A few quick thoughts about FreeBSD 10 installer

The new FreeBSD 10 installer makes a lot of things easier (such as installing ZFS or encrypted filesystems), but there’s a few quick hints I have:

 

If installing using a UFS fileystem type (the default), I prefer to re-partition so that the swap space is at the start of the disk instead of the end.

This makes it easiest to expand the root filesystem later (especially if you’re installing onto a virtual machine)

 

If installing using ZFS and using multiple disks the installer will spread your swap partition across all disks – however these will NOT be protected by ZFS.

If you have a disk failure, any swap space on that disk will disappear and your machine will potentially crash and reboot.

I prefer to set the swap space to “0G” which causes the installer not to create a swap partition, and then I configure a swap file instead (i’ll post another blog post about creating swap files in FreeBSD 10+) which is protected by the ZFS subsystem.

This doesn’t apply if you’re installing onto a single drive (or a hardware raid array)

 

If you want any kind of performance from encrypted ZFS, make sure your CPU supports the ‘AESNI’ (or AES New Instructions) flag – it really makes a huge difference to the speed achieved.

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