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Before reading this chapter, you should:
Read the supported hardware list that shipped with the version of FreeBSD to be installed and verify that the system's hardware is supported.
Minimum Hardware Requirements
The hardware requirements to install FreeBSD vary by architecture. Hardware architectures and devices supported by a FreeBSD release are listed on the link:https://www.FreeBSD.org/releases/[FreeBSD Release Information] page. The link:https://www.FreeBSD.org/where/[FreeBSD download page] also has recommendations for choosing the correct image for different architectures.
A FreeBSD installation requires a minimum of 96 MB of RAM and 1.5 GB of free hard drive space. However, such small amounts of memory and disk space are really only suitable for custom applications like embedded appliances. General-purpose desktop systems need more resources. 2-4 GB RAM and at least 8 GB hard drive space is a good starting point.
These are the processor requirements for each architecture:
amd64
This is the most common desktop and laptop processor type, used in most modern systems. Intel(R) calls it Intel64. Other manufacturers sometimes call it x86-64.
Examples of amd64 compatible processors include: AMD Athlon(TM)64, AMD Opteron(TM), multi-core Intel(R) Xeon(TM), and Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 and later processors.
i386
Older desktops and laptops often use this 32-bit, x86 architecture.
Almost all i386-compatible processors with a floating point unit are supported. All Intel(R) processors 486 or higher are supported. However, binaries released by the project are compiled for the 686 processor, so a special build will be needed for 486 and 586 systems.
FreeBSD will take advantage of Physical Address Extensions (PAE) support on CPUs with this feature. A kernel with the PAE feature enabled will detect memory above 4 GB and allow it to be used by the system. However, using PAE places constraints on device drivers and other features of FreeBSD.
arm64
Most embedded boards are 64-bit ARM computers. A number of arm64 servers are supported.
arm
Older armv7 boards are supported.
powerpc
All New World ROM Apple(R) Mac(R) systems with built-in USB are supported. SMP is supported on machines with multiple CPUs.
A 32-bit kernel can only use the first 2 GB of RAM.