Installation on the DockStar requires SSH access. Some firmware versions have it enabled by default, accessible with root/stxadmin. 2.1.2, the newest update as of this writing, has SSH disabled. You can turn it on in the Security section of the control panel.

Update the Bootloader

Unlike the Sheevaplug and other Kirkwood hardware, the DockStar has a crippled bootloader. Luckily, Jeff Doozan maintains a replacement. Install it.

The default setup will attempt to load a Linux kernel image from USB. Change it to search for FreeBSD’s kernel.bin.

  1. fw_setenv usb_boot 'fatload usb $usb_device 0x900000 kernel.bin; go 0x900000;'
  2. fw_setenv usb_init 'usb start; if fatload usb 0 0x900000 kernel.bin; then setenv usb_device 0; elif fatload usb 1 0x900000 kernel.bin; then setenv usb_device 1; elif fatload usb 2 0x900000 kernel.bin; then setenv usb_device 2; elif fatload usb 3 0x900000 kernel.bin; then setenv usb_device 3; elif fatload usb 4 0x900000 kernel.bin; then setenv usb_device 4; else run pogo_bootcmd; fi;'

With this setup, the DockStar will search the first five mass storage devices for a FAT partition containing kernel.bin. If no kernels are found, it will boot the stock firmware.


Reboot with your FreeBSD drive inserted. If all goes well, you will have SSH access with root/root.

Set a root password immediately with passwd.

Add a normal user account for yourself with adduser. When asked, add your user to the wheel group. Consider disabling root SSH access in /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

Set the timezone with tzsetup.

Lastly, set up mail aliases.

  1. cd /etc/mail
  2. make aliases