The following commands will only work in Mac OS X. For other operating systems see the FreeBSD Handbook!

At the time of writing this post, FreeBSD 10 is in PRERELEASE mode and according to the Release Schedule is nearly finished. So let’s get the latest snapshot from:

After FreeBSD 10 has been released, just go to and download the latest RELEASE version.

I’m using the AMD64 memstick image as my server has a 64-bit CPU:

curl -O

Now connect your USB stick to your Mac and find the device name with mount:

$ mount
/dev/disk1 on / (hfs, local, journaled)
devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse)
/dev/disk0s4 on /Volumes/BOOTCAMP (ntfs, local, read-only, noowners)
map -hosts on /net (autofs, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse)
map auto_home on /home (autofs, automounted, nobrowse)
/dev/disk2s1 on /Volumes/CORSAIR (msdos, local, nodev, nosuid, noowners)

Your output might look a bit different. My USB stick is fresh out of the box and is FAT32 (MS-DOS) formated and called CORSAIR.

If you’re not sure which line represents your USB stick:

  1. Remove the USB stick from your Mac
  2. Run mount
  3. Insert your USB stick
  4. Run mount again and find the volume that was added

The relevant line in my case is:

/dev/disk2s1 on /Volumes/CORSAIR (msdos, local, nodev, nosuid, noowners)

Note that the USB stick is represented by /dev/disk2.

It’s very important that you use the correct device shown on YOUR system. If you use the wrong disk, the following dd command WILL DESTROY your data!

Unmount the USB stick:

$ diskutil umount /dev/disk2s1
Volume CORSAIR on disk2s1 unmounted

Now write the FreeBSD installer image to the USB stick. This will take some time.

$ sudo dd if=FreeBSD-10.0-PRERELEASE-amd64-20131230-r260064-memstick.img of=/dev/disk2 bs=64k
$ sync

You can now safely remove the USB stick from your Mac and use it to boot into the FreeBSD installer.