Installing FreeBSD 10 (amd64) on a ThinkPad T400
- 1 Features
- 2 Installation
- 3 Post-Installation Setup
- 4 Additional Hardware
- 5 Tips and Tricks
- 6 References
- 7 External links
FreeBSD is an UNIX operating system for x86 and others compatible architectures. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX® developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a team of individuals.
FreeBSD offers advanced networking, performance, security and compatibility features which are still missing in some of the best commercial operating systems.
FreeBSD makes an ideal Internet or Intranet server. It provides robust network services under the heaviest loads and uses memory efficiently to maintain good response times for thousands of simultaneous user processes. But on notebooks it is a very usable operating system with many features for customization, including power management.
With over 20,000 ported libraries and applications for desktop, server, appliance, and embedded environments, there are many applications which were designed specifically for notebooks.
The best is that FreeBSD is free, and the open source BSD license it is distributed under make sure it will continue to be free. Since FreeBSD is open source and a framework has been set up to easily do so, it is possible to build a custom kernel, allowing faster booting and operation since you can remove any features unneeded in your specific operations.
The best way to install the 64 bits version of FreeBSD (amd64) on a ThinkPad T400 is to download the ISO files and burn them. There are also image files for an USB stick. You can find the ISOs and image files right here: FTP Server of FreeBSD. Choose the version you want to install:
- FreeBSD-10.0-RELEASE-amd64-bootonly.iso: This is an image for CD for boot only and repair purposes
- FreeBSD-10.0-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso: Here is everything for installing FreeBSD on harddisk including the source codes ofd the whole operating system
- FreeBSD-10.0-RELEASE-amd64-dvd1.iso: The same as above plus many software packages for desktops and servers
- FreeBSD-10.0-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img: This is an image for USB sticks with a size of about 700MB. Please copy it with this command to your stick
dd if=/path/to/FreeBSD-10.0-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img of=/dev/<USB stick device>
If you are choosing the installation from USB stick then you have to press F12 during the POST of the boot phase of your T400. During the installation process of FreeBSD there are no issues. It is done in fast fifteen minutes and the GENERIC kernel finds all devices.
The post installation setup is on some points very tricky while the setup oif the video device Intel GM45 is very easy.
General System Settings
Sleeping and Awaking: suspend/resume
- Intel GM45
ATi Radeon RV620
To enable frequency control the kernel module cpufreq.ko must be loaded, four lines added to /etc/rc.conf, and the computer rebooted:
- Add this line to load the module cpufreq.ko on each boot, allowing the CPU frequency to be modified:
- Add these four lines to enable automatic control of the CPU frequency:
powerd_enable="YES" powerd_flags="-a adaptive -b adaptive -n adaptive" performance_cx_lowest="C3" economy_cx_lowest="C3"
This enables the automatic control of frequency parameters of the CPU. By default, the computer runs in a state called C1. During periods of low activity, it is possible to shut down parts of the processor, including clocks, and disconnect from the system bus. In the C2 state, the CPU shuts down clocks. In the C3 state, additional power can be saved by disconnecting from the system bus and shutting down the CPU for a short time. This can provide significant power savings without any real cost. Using the paramters
economy_cx_lowest, it is possible to tell
powerd the maximum state to put the CPU into. When allowing
powerd to use C3, it can be beneficial to add a line like the one below to /boot/loader.conf:
This modifies the interrupt rate of the kernel. By default it is 1000 interrupts per second. With a very slight increase (9ms!) in time between interrupts, it is possible to maximize the benefit from using C3. This might make the computer slightly less responsive, but with significant power gains.
Tips and Tricks
In this section some tips and tricks are described.
The following man pages are important for understanding:
- devd(8), devd.conf(5)
- sysctl(8), sysctl.conf(5)
- kldload(8), loader.conf(5)
- moused(8), sysmouse(4), ums(4)
- wpa_supplicant(8), wpa_supplicant.conf(5)
- est (no manpage), p4tcc (no manpage)