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PC-SYSINSTALL - A new installer backend for PC-BSD & FreeBSD

Kris Moore
Author Description:
Kris Moore is the founder and lead developer of the PC-BSD project, which provides a graphical desktop out of the box running FreeBSD under the hood. He lives in the Knoxville Tennessee (USA) area, near the great smoky mountains with his wife and 4 kids.
Since its very first beta many years ago, PC-BSD has been using a custom-built installer routine, which consisted of a graphical user interface, tied into some scripts which performed the actual installation process of the system. While the process worked reasonably well, it lacked many important features which would become desired and critical down the road. Features such as automated installation, an independent installer backend with interchangeable front-ends, support for advanced custom partitioning, and full error logging. In addition to these features, many times the idea had been brought up about enabling the new installer to also support traditional FreeBSD installations. This could be used as a way for users to bypass regular “sysinstall” and install using some new features such as ZFS, Encryption, and Mirroring.

Over the course of 2009 this new installer (pc-sysinstall) has been in development and is now in production in the latest version of PC-BSD, 8.0. This talk will cover some of the new features and direct usage of the backend, including support for advanced partitioning, choosing between installing FreeBSD or PC-BSD, ZFS root support, disk encryption and more.
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