Tim Judd wrote:
Hi all,

Recently, for pure entertainment and a little bit of a experience
thing, I have been looking and/or finding many devices that have linux
embedded.  While in of itself the fact that it works, I'm not
discounting.  But I'd like to expand it or get it running on a system
that I am familiar with.  So I was playing with the idea of using
FreeBSD on such devices, and I would deal with the individual hardware
specs if I could get the general system small enough.

The minimal install of FreeBSD as from the developers is about 130MB. I want to get something working on a 8MB flash. (For those curious,
it's a ethernet NAS device)

picobsd is discontinued, nanobsd claims it can fit in 64MB.  I'd even
go with some NetBSD flavor, as long as it's not "linux."  I've done
some research and would like to see this happen, but may just end up
using the GPL code from Linksys to get it working as I need it to.

Thanks for any update/idea/clue.

I guess the answer is "depends on what you need". The most minimal system (just a prompt and a few utilities in from /rescue) would probably be mfsroot.gz from the installation media. It's around 4MB - you can add your own utilities from there, but it's a bit tedious to find out exactly which files, utilities and libraries you need. An alternative would be to have your root filesystem NFS-mounted. That way, you only need a kernel and a few boot files on the flash to boot, if your device doesn't support PXE.

There are a lot of tips in the "FreeBSD from Scratch" article [1]. Also, Erik Nørgaard's "PXEBoot Guide"[2] has lots of good info on net-booting. And then there's of course FreeNAS[3] if you can get it running on your device.


[1] http://freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/fbsd-from-scratch/
[2] http://www.locolomo.org/pub/pxeboot/article.html
[3] http://www.freenas.org/
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