Pre-installation Tasks

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Pre-installation Tasks

Back Up Your Data

Back up all important data on the target computer where GhostBSD will be installed. The GhostBSD installer will not ask before making changes to the disk, but once the process has started it cannot be undone.

Check for FreeBSD Errata

GhostBSD is based on FreeBSD. Although the FreeBSD Project strives to ensure that each release of FreeBSD is as stable as possible, bugs occasionally creep into the process. On very rare occasions those bugs affect the installation process. As these problems are discovered and fixed, they are noted in 11.1-RELEASE Errata page on the FreeBSD web site. Check the errata before installing to make sure that there are no problems that might affect the installation.

Prepare the Installation Media

The GhostBSD installation media is available in .iso (DVD) or .img (USB flash drive) file formats. Copies of GhostBSD installation media are available for free at the GhostBSD download page.

Creating a bootable USB Flash Drive


After downloading the appropriate USB .img file, you must copy it to a USB 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 flash drive.

On Linux

Depending on the image filename, issue one of the following commands:

sudo dd if=GhostBSD11.1-mate-amd64.img of=/dev/sdf bs=1M conv=sync


sudo dd if=GhostBSD11.1-xfce-amd64.img of=/dev/sdf bs=1M conv=sync


Depending on the image filename, issue one of the following commands:

dd if=/path/to/GhostBSD11.1-mate-amd64.img of=/dev/da0 bs=1m conv=sync


dd if=/path/to/GhostBSD11.1-xfce-amd64.img of=/dev/da0 bs=1m conv=sync

On Windows

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

Graphical tool
  1. Download the desired .img file
  2. Download Disk Imager from
  3. Insert your USB flash drive
  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 USB flash drive when the operation is complete
Command prompt tool
  1. Download the desired .img file
  2. Download flashnul from
  3. Attach your USB flash 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.img
  7. Answer "yes" if the selected destination device is correct
  8. Remove your USB flash drive when the command completes


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