeBSD-CLX -o /home/ecrist/clx.iso livecd32/



Man Pages

  • mdmfs