2.2 Hardware Requirements

2.2.1 Minimal Configuration

The minimal configuration to install FreeBSD varies with the FreeBSD version and the hardware architecture.

Information about the minimal configuration is available in the Installation Notes on the Release Information page of the FreeBSD web site. A summary of this information is given in the following sections. Depending on the method you choose to install FreeBSD, you may also need a floppy drive, a supported CDROM drive, and in some case a network adapter. This will be covered by the Section 2.3.7. FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/pc98

Both FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/pc98 require a 486 or better processor and at least 24 MB of RAM. You will need at least 150 MB of free hard drive space for the most minimal installation.

Note: In case of old configurations, most of time, getting more RAM and more hard drive space is more important than getting a faster processor. FreeBSD/alpha

To install FreeBSD/alpha, you will need a supported platform (see Section 2.2.2) and a dedicated disk for FreeBSD. It is not possible to share a disk with another operating system at this time. This disk will need to be attached to a SCSI controller which is supported by the SRM firmware or an IDE disk assuming the SRM in your machine supports booting from IDE disks.

You will need the SRM console firmware for your platform. In some cases, it is possible to switch between AlphaBIOS (or ARC) firmware and SRM. In others it will be necessary to download new firmware from the vendor's Web site.

Note: Support for the Alpha was removed beginning with FreeBSD 7.0. The FreeBSD 6.X series of releases is the last containing support for this architecture. FreeBSD/amd64 Architecture

There are two classes of processors capable of running FreeBSD/amd64. The first are AMD64 processors, including the AMD Athlon™64, AMD Athlon64-FX, AMD Opteron™ or better processors.

The second class of processors that can use FreeBSD/amd64 includes those using the Intel® EM64T architecture. Examples of these processors include the Intel Core™ 2 Duo, Quad, and Extreme processor families and the Intel Xeon™ 3000, 5000, and 7000 sequences of processors.

If you have a machine based on an nVidia nForce3 Pro-150, you must use the BIOS setup to disable the IO APIC. If you do not have an option to do this, you will likely have to disable ACPI instead. There are bugs in the Pro-150 chipset that we have not found a workaround for yet. FreeBSD/sparc64

To install FreeBSD/sparc64, you will need a supported platform (see Section 2.2.2).

You will need a dedicated disk for FreeBSD/sparc64. It is not possible to share a disk with another operating system at this time.

2.2.2 Supported Hardware

A list of supported hardware is provided with each FreeBSD release in the FreeBSD Hardware Notes. This document can usually be found in a file named HARDWARE.TXT, in the top-level directory of a CDROM or FTP distribution or in sysinstall's documentation menu. It lists, for a given architecture, what hardware devices are known to be supported by each release of FreeBSD. Copies of the supported hardware list for various releases and architectures can also be found on the Release Information page of the FreeBSD Web site.

This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <questions@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.