Download and Install

You may either use FreedomBox on one of the supported hardware, install it on a Debian machine, or deploy on a virtual machine.

If you are installing on Debian, you don't need to download these images. Instead read instructions on setting up FreedomBox on Debian.

Downloading Images

Recent images for supported targets are available here:

Verifying the Downloaded Images

It is important to verify the images you have downloaded to ensure that the file has not be corrupted during the transmission and that it is indeed the image built by FreedomBox developers.


After the download you can use the image to boot supported hardware (including virtual machines). You'll need to copy the image to the memory card or USB stick as follows:

  1. Figure out which device your card actually is.
    1. Unplug your card.
    2. Run dmesg -w to show and follow the kernel messages.

    3. Plug your card in. You will see messages such as following:
      [33299.023096] usb 4-6: new high-speed USB device number 12 using ehci-pci
      [33299.157160] usb 4-6: New USB device found, idVendor=058f, idProduct=6361
      [33299.157162] usb 4-6: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
      [33299.157164] usb 4-6: Product: Mass Storage Device
      [33299.157165] usb 4-6: Manufacturer: Generic
      [33299.157167] usb 4-6: SerialNumber: XXXXXXXXXXXX
      [33299.157452] usb-storage 4-6:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
      [33299.157683] scsi host13: usb-storage 4-6:1.0
      [33300.155626] scsi 13:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Generic- Compact Flash    1.01 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
      [33300.156223] scsi 13:0:0:1: Direct-Access     Multiple Flash Reader     1.05 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
      [33300.157059] sd 13:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0
      [33300.157462] sd 13:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg5 type 0
      [33300.462115] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] 30367744 512-byte logical blocks: (15.5 GB/14.4 GiB)
      [33300.464144] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] Write Protect is off
      [33300.464159] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
      [33300.465896] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] No Caching mode page found
      [33300.465912] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] Assuming drive cache: write through
      [33300.470489] sd 13:0:0:0: [sdf] Attached SCSI removable disk
      [33300.479493]  sdg: sdg1
      [33300.483566] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] Attached SCSI removable disk
    4. In the above case, the disk that is newly inserted is available as /dev/sdg. Very carefully note this and use it in the copying step below.

  2. Decompress the downloaded image using tar:
    $ tar -xjvf freedombox-unstable_2015-08-06_beaglebone-armhf-card.tar.bz2

    The above command is an example for the beagblebone image built on 2015-08-06. Your downloaded file name will be different.

  3. Copy the image to your card. Double check and make sure you don't write to your computer's main storage (such as /dev/sda). Also make sure that you don't run this step as root to avoid potential damage. USB disks and SD cards inserted into the system should typically be write accessible to normal users.

    For example, if your SD card is /dev/sdf as noted in the first step above, then to copy the image, run:

    $ cd build
    $ dd bs=1M if=freedombox-unstable_2015-08-06_beaglebone-armhf-card.img of=/dev/sdf conv=fdatasync

    The above command is an example for the beagblebone image built on 2015-08-06. Your image file name will be different.

    When picking a device, use the drive-letter destination, like /dev/sdf, not a numbered destination, like /dev/sdf1. The device without a number refers to the entire device, while the device with a number refers to a specific partition. We want to use the whole device.

  4. Use the image by inserting the SD card or USB disk into the target device and booting from it. Also see hardware specific

    instructions on how to prepare your device at the Hardware section.

  5. Read (the rest of) the Manual for instructions on how to use applications in FreedomBox.