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At first, GhostBSD did mean "<tt>Gnome haked operating system technology on FreeBSD<tt>" which later it became what was referred to as “<tt>Gnome hosted on BSD</tt>.” However, at present, GhostBSD supports the MATE desktop environment, so it is more accurate to refer to GhostBSD as "<tt>GTK hosted on BSD</tt>."
At first, GhostBSD did mean "<tt>Gnome haked operating system technology on FreeBSD</tt>" which later it became what was referred to as “<tt>Gnome hosted on BSD</tt>.” However, at present, GhostBSD supports the MATE desktop environment, so it is more accurate to refer to GhostBSD as "<tt>GTK hosted on BSD</tt>."
=== What is the latest version of GhostBSD? === <!--T:19-->
=== What is the latest version of GhostBSD? === <!--T:19-->

Revision as of 09:55, 21 November 2018

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This document aims to cover the most frequently asked questions concerning the GhostBSD operating system.

Every effort has been made to make this FAQ as informative as possible; if you have any suggestions as to how it may be improved, please feel free to contact us.


What is GhostBSD?

Briefly, GhostBSD is a UNIX®-like operating system. It works on AMD64 and Intel® platforms. GhostBSD is based on TrueOS. Trueos is based on FreeBSD, which is based on U.C. Berkeley’s “4.4BSD-Lite” release, with some “4.4BSD-Lite2” enhancements. It is also based indirectly on William Jolitz’s port of U.C. Berkeley’s “Net/2” to the i386, known as “386BSD”, though very little of the 386BSD code remains. GhostBSD provides a MATE desktop.

Who can use GhostBSD?

GhostBSD can be used by companies, researchers, computer professionals, students and home users all over the world in their work, education, and recreation.

What is the goal of the GhostBSD Project?

The goal of the GhostBSD Project is to combine the ease of use of a set of GTK desktops with security and flexibility of the underlying TrueOS mechanisms. GhostBSD is a great tool to learn TrueOS and start one’s adventure in the BSD world. GhostBSD may be used for any purpose and without strings attached.

Does the GhostBSD license have any restrictions?

Yes. Those restrictions do not control how you use the code, merely how you treat the GhostBSD Project itself. If you have serious license concerns, read the actual license. For the simply curious, the license can be summarized like this:

  • Do not claim that you wrote this.
  • Do not sue us if it breaks.

Can GhostBSD replace my current operating system?

For most users, yes.

Most people do not actually use an operating system. They use applications, as these are what really makes a computer useful. GhostBSD is designed to provide a desktop and full-featured environment for applications. It supports a wide variety of web browsers, office suites, email readers, graphics programs, programming environments, network servers, and just about everything else you might want. Most of these applications can be built using the TrueOS Ports Collection.

If you need to use an application that is only available on one operating system, you cannot easily replace that operating system (this situation is referred to as vendor lock-in). However, chances are that there is a very similar application on GhostBSD, however. If you want a solid office or internet server, a reliable workstation, or just the ability to do your job without interruptions, GhostBSD will almost certainly do everything you need.

If you are migrating to GhostBSD from some other UNIX®-like environment, you already know most of what you need to know. If your background is in graphic-driven operating systems such as Microsoft Windows® and older versions of MacOS®, expect to invest additional time learning the UNIX way of doing things.

Why is it called GhostBSD?

At first, GhostBSD did mean "Gnome haked operating system technology on FreeBSD" which later it became what was referred to as “Gnome hosted on BSD.” However, at present, GhostBSD supports the MATE desktop environment, so it is more accurate to refer to GhostBSD as "GTK hosted on BSD."

What is the latest version of GhostBSD?

At this point in time, we are at version 18.10.

Releases are usually made every several months.

Version 19.02 is next to come, following the release cycle of TrueOS.

Many GhostBSD users stay up to date using other mechanisms available to TrueOS users.

When are GhostBSD releases made?

The developer's team releases a new version more or less every several  months. GhostBSD follows the release dates of TrueOS. A testing period precedes each release in order to ensure that the addition of new features does not compromise the stability of the release.

How can I contribute?

There are several ways to contribute to the GhostBSD project:

  • If you are a programmer and want to learn more about the TrueOS operating system, consider becoming a developer.
  • If you are artistically inclined, consider helping us create fan art, logos, wallpapers, or help design/maintain the website layout.
  • If you have good writing skills and know English well, consider helping us by producing content for the website and wiki.
  • If you find a software problem (i.e., bug), please submit a problem report (PR) here.
  • If none of the above apply to you, consider using GhostBSD and report any bugs you've discovered or any ideas that you might have about how to improve the system. You might also consider simply spreading the word about GhostBSD!

If you want to contribute in any way, please reach out to us via Telegram https://t.me/ghostbsd, IRC Freenode #ghostbsd, or GhostBSD Forums.


What’s the best way to get support?

At this point, the best ways to contact other GhostBSD users or developers are:

FAQ and User Handbook are under development. Questions can be answered on the forums and IRC will find their way to this page or the handbook.

Where can I find complete information on how to get things done in GhostBSD?

For the most part, things can be done on GhostBSD the same way they are done on TrueOS. This is why we encourage our users to check out the great FreeBSD Handbook and TrueOS Handbook in case of any doubts or questions. If the handbooks do not cover a specific area of your interest, the Telegram channel will probably hold the answers you seek.


Where can I get GhostBSD?

Every release image of GhostBSD is available via SourceForge site:

  • The latest releases images can be found on the Download page.
  • Our Torrent file are available from GotBSD or from the project page (currently not up to date).
  • You can also buy GhostBSD DVDs and USB flash drives from OSDisc.com.

All image checksums, hybrid ISO (DVD, USB) and torrent, are available here.

How do I create a bootable USB pendrive?

Up to version 4.0 separate USB images (with the .img extension) existed that were suitable for USB flash drives. Since version 10.1, GhostBSD releases so-called hybrid ISOs which can either be burned on a DVD or written on a flash drive. Select your preferred desktop and the right architecture and download the ISO. After downloading compare the checksum (optional) and write the content of the iso on a flash drive using one of the methods described below. Since the image itself can be slightly above 2 GB in size, we suggest you use at least a 4 GB pendrive.

Here are examples using the console (use the filename of your ISO and make sure you replace the "sdX" with the right device's name!). The following requires root privileges (issue as user root or use sudo).


dd if=GhostBSD18.10-RC1.iso of=/dev/da0 bs=4m

On Linux

dd if=GhostBSD18.10-RC1.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=4M

On Mac

dd if=GhostBSD18.10-RC1.iso of=/dev/disk2 bs=10240

On Windows

This solution comes from the Ubuntu help site, but it applies to GhostBSD as well. You can use one of two tools to create a bootable pendrive on Windows.

Graphical tool on Windows
  1. Download the desired ISO file
  2. Download the Disk Imager from http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/
  3. Insert your flash media
  4. Note the drive letter assigned to your flash media
  5. Start Disk Imager
  6. Select the downloaded file and target device, and click "Write"
  7. Remove your flash media when the operation is complete
Command prompt tool on Windows
  1. Download the desired ISO file
  2. Download flashnul from http://shounen.ru/soft/flashnul
  3. Attach your USB drive
  4. Run flashnul -p
  5. Note the physical device number for the USB drive
  6. Run flashnul <number obtained in prior step> -L \path\to\downloaded.iso
  7. Answer "yes" if the selected destination device is correct
  8. Remove your USB drive when the command finished


After completing the above steps, the pendrive should hold a bootable GhostBSD system. Just reboot your machine and make sure you boot from the USB - it should then start a live session.

Where are the instructions for installing GhostBSD?

Installation instructions for versions beginning with GhostBSD 3.1 can be found in the handbook entry on Installing GhostBSD.

Software Installation

How do I install new software?

In GhostBSD software can be installed in three different ways:

  • OctoPkg is a GTK+ based tool to manage (search, install and uninstall) binary packages on BSD systems.
  • GhostBSD's package manager PKG can be used to manage packages using the command line.
  • TrueOS' Ports is one of the most useful and unique features of GhostBSD compared to most Linux distributions.

Can I use Linux software on my GhostBSD system?

First, you should know that most "Linux" software is really open source software. That is, it is freely available for many operating systems, not just Linux. There are some programs that make use of Linux exclusive features (we call those Linuxisms) that won't run anywhere else. A very high amount of popular projects however care for portability and make sure that their software will build and work on multiple operating systems.

Even if the program that you are looking for is not available as a package it can probably be built on GhostBSD. Just give it a try if you know how to compile software yourself. You can always ask on the forums if you need help. Somebody in the community might be able to help you. If you get the program to work, tell us! If you want the program to be available as a package in the future, a port needs to be created for it. For a lot of programs, this is not too hard to do and the FreeBSD community is very welcoming towards new porters.

Like FreeBSD, GhostBSD provides something called Linux Binary Compatibility. In short, that means you can run many Linux applications as-is. This section of the FreeBSD Handbook explains Linux Compatibility in more detail and describes what to do when things don't work.

GhostBSD comes with Linux Binary Compatibility already configured for you and it should "just work". You may want to install the linux_base-c7 (based on Linux CentOS 7.4.1708) though that provides a lot of basic Linux libraries that might be needed by a lot of Linux applications. If your program needs any other libraries you'll have to provide them by manually copying them in (see this section of the FreeBSD handbook).

Using GhostBSD 18.10-RC1, it is even possible to run 64 bit Linux binaries. In general, it does provide a means of running Linux applications on GhostBSD.

Does GhostBSD Support Adobe Flash plugin?

Yes, but a native Adobe® Flash® plugin is not available for GhostBSD. However, a software wrapper for running the Linux® version of the plugin is available. This wrapper also provides support for other browser plugins such as RealPlayer®.

Look Installing Adobe Flash Plugin

System and software updates

How should I update GhostBSD to latest TrueOS updates?

GhostBSD supports trueos-update command line to update the TrueOS base system.

trueos-update fetch install


Preliminary Reading and set of Manual bring up Instructions Wireless Instructions for FreeBSD

My Wi-Fi doesn't work.

[1] The Wikipedia link explaining Wi-Fi terms.

Look if the wlan0 interface is configured.

cat /etc/rc.conf | grep wlan0

If you have an output similar to:

ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"

Your Wi-Fi wlan0 interface is configured, but it might be down.

sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

Now bring it up and it should work.

Scan for Wi-Fi access point signals

sudo ifconfig wlan0 up scan
SSID/MESH ID    BSSID              CHAN RATE    S:N     INT CAPS
innflux         2c:e6:cc:25:32:18    6   54M  -86:-96   100 ES   WME HTCAP
innflux         2c:e6:cc:25:68:78    6   54M  -71:-96   100 ES   WME HTCAP

If you have no output, this mean the GhostBSD network configuration system has not detected your Wi-Fi PCI card or Wi-Fi USB dongle. The next step for you, will be to look if GhostBSD has your Wi-Fi drivers installed. Do you have your kernel Wi-Fi driver loaded? Check your loaded kernel modules with kldstat command.

sudo kldstat

Manually load the necessary kernel modules for your devices. Later edit the file /boot/loader.conf for these kernel modules to be loaded automatically during bootup. Unload the old version of urtwn driver with kldunload command. Example below loads newer version of the usb urtwn & pci rtwn modules combined into one rtwn kernel module after FreeBSD 11.0-Current revision r307529. sudo kldunload if_urtwn.ko sudo kldload if_rtwn.ko if_rtwn_usb.ko if_rtwn_pci.ko sudo kldstat

List your PCI bus devices: sudo pciconf -lv none2 is the RealTek RTL8188CE internal PCI Wifi interface. alc0 is the Atheros 10/100 Megabyte Fast Ethernet PCI interface, hard wired RJ45 ethernet input.

alc0@pci0:1:0:0:	class=0x020000 card=0xff1e1179 chip=0x20621969 rev=0xc1 hdr=0x00
    vendor     = 'Qualcomm Atheros'
    device     = 'AR8152 v2.0 Fast Ethernet'
    class      = network
    subclass   = ethernet
none2@pci0:2:0:0:	class=0x028000 card=0x818110ec chip=0x817610ec rev=0x01 hdr=0x00
    vendor     = 'Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.'
    device     = 'RTL8188CE 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter'
    class      = network

List your USB devices looking for a wireless Wi-Fi usb dongle :usbconfig or usbconfig dump_info or usbconfig list In the example "usbconfig" list below, there is NOT a WiFi usb dongle plugged into the computer system.

ugen0.1: <Intel EHCI root HUB> at usbus0, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
ugen1.1: <Intel EHCI root HUB> at usbus1, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
ugen0.2: <vendor 0x8087 product 0x0024> at usbus0, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
ugen1.2: <vendor 0x8087 product 0x0024> at usbus1, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
ugen0.3: <Generic USB2.0-CRW> at usbus0, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON (500mA)
ugen0.4: <Importek TOSHIBA Web Camera> at usbus0, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON (500mA)
ugen1.3: <Maxtor OneTouch> at usbus1, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON (2mA)

Check your interface connections for 802.11 wireless.

sudo ifconfig | grep -B 3 802.11

In this case run0 is the WiFi drivers.

run0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 2290
       ether 00:1e:e5:e6:5d:1
       media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11a

If you have an output similar from the example above, you need to configure the file /etc/rc.conf using the ee editor.

sudo ee /etc/rc.conf

Add these 2 lines in the file /etc/rc.conf (replace 'run0' by your drivers).

ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"

Press the Esc and save the file. Now you need to restart network interfaces netif. once done, restart the network routing daemon:

sudo /etc/rc.d/netif restart or service netif restart
sudo /etc/rc.d/routing restart or service routing restart

Your wifi is now configured. You might have to set wlan0 interface up.

sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

Last you can manually run : dhclient wlan0 You might have to kill off an existing running dhclient process, to manual test getting a dynamic IP address from a dhcp server.

killall dhclient :
dhclient wlan0

Print the routing table information for IP4 addresses. You can google search for useage of FreeBSD command netstat Display the kernel routing information using netstat -r command. In example "routing tables" below, only print out IP4 addresses.

netstat -4r
Routing tables

Destination        Gateway            Flags     Netif Expire
default            gateway.innflux.co UGS        alc0       link#1             U          alc0       link#1             UHS         lo0
localhost          link#2             UH          lo0

If you have no output with sudo ifconfig | grep -B 3 802.11, this can mean your Wi-Fi kernel module is not compiled into GhostBSD or your Wi-Fi card is not yet supported by FreeBSD. Then please complete a problem report form Your report will help us to improve GhostBSD.

Why the Wi-Fi Network Manager doesn't work?

You might look at #Why my Wi-Fi doesn't work? (from above). If you have your Wi-Fi Configured and the Wi-Fi Network Manager still not working.

sudo ifconfig wlan0 scan

You should have something similar to this:

rogerwifi       bc:14:01:e6:33:48    1   54M -23:-42  100 EP   WPS HTCAP WPA RSN WME
-               bc:14:01:e6:33:49    1   54M -20:-38  100 EP   HTCAP RSN WME
WLAN_6EF1       00:13:f7:c4:6e:f3   11   54M -12:-21  200 ES  
BSDHacker       5c:d9:98:69:df:2e   11   54M -15:-27  100 EP   HTCAP WPA WME WPS

If not, create a new wlan device (replace run0 by your drivers; like rtwn0 or urtwn0 ).

sudo ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev run0

If not sudo ifconfig wlan0 up scan should do it. Now you can setup your network. From above you have non-encrypted and encrypted Wi-Fi networks listed. WLAN_6EFI is non-encrypted access point. rogerwifi and BSDHacker are encrypted access points.

For a non-encrypted Wi-Fi network add the following lines to the file /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.


For an encrypted Wi-Fi network add the following lines to the file /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.


After editing the /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf file, execute the wpa_supplicant command and the dhclient command.

killall dhclient
wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf 
dhclient wlan0

For more completed documentation see Wireless Networking.

If sudo ifconfig wlan0 up scan still not scanning, then please complete a problem report form. Your report will help to improve GhostBSD.


Does GhostBSD support the 3D acceleration of my graphics card?

It depends on the hardware of your graphics card, to have support by GhostBSD (or not).[1]

3D acceleration will not work on ATI or Radeon cards until FreeBSD completes its TTM[2] work (possibly in time for FreeBSD 10.0)[3]. You can still use these cards, but you will have to choose the 2D driver, and if that does not work, you will need to resort to using the Vesa driver.
GhostBSD supports 3D acceleration on most Intel graphics cards. Due to the current KMS support[2], you will not be able to switch between the graphical console and a virtual console (using Crtl+Alt+F#) when using the "sc" console driver.
Switching between graphics and text consoles will work when using the "vt" console driver, and GhostBSD right now default to "vt" console.
Nvidia Graphics
Yes! But nvidia-driver must be loaded.[3] The software can be installed easily, for example by using the (bxPKG/pkg) Package Manager or using ports as described on this page Nvidia driver installation.


  1. FreeBSD Handbook: Xorg Configuration#Caveats
  2. FreeBSD Wiki: Graphics#Kernel drivers
  3. FreeBSD Wiki: Ports/X11/Roadmap