1. Computer with an SD slot for burning the image. You will need root privileges on this device.

  2. Raspberry Pi A/B or Raspberry Pi 2.

  3. A blank SD or Micro SD (Raspberry Pi 2) SD card.

  4. Windows users will need to download the latest version of Image Writer for Windows.

  5. For booting the Raspberry Pi: A Monitor with an HDMI cable, USB keyboard, micro USB power source (5V recommended).


Step 1: Installing the FreeBSD image for Raspberry Pi

  • Visit the RaspBSD release page, found here. This should be done on the computer you are using to burn the image. Select the download link for the type and class of Raspberry Pi you will be using. Once the file has been downloaded, it will be in a .gz format. Double click the file to decompress to the .img file.


Step 2: Writing the Image File using dd

  • When using an SD card, an extra step will need to be made as simply copying the file will not work with .img files. This is where the dd command comes in (Image Writer for Windows users).
    • On Mac/Linux open up the Terminal, located in applications or utilities depending on your OS.
    • Enter the following commands. I’ve included the explanation of the command on the right. Only enter the command line:

Warning: This example uses /dev/disk2, replace it with your disk location.

sudo su
Logs the user into the Super User (root) environment. On Mac you may have not set up a root account, if this is the case, refer to this guide. This requires the root password.
diskutil list

List the available disks. The memory stick should be listed. Take note of the location.

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2

Unmounts the volumes on the target disk.

Remember to replace the example location.

dd if=insertFreeBSDImage.img of=/dev/disk2 bs=1m

Replace [insertFreeBSDImage.img] with the file name that was downloaded from the RaspBSD website, this can also be done by dragging the file from your file searching app to the Terminal. The command copies the image to the memory stick. This will take a few minutes so sit back and grab a snack. Remember to replace the example location.

diskutil eject /dev/disk2

Ejects the memory stick.


Step 3: Booting the Raspberry Pi


  • Insert the now-configured SD or Micro SD card into the SD card reader on the Raspberry Pi. The card will only be able to be inserted in one direction.
  • Connect the USB keyboard, monitor, and power source to the Raspberry Pi. Connect the power source last to avoid booting problems.
  • Once the power source has been connected to the Raspberry Pi, the boot process will start. The USB keyboard can be used to enter commands into the shell that will be displayed on the monitor.
  • The RaspBSD comes pre-formatted so no post-installation formatting is needed. However the main user has been already created and you will need the username/password to login to the shell.
    • User: raspberry
    • Pass: raspberry

You now have FreeBSD running on your Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi 2! The Raspberry Pi is an incredibly versatile computer and can be used for tons of experiments, DIY projects, and various lightweight desktop setups.