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Third Party Programs
In addition to the base distributions, FreeBSD offers a ported software collection with thousands of commonly sought-after programs. At the time of this writing, there were over 24,000 ports! The list of ports ranges from http servers, to games, languages, editors, and almost everything in between. The entire Ports Collection requires approximately 500 MB. To compile a port, you simply change to the directory of the program you wish to install, type <command>make install</command>, and let the system do the rest. The full original distribution for each port you build is retrieved dynamically so you need only enough disk space to build the ports you want. Almost every port is also provided as a pre-compiled <quote>package</quote>, which can be installed with a simple command (<command>pkg install</command>) by those who do not wish to compile their own ports from source. More information on packages and ports can be found in <xref linkend="ports"/>.
Additional Documentation
All supported FreeBSD versions provide an option in the installer to install additional documentation under <filename>/usr/local/share/doc/freebsd</filename> during the initial system setup. Documentation may also be installed at any later time using packages as described in <xref linkend="doc-ports-install-package"/>. You may view the locally installed manuals with any HTML capable browser using the following URLs:
The FreeBSD Handbook
<link xlink:href="file://localhost/usr/local/share/doc/freebsd/handbook/index.html"><filename>/usr/local/share/doc/freebsd/handbook/index.html</filename></link>
The FreeBSD FAQ
<link xlink:href="file://localhost/usr/local/share/doc/freebsd/faq/index.html"><filename>/usr/local/share/doc/freebsd/faq/index.html</filename></link>
You can also view the master (and most frequently updated) copies at <uri xlink:href="https://www.FreeBSD.org/">https://www.FreeBSD.org/</uri>.
Installing FreeBSD
<personname> <firstname>Gavin</firstname> <surname>Atkinson</surname> </personname> <contrib>Updated for bsdinstall by </contrib>
<personname> <firstname>Warren</firstname> <surname>Block</surname> </personname>
<personname> <firstname>Allan</firstname> <surname>Jude</surname> </personname> <contrib>Updated for root-on-ZFS by </contrib>
<primary>installation</primary>
There are several different ways of getting FreeBSD to run, depending on the environment. Those are:
Virtual Machine images, to download and import on a virtual environment of choice. These can be downloaded from the <link xlink:href="https://www.freebsd.org/where.html">Download FreeBSD</link> page. There are images for KVM (<quote>qcow2</quote>), VMWare (<quote>vmdk</quote>), Hyper-V (<quote>vhd</quote>), and raw device images that are universally supported. These are not installation images, but rather the preconfigured (<quote>already installed</quote>) instances, ready to run and perform post-installation tasks.
Virtual Machine images available at Amazon's <link xlink:href="https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/B07L6QV354">AWS Marketplace</link>, <link xlink:href="https://azuremarketplace.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/apps?search=freebsd&amp;page=1">Microsoft Azure Marketplace</link>, and <link xlink:href="https://console.cloud.google.com/marketplace/details/freebsd-cloud/freebsd-12">Google Cloud Platform</link>, to run on their respective hosting services. For more information on deploying FreeBSD on Azure please consult the relevant chapter in the <link xlink:href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/linux/freebsd-intro-on-azure">Azure Documentation</link>.
SD card images, for embedded systems such as Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black. These can be downloaded from the <link xlink:href="https://www.freebsd.org/where.html">Download FreeBSD</link> page. These files must be uncompressed and written as a raw image to an SD card, from which the board will then boot.
Installation images, to install FreeBSD on a hard drive for the usual desktop, laptop, or server systems.
The rest of this chapter describes the fourth case, explaining how to install FreeBSD using the text-based installation program named <application>bsdinstall</application>.
In general, the installation instructions in this chapter are written for the <trademark>i386</trademark> and <acronym>AMD64</acronym> architectures. Where applicable, instructions specific to other platforms will be listed. There may be minor differences between the installer and what is shown here, so use this chapter as a general guide rather than as a set of literal instructions.
Users who prefer to install FreeBSD using a graphical installer may be interested in <link xlink:href="https://www.furybsd.org">FuryBSD</link>, <link xlink:href="https://ghostbsd.org">GhostBSD</link> or <link xlink:href="https://www.midnightbsd.org">MidnightBSD</link>.
After reading this chapter, you will know:
The minimum hardware requirements and FreeBSD supported architectures.
How to create the FreeBSD installation media.
How to start <application>bsdinstall</application>.
The questions <application>bsdinstall</application> will ask, what they mean, and how to answer them.
How to troubleshoot a failed installation.
How to access a live version of FreeBSD before committing to an installation.
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.

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books/handbook.pot, string 352