New 0.41 release is available for download!
This is a bugfix release for 0.4 version.
Dial-in server version
What is PicoBSD?
PicoBSD is a one floppy version of FreeBSD 3.0-current, which in its different variations allows you to have secure dialup access, small diskless router or even a dial-in server. And all this on only one standard 1.44MB floppy. It runs on a minimum 386SX CPU with 8MB of RAM (no HDD required!).
Current version of PicoBSD is 0.42, which means it hasn't left the heavy testing, while on the other hand being somewhat tested and improved over previous versions.
With flexibility that FreeBSD gives, and full source code available,
one can build a small installation performing various tasks, including
(but not limited to):
Where can I get it?
Under the download section to your left. There are two language editions of PicoBSD - English and Polish one. You'll be probably more interested in the former :-) The only difference is in the set of fonts included, C locale, and the language of messages. There are currently 4 different versions which you can obtain from FreeBSD or any of it's mirrors.
The floppies were built from 3.0-current sources. Though they provide more features, they tend to be less stable than the latest RELEASE of FreeBSD. Dinesh Nair back-ported these scripts to the latest release (2.2.5), and continues development of PicoBSD using sources from that branch. You can find floppies built from 2.2.5 sources here or at his server.
How can I use it?
Previous versions were packed with PKZIP(tm) compatible program - now they are simply the raw binary floppy images, so you just need to grab the appropriate version of the file. Assumed 1.44MB Floppy.
The file 'pb_xx-X.bin' must be written onto a blank floppy. It does NOT mean that it can be copied using e.g. DOS 'copy' command. You must use a program like rawrite.exe or fdimage.exe to write this file directly on the raw floppy.
If you feel lost, try the 'help' command (it's available only on "dialup" floppies)
Create your own, custom version of PicoBSD!
I made available also the set of tools (a.k.a the PicoBSD Development Kit) I used to create the floppies (see also the detailed instructions)
You can also access the full CVS repository of PicoBSD - beginning with
version 0.4 it's a part of official FreeBSD CVS and lives in
You will need at least 10MB of free disk space for building, and of course the full system sources installed. I also assume that the sources are quite -current. There is also a back-ported version of the scripts prepared by Dinesh Nair which builds ok on 2.2.6-R systems.
Where can I get more info?
Almost all of the programs included on the floppies are exactly the same versions as in normal FreeBSD installation, so that the normal manual pages apply. However, I didn't include the manpages themselves - they would take over 200kB!
For the total newbies, which would use (I assume) the 'dialup' version, there is a short README on the floppy which gives step by step instructions on how to get a dialup connection. There is also a script called 'dialup' which attempts to configure PPP to allow for automatic log in to your provider, and for background operation. There is also a small help system ('help' command)
There are some system utilities which are unique to PicoBSD, and at this moment they are documented in detail only in source and README.
As for the new releases which will (hopefully) be prepared in the future: just keep an eye on this page. I'll also send announcements to FreeBSD mailing lists.