FreeBSD in a chroot

For FreeNAS, NAS4Free and pfSense.


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:


Host hardware (or VMs) must be running one of the following operating systems.

Supported Platforms:

Disk space requirements:

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

Requirements for FreeBSD: 3 The host system must have writable, persistent /etc and /usr/local folders. 4 The host system either needs a working pkg-ng system, or the packages sudo and bash pre-installed.


alias finch-bootstrap="SSL_NO_VERIFY_PEER=YES fetch -q -o - | sh -s --"
finch-bootstrap --help

To install Finch,

finch-bootstrap install --dir "/path/to/finch"

Replacing /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.

What next ?