While MidnightBSD plans to target moderate and novice users, currently installation is too difficult for beginners to *NIX like operating systems. Experience with BSD, Linux, or another *NIX like system is very helpful. FreeBSD users familiar with sysinstall should have no problem with this procedure. You may also consult the FreeBSD Handbook for additional information not found on this page.
You may download MidnightBSD from our FTP server or any mirrors, provided that you have a broadband internet connection. You will need disk 1 of a release or snapshot in order to install MidnightBSD.
You will need free space on your hard drive. While the system runs very well on a few gigabytes of disk space, we recommend at least 15GB of space for use with mports on a desktop. An Intel Pentium class computer or equivalent is required. We have removed 486 support from the default install, although it can be compiled in. At least 48MB of RAM is required for installation.
Depending on your needs, various graphics cards are supported at different levels. Many network cards are supported as well as a few wireless network cards. We will document them at a later time. Many onboard audio controllers are supported as well as other cards like the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy and Audigy 2 families.
MidnightBSD can co-exist with Microsoft Windows or Linux on the same disk. It is recommended that you use GRUB from Linux if you wish to dual boot MidnightBSD with Linux. For Windows, the included boot manager is sufficient. (Windows XP was tested). Third party boot managers such as System Commander 8.20 are supported as well. I currently dual boot Windows XP SP2 and MidnightBSD with System Commander on my primary desktop. With Windows Vista, you should use the boot manager included with Vista (and the boot1 file from CD) or a third party boot manager such as gag. The included one with not work with Vista (overwrites it)
You may also install MidnightBSD using a virtualization product such as qemu, Microsoft Virtual PC, or VMware. Parallels has not been tested to my knowledge.
You will need to burn a copy of the Disk 1 iso from our FTP server using your favorite CD burning software. If you need to download burning software, LiquidCD for Mac OS X, and InfraRecorder for Windows XP are both free and easy to use. Also, on OS X, you can burn with Disk Utility. For FreeBSD or MidnightBSD, you can use burncd (part of os).
Insert the MidnightBSD CD into your CD-ROM drive and start up your PC. On some systems, you may need to enter the BIOS to enable booting from the CD-ROM drive first. On some systems, there is a button you can push to select the CD-ROM drive. For instance, on some Dell systems you can press F12 and then pick the CD-ROM drive.
You should see a red and blue screen come up after a few moments preceded by a lot of white and black text. If several minutes pass with no activity and you do not see this screen, please report it. There maybe a bug or an incompatibility with your system we can work to fix.
From this point, you may follow the steps in sysinstall to complete installation. On snapshots, X11 (XORG) and packages are not present. Do not attempt to install these items or you will receive errors. We hope to resolve this by 0.2 release.
You may follow along with the BSD Magazine article on installing MidnightBSD. in the August 2010 issue. This procedure covers 0.1-RELEASE - 0.3-RELEASE. 0.4 installs are a bit different. There are also some YouTube videos available for older releases.
Here is a list of systems that MidnightBSD has been tested on.
|Lenovo ThinkPad A485||Partially works||The onboard WiFi chip is not supported. Display dimming does not work. Sound works. When installed with UEFI amd64 release, X will work with the fb. The AMD graphics are not supported for acceleration. (1.2 release) Note: Ryzen mobile 2500u chips require a boot loader setting in order to boot properly.|
|HP Z420 Workstation||Works||Fully supported. Onboard NIC and sound work. The original nvidia workstation graphics adapter requires a legacy version of the nvidia driver to function due to it's age. Also tested with an AMD Radeon HD 7450 and native x acceleration works with that card.|
|Asus Prime X370 Pro Motherboard||Works||Sound, onboard NIC, SATA controller work. Works with amd64 release of 1.1 and 1.2.|
|Asus Tuf B350-M Gaming Motherboard||Works||Sound, onboard NIC, SATA controller work. Works with amd64 release of 1.1 and 1.2.|
|ASUS PRIME Z270M-Plus motherboard||Works||Tested with i7-7700. Works fine. Audio and integrated graphics work in UEFI fb mode. This board does not work correctly with older releases due to USB compatibility. 1.1 or higher only.|
|AMD Radeon HD 7450||Works||Recommended card. Has high compatibility|
|NVIDIA||Works||Using the binary driver in mports, you can use a NVIDIA 710GT, 960, or 1080ti. Additional cards may work but are untested.|
|AMD integrated graphics (Ryzen)||Partially works||No hardware acceleration is available for AMD vega or higher GPUs. They do work in UEFI fb mode though|
|Dell Precision 650||Works||Dual 2.0Ghz Xeon 3GB ECC RAM IDE. Onboard sound, NIC work. Hyperthreading works|
|Custom Pentium PC||Works||Custom Built Intel Pentium D 805 dual core 2.66Ghz w/ Intel DP965LT motherboard. Onboard sound untested, network card works, IDE channels work (CD-ROM, etc). Sata controller works. Sound Blaster Audigy Gamer and Nvidia GeForce PCIe 7300 work as expected. System was upgraded to an ATI X1900 GT PCIe, that works with X11 using radeonhd (2D only)|
|Virtual PC||Works||Virtual PC for Windows works as expected. VPC 7 for Mac OS X works except the CDROM drive is "lost" during install. If you can get it installed using ftp install, it will work fine. Note, you must install 0.1.1 from FTP and then upgrade to 0.2 as sysinstall FTP installation is broken in 0.2.1|
|VMware||Works||VMware player works under Windows Vista or XP. VMware Fusion on Mac OS X runs MidnightBSD as expected. Unable to install the vmware-tools for better performance.|
|Sun Netra T1||Works||You must use the 0.1 snap and then update to 0.2.1 release. We want to support these again come 0.3. One is a T1 105. Systems have 512MB and 768MB RAM, SCSI disks, one has an IDE cdrom drive. Onboard NICs work.|
|Qemu||Works||One of our developers uses qemu with the system. It is included in mports.|
|Parallels||Works||Parallels 3 or 4 work with MidnightBSD. Releases were tested on Parallels first actually. 0.4's SMP support works. Mac or PC versions.|
|IBM Thinkpad T30||Works||Sound, video, NIC, DVD all work. System won't sleep and LCD won't turn off. This model has the "pointer stick" and does not have built in wifi. Using ndis with a broadcom wireless NIC works.|
|Asus M4A78 Plus Motherboard + AMD Phenom 9600||Does not work||USB controller causes panics, freezes. Must disable USB 2 in bios to boot. Onboard NIC not supported and must be disabled. System supported otherwise.|
|iMac 2.0Ghz Core 2 Duo with 3GB RAM. (silver/black model) Feb 2008||Mostly works||Wifi is not supported, although may work with NDIS drivers from bootcamp. Will boot off live cd without problem. Onboard NIC supported in 0.2.1-RELEASE or CURRENT. wifi might work in current with SMP disabled using bwi(4). Sound untested.|
|Mac Pro 2.0Ghz Quad Core (2 x 2)||Does not work||No video and freezes on bootup. Hates the sata dvd drive.|
|Dell Precision 650||Works||Dual 2.0Ghz Xeon 1GB ECC RAM SCSI and IDE. Onboard sound, NIC work.|
|Custom Pentium PC||Works||Custom Built Intel Pentium D 805 dual core 2.66Ghz w/ Intel DP965LT motherboard. Onboard sound untested, network card works, IDE channels do not work (CD-ROM, etc). Sata controller works in recent snapshots. Sound Blaster Audigy Gamer and Nvidia GeForce PCIe 7300 work as expected.|
|Custom PC||Works||Custom Built Nvidia nForce 2 w/ sata raid (MSI motherboard) 512mb PC2700 DDR, 2 sata disks in gmirror raid 1 configuration, 1 ide disk for boot partition, onboard sound, Geforce 5200 AGP 8x. Onboard NIC (nvidia maclan) did not work correctly, but an OEM Intel em worked as expected. Some disk corruption occured on the sata raid setup, but determined to be a faulty drive.|
|Compaq Cyrix based 366Mhz||Works||X11 was not tested, but all devices including an included 3com 905 NIC worked as expected.|
|Dell PowerEdge 5300||Works||Xeon 550Mhz PIII 512MB RAM, all scsi system. Works as expected including integrated ATI graphics.|
|Virtual PC||Works||Virtual PC for Windows works as expected. VPC 7 for Mac OS X works except the CDROM drive is "lost" during install. If you can get it installed using ftp install, it will work fine.|
|VMware||Works||VMware player works under Windows Vista. VMware Fusion on Mac OS X runs MidnightBSD as expected. Unable to install the vmware-tools for better performance.|
|Sun Ultra 10 3D creator||Works||Early releases were tested on a Sun Ultra 10 3D creator. The system died however. Last known working release was 0.1.1.|
|Qemu||Works||One of our developers uses qemu often with the system. It is included in mports. I believe he's also run MidnightBSD virtualized inside of OpenBSD.|
In general, if hardware worked in FreeBSD 6.0 Release it will most likely work in MidnightBSD. Some drivers were imported from FreeBSD 6.1 beta, 6.1 Release and 6.2. 0.3-CURRENT includes drivers from FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE. We've also added support for several other systems such as network cards found in Intel based iMacs, newer AMD, Intel and NVIDIA SATA chipsets, and fixes for Apple mice.
Currently, the only method to update the OS core libraries is through use of the subversion tool. MidnightBSD 0.6 and higher include the svnlite command as part of the base system. You may checkout the updated source code from the stable branch of the release and build it. Detailed instructions are available in the developer section of the website.
We plan to add binary update capability to the mport tools. This work has not yet started.
Packages may be updated with the mport update or mport upgrade commands. The latter will update all installed packages whereas the former can be used to update individual packages.