FreeBSD 12.1 available

FreeBSD 12.1 is now available. This is largely a maintenance release. To the best of my knowledge this is the BSD with the best track record on OpenPOWER so far; it is otherwise a relatively straightforward 64-bit big-endian Power implementation. I'm still a NetBSD dweeb personally (on mac68k, macppc, cobalt and hpcsh) and I'm looking forward to someone porting it sooner or later, but if you want a BSD on your Blackbird or Talos II right now this is probably your best bet.

The installation directions for the Blackbird should work as is for the Talos II. However, if you've already got the ISO (not the .img) dd'ed to a USB stick, it seems to me that it should "just work" in Petitboot without all the goofing around at the BMC prompt (if you don't, though, then these instructions will allow you to bring the machine "up from nothing").

If you are already running FreeBSD, unfortunately it does not seem that the PowerPC port of FreeBSD supports freebsd-update(8) yet, though I imagine this is planned. FreeBSD 13-CURRENT boots and runs fine on the Raptor family as well, but no clear word on when that will reach release yet.


  1. FreeBSD 13.0 should be out in early to mid 2021. We've been on a ~2-2.5 year major release cycle.

    freebsd-update only supports Tier 1 architectures, which at this time are i386 and amd64. Tier 2 is stuck with source updates only. Good news is we do have packages for most ports.


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