FreeBSD in a chroot
Finch is FreeBSD running inside a
chroot. Finch is best used as a way to extend the functionality of restricted USB-based FreeBSD distributions, usually FreeNAS and NAS4Free. For added convenience, Finch also includes the
qjail jails management tool. Since FreeBSD jails are such a popular request.
Recommended system configuration:
# Restricted FreeBSD host <--> FreeBSD-in-a-chroot (a.k.a "Finch") <--> Qjail <--> jails
Why do I need Finch ?
FreeNAS, NAS4Free, pfSense:
- To manage jails with
- To use
pkg install ..., the official FreeBSD tool otherwise known as
- To have a full, official FreeBSD system image, including ports tree and kernel sources.
- To have all the basics preconfigured for you, and a consistent shell environment.
Host hardware (or VMs) must be running one of the following operating systems.
- FreeNAS 9.2 or higher
- NAS4Free 9.2 or higher
- pfSense 2.2 or higher 1,2
- FreeBSD3,4 10.0-RELEASE or higher.
Disk space requirements:
- Hard disk or SSD, with a UFS or ZFS partition.
- At least 5GB of free space.
- Finch doesn't require any special boot partition.
Requirements for pfSense: 1 1GB disk image or larger (not "512mb"). 2 pfSense 2.2 might not be finished, and still in beta testing. You need a 2.2-beta snapshot dated 16th-April-2014 or newer. Available at http://snapshots.pfsense.org/.
Requirements for FreeBSD: 3 The host system must have writable, persistent
/usr/local folders. 4 The host system either needs a working
pkg-ng system, or the packages
- Check that your system matches the Platform Requirements.
- pfSense only - follow the Pre-Install Steps.
- Login as the
rootuser. Then copy-paste these 3 commands into your terminal window:
/bin/sh alias finch-bootstrap="SSL_NO_VERIFY_PEER=YES fetch -q -o - http://git.io/HxXrsw | sh -s --" finch-bootstrap --help
finch-bootstrap --helpwill show you the available installer options.
- Under normal conditions the default settings should be fine.
To install Finch,
finch-bootstrap install --dir "/path/to/finch"
/path/to/finch with the full path where Finch is to be installed.
Then follow the platform-specific post install steps, which you must do after running the installer.
- The Finch "bootstrap" installer will run it's preflight checks and ask for confirmation before continuing.
You will be guided through the remainder of the installation process.
Follow carefully any instructions being printed by the
finch-bootstrapinstaller. Those messages provide valuable information about your Finch setup and help to avoid any unnecessary issues.
On FreeNAS / NAS4Free it is worth configuring SMTP email in the Web GUI. Be sure to also set a "to:" destination address in your SMARTD email settings. Then you will be emailed progress updates during installation.
Why no FreeBSD port / pkg? Reason: Finch is downloaded directly over the internet to your host system. For more details please search the FAQ. And look for a section entitled: Why is there no FreeBSD port for this software?.
What next ?
- Why not bury oneself in the Finch manpage. For that authentic UNIX experience.
- Or consult the Using Finch page to learn all the basics.
- Head straight on over to the Jails How to to learn about creating & managing FreeBSD jails.
- Scour through the Finch FAQ for answers to those burning questions.
- Need to Upgrade? Then it's time to read our comprehensive guide on Upgrading Finch.