New: Try the bsdconfig command :-)

Questions? You can email me at kamila@ksp.sk, I like questions!


  • FreeBSD Handbook: PDF, online, or EPUB
  • FreeBSD downloads page: https://www.freebsd.org/where.html
  • programs:
    • SSH client for Windows: PuTTY
      • you may want to allow root login on your VMs (don’t do it in production!) – look for PermitRootLogin in /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  • specialised FreeBSD-based systems
    • pfSense: FreeBSD + PF-based firewall with a web interface and extra features out of the box
    • FreeNAS: pre-configured ZFS-based NAS
      • does not really add that much to plain FreeBSD – especially because you are now all experts on ZFS!
    • TrueOS: FreeBSD with a graphical interface pre-configured with some nice features
      • you can get the same with just plain FreeBSD, but with TrueOS the nice extras are there right after installation
  • Fish shell tutorial for absolute beginners [WIP]


  • Playing with virtual networks in VirtualBox:
    • use a bridged adapter if you want the VM to get an IP address from the router (like your laptop does)
    • use “internal network” to connect VMs to one another (but not to the outside)
  • Very very very useful command I forgot to mention: bsdconfig (try it!)


What next

Some suggestions for things which are easy to set up on FreeBSD within existing Windowsey infrastructure

Things you already know how to do:

  • Firewall / router
  • Free HTTPS: use nginx as a proxy, combine with certbot for getting SSL certificates automatically and for free
  • DNS server (use NSD for authoritative or unbound for caching)

Things you almost know how to do:

  • NextCloud server (like SharePoint, but it works! / like DropBox, but on your own infrastructure): pkg install nextcloud :-)
  • Web server: nginx is a good server, combine with e.g. python… or php72 if you really have to

More complicated, but still easy to integrate:

  • File server on ZFS: use Samba to expose a ZFS filesystem to Windows machines
  • spam filter: pass your email through postfix+rspamd and forward to your existing Exchange server

More things to learn

All of this is in the handbook.

  • Jails:
    • very useful lightweight isolation mechanism
    • like virtual machines, but more lightweight (less memory, less disk, faster)
    • if you have multiple independent things in the server, just make jails for them
    • see the handbook!