Basic questions

Q. What does the 'k' in "kFreeBSD" stand for?

A. It's an abbreviation. It stands for "kernel of". Hence "kFreeBSD" means "kernel of FreeBSD", and "GNU/kFreeBSD" means "GNU with kernel of FreeBSD".

Q. What is the point of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD?

A. This answer has its own wiki page, see ["Debian GNU/kFreeBSD why"].

Q. What version of kFreeBSD is supported?

A. The latest GNU/kFreeBSD install CD is based on the 7.1 kernel, see [ for details]. The [ older one] is based on the 6.3 kernel.

Q. Which Debian releases are available?

A. Only the unstable release is regularly available. But as unstable is sometimes really unstable, we also provide a "lenny-based snapshot" of the GNU/kFreeBSD archive. Just use the install CD from [ Jan 2009] and put the following lines into your /etc/apt/sources.list

deb unstable main
deb unreleased main

Note: You can also add following lines, to get i.e. gcc-doc available

deb dists/lenny/main/binary-i386/
deb dists/lenny/contrib/binary-i386/
deb dists/lenny/non-free/binary-i386/

Q. Which mirrors offer Debian GNU/kFreeBSD?

A. See ["DebianPorts/Mirrors"].

Q. Can I run Debian GNU/kFreeBSD in a chroot under FreeBSD?

A. Yes, but it won't work perfectly unless you apply some kernel patches. You can get them from the Debian kfreebsd-7 source package, but it is up to you to find out and decide which ones you need. We recommend to use a Debian kernel for running Debian GNU/kFreeBSD userland. In case something fails, you're on your own.

Q. Can I share a swap partition between GNU/Linux and GNU/kFreeBSD?

A. Yes, but it's not recommended. See for details on how to proceed. Also note that Linux tends to save suspend-to-disk data to the swap partition, which makes sharing swap less attractive.

Q. Can I share partitions between GNU/Linux and GNU/kFreeBSD?

A. Yes, but you must use ext2fs. When creating the filesystem, pass "-O none" to mke2fs for best results. As for other file systems:

Q. What's the status of amd64 support?

A. It is only slightly behind the i386 one. You're welcome to try it out, and help is appreciated in debugging and cleaning it up. Also, if you want to donate hardware for that purpose please let us know.

Q. Is there any way to upgrade to Debian-*bsd an existing, running FreeBSD installation (whether it makes sense or not)

A. I am unsure about this. You can prepare a filesystem on a different partition/slice and use chroot to install the basic files. Look inside the latest ISO at, there is base/base.tgz inside install.iso. Unpack it into the created chroot. But at least multi-threaded programs will not work under pristine FreeBSD kernel.

Q. Can *.deb packages co-exist with classical BSD ports?

A. It is not good idea. Please use a chroot for things like this.

Q. Are the *.deb packages for *bsd handled the same old way they did on Linux, or do they simply use the /usr/local filesystem?

A. In the same way as on any other Debian system -- the usual prefix is /usr.

Q. What about some specs I once read about leaving the use of /usr/local to the system administrator? (Maybe these are concerning only to Linux...)

A. There are (almost) no files from any *.deb in /usr/local/. It is really left for local system administrator.

Using Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

Q. How do I configure/enable sound?

A. You have to load the proper kernel sound driver(s) using the kldload command. This works for me (SiS AC'97 sound controller):

kldload snd_csa
kldload snd_driver

Q. Wireless?

A. Yes, but we don't have the tools to scan for networks yet. If you know the ssid beforehand, the following stanza in /etc/network/interfaces should work:

auto ${if}
iface ${if} inet dhcp
     pre-up ifconfig ${if} ssid ${my_ssid}

Q. How can I burn CD-ROMs?

A. Nothing special here, just use wodim:

apt-get install wodim
wodim foo.iso

Q. apt-get complains that it can't verify binaries. I installed gnupg but the errors persist.

A. You probably don't have the debian-ports archive key imported. Try:

gpg --keyserver --recv 43229C06 && gpg --export 43229C06 | sudo apt-key add -

Q. I just installed Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Is there anything I can do to help making it more popular?

A. Yes! You can install/enable popularity-contest (see to increase our user count. Also you can register yourself as Debian GNU/kFreeBSD user in You might also want to tell us how did you hear about Debian GNU/kFreeBSD [ in this poll]. And of course, you can tell all your friends about it. =)

Finally, you can install the "[;content-type=text/plain bsdstats]" script to record your Debian GNU/kFreeBSD installation at []. You need to install the following packages for the script to work:

apt-get install netcat mksh sharutils openssl bind9-host

Then, you can simply run the script manually via "mksh bsdstats", and/or via a cron-job (weekly, for example).

Development questions

Q. Where can I check buildd logs for a particular package on kfreebsd-i386?

A. and

Q. Where can I check buildd logs for a particular package on kfreebsd-amd64?

A. and

Q. I'm a Debian maintainer. Is there any machine running GNU/kFreeBSD I can have access to?

A. Yes, see and

Q. How do packages move out of unreleased?