On Mon, 14 Oct 2013, Polytropon wrote:

On Sun, 13 Oct 2013 23:01:02 -0600 (MDT), Warren Block wrote:
On Mon, 14 Oct 2013, Polytropon wrote:

On Sun, 13 Oct 2013 13:24:30 -0400, Kenta Suzumoto wrote:
Hi all. Is it possible to install FreeBSD without formatting the disk?

Yes. The installer supports not formatting existing partitions.
The file system characteristica will be kept, possible content
will overwritten. Note that "superfluous content" will also be
kept, except of course you previously remove everything.

sysinstall supported that, but AFAIK bsdinstall does not.

Oh, seems you're right. I've checked The FreeBSD Handbook for
the relevant instructions for using bsdinstall at




and I didn't find an option to _not_ initialize existing partitions,
even though it seems you can assign existing partitions without any
problem. The remaining question: Will they be initialized again?

It is possible to mount filesystems manually from the shell and have bsdinstall continue with the install without formatting them. It's been a while since I tried that, and I don't recall the exact details. bsdinstall(8) suggests it may be as easy as just having the existing filesystems mounted at /mnt. Still, not something to try without a backup.
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