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Set Up PC-BSD v1.4 beta

This document describes how to set up PC-BSD v1.4 beta. PC-BSD is released under the BSD license.

This howto is meant as a practical guide; it does not cover the theoretical backgrounds. They are treated in a lot of other documents in the web.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I want to say that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Get PC-BSD

At the moment 1.4 beta is the latest version of PC-BSD – consisting out of two disc-images. The first image contains the basic files for the installation, the second image provides extra software, that can be selected later in the installation process. Download the images at


2 Installation

The graphical installation, guided by the PC-BSD installer, is very easy as you will presently see.


2.1 The Boot Screen

The boot screen provides a little menu where you can choose the kind of installation. Choose 1 or wait a few seconds if you don’t have specific reasons to choose another option.


2.2 Language Selection

At this point you have to choose your preferred language, keyboard layout and timezone. You have the optional choice to use automatic time-synchronization via NTP and to submit anonymous user statistics to


2.3 License Agreement

If you agree with the license agreement select the checkbox, else abort the installation.


2.4 Installation Choice

Choose the default for a fresh installation.


2.5 User Accounts

At this point you have to choose the root-password and are asked to create one or more user accounts. If you have entered the data for a user, click “add” to commit the data. The created account will be shown in the window “User Accounts”. If you wish to automatically log in the first user created, select the corresponding checkbox. Keep in mind, that there won’t be a password request for this user.


2.6.1 Drive Selection

Choose the drive on which you want to install PC-BSD in the upper window. Next you have the choice to use the entire disk and to install the PC-BSD bootloader (important if you have multiple operating systems installed). Optionally, if you know what you’re doing, you can customize the partition layout.


2.6.2 Disk Partition Setup

If you marked the checkbox for the partition layout customization you will see the following window, else proceed with step 2.7.

In this window you are able to set up a custom-tailored partition layout. The use of encrypted swap space is optional.


2.7 System Components

At this point you have the option to choose additional software (provided by the second disc). Simply mark the desired software in the upper window and click the down arrow afterwards.


2.8 Ready To Install

If you’re sure that your choices were proper at the steps you walked in front, click “next” to start the installation.



2.9 During The Installation

If you chose additional software at step 2.7, you will be asked to insert the second disc.



2.10 Installation Completion

If you see this window, the installation was successful. Remove the disc and click “reboot”.


3 First Start

The system starts the first time – you have to configure your display settings.


4 The Desktop

PC-BSD uses KDE as you can see. A detailed documentation is available at


5 Additional Software

PC-BSD has it’s own package management system. It uses PBI-files. The installation of these files is very easy. A range of PBI-files can be found at


As an example I installed the VLC media player.


The file is being downloaded.


Afterwards a foolproof installer will guide you through the installation process. The application will be available via the KDE menu and an optional desktop shortcut.


  • PC-BSD:
  • PC-BSD forums:
  • KDE: