Prgmr.com FreeBSD VPS: gigadelic 20172017-04-20 00:04
Five years ago — gosh, has it really been that long? — I wrote up some instructions for installing FreeBSD on a Xen PV VPS from prgmr, my favorite VPS host. The server hosting this blog is
gigadelic.cooltrainer.org and has lived at prgmr since 2011 with no major issues. I basically ignored it for the last few years aside from security patches and it just kept on chugging. It was still running FreeBSD 10.1 because I don’t have as much free time as I used to and never got around to building custom Xen PV images for 10.2, 10.3, or 11. FreeBSD 10.1 has been end of life for about four months now, so it’s definitely time I stop using it! I wanted to move over to
amd64 FreeBSD 11 running
GENERIC. Until now, gigadelic was my only 32-bit x86 system, so on pkg.cooltrainer.org I had to maintain a separate
i386 builder jail and a completely separate set of packages just for it. Running the
GENERIC kernel means I can get OS updates and new releases directly from the FreeBSD project without having to build and sideload them myself with the weird pv-grub ext2 kernel partition setup I used to run.
Disclaimer: I have a complimentary VPS from Prgmr for my previous contribution to them. This does not affect my opinion of them or their services. If there were a better host I’d be there. I just want people to be able to enjoy FreeBSD and if it means supporting a good local small business then that’s doubly cool :)
Late last year I was asked to test prgmr’s own FreeBSD image. I’ve been putting an HVM instance through its paces since then on
mobomoga.cooltrainer.org as an RTMP/Dash/HLS streaming and relay server with absolutely zero issues so far. On prgmr’s new management console I can boot and run a normal GENERIC kernel in Xen HVM mode instead of having to build my own custom PV kernel, and I can even boot the normal FreeBSD installer and roll my own if I wasn’t satisfied with their preconfigured image. Gigadelic was on the legacy management console, so I just had to email support and get it moved over to a new dom0.
Once moved, I had access to a few new management options and lost access to a few old ones. It’s no longer possible to swap between
amd64 but I’m happy with
amd64-only. It’s no longer possible to swap bootloader mode between
GRUB2, but personally I’m happy to see Paravirtualization go away in favor of HVM since it makes the administration easier for me.
“Set bootloader or rescue mode” now contains a “BSD Installers” option that can configure your VPS to boot a FreeBSD, NetBSD, or even OpenBSD installer.
Or you can hit “Install new OS image” to quickly get a copy of their pre-configured image. If you use this you will get a system with just a root user, with SSH password authentication disabled, and with your management console key automatically installed to root’s
That’s all there is to it! Once installed through either method you can log in, install your software, and update using
freebsd-update as you would on any bare-metal system.