Name: FreeBSD
Active Yes
Purpose General Linux
Ignition install No
Compatibility All A38x MicroSoms
More information
Maintained by FreeBSD team


FreeBSD is an operating system for a variety of platforms which focuses on features, speed, and stability. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX® developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large community.

Prepare your uSD card

Configure partitions of uSD card

Adjust the card to the Clearfog boot from SD requirements - let’s assume the card is present in the FreeBSD host system as /dev/mmcsd0:

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mmcsd0
# gpart create -s MBR mmcsd0
# gpart add -t \!12 -b 4096 -s 32m mmcsd0
# gpart set -a active -i 1 mmcsd0
# gpart add -t \!12 -s 32m mmcsd0
# gpart set -a active -i 2 mmcsd0
# gpart add -t freebsd -s 2048m mmcsd0
# gpart create -s BSD mmcsd0s3
# gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -a 2m mmcsd0s3
# newfs_msdos /dev/mmcsd0s2
# newfs /dev/mmcsd0s3a

Mount uSD card

# mkdir /mnt/boot /mnt/rootfs
# mount -t msdosfs /dev/mmcsd0s2 /mnt/boot
# mount /dev/mmcsd0s3a /mnt/rootfs

Install FreeBSD on uSD card

This part must be done on the FreeBSD host (via virtual machine or natively). It’s impossible to build it directly on other OS.

Download sources

$ pkg install git
$ git clone
$ cd freebsd

Export variables for cross-compilation

Some variables (shareown, makeobjdirprefix, etc) should be adjusted to your needs.

User in SHAREOWN variable must exist.

$ setenv ARCH arm
$ setenv TARGET_ARCH armv6
$ setenv DESTDIR /mnt/rootfs
$ setenv SHAREOWN user
$ setenv SHAREGRP wheel

Build and install kernel

Use -j option to set cores/threads. In my case 4 threads.

$ make -j4 kernel-toolchain
$ make -j4 buildkernel KERNCONF=ARMADA38X
$ make installkernel KERNCONF=ARMADA38X

Build and install world

$ make builddtb FDT_DTS_FILE=armada-388-clearfog.dts
$ make -j4 buildworld -DWITH_FDT
$ make installworld $INSTALL_OPTS
$ make distrib-dirs
$ make distribution

At this point you have compiled and installed FreeBSD with the kernel at /mnt/rootfs/boot/kernel/ and dtb’s in /mnt/rootfs/boot/dtb/ directories of the mounted storage.

Copy loader to boot partition

# cp /mnt/rootfs/boot/ubldr.bin /mnt/boot/

Configure fstab

# echo "/dev/mmcsd0s3a / ufs rw 1 1" >> /mnt/rootfs/etc/fstab

Environment variables for loader + tuning the kernel

In file /boot/loader.conf you can set kernel variables, which are passed further by loader.

Execute lines below to turn on L1 cache prefetch in FreeBSD kernel.

# echo “hw.cpu.quirks.actlr_set = 0x4” >> /mnt/rootfs/boot/loader.conf
# echo “hw.cpu.quirks.actlr_mask = 0x4” >> /mnt/rootfs/boot/loader.conf

Later once the kernel is running on the target machine, above variables values can be verified, using sysctls.

# sysctl -a | grep hw.cpu

Unmount uSD card

# umount /mnt/boot /mnt/rootfs

Following part of tutorial will cover all things necessary to build u-boot


Remember switch to linux machine.

Get toolchain and set env variables for cross compilation

$ cd
$ wget
$ tar xvf gcc-linaro-4.9-2014.11-x86_64_arm-linux-gnueabi.tar.xz
$ export CROSS_COMPILE=”$HOME/gcc-linaro-4.9-2014.11-x86_64_arm-linux-gnueabi/bin/arm-linux-gnueabi-”
 $ export ARCH=arm 

Download and build u-boot

Assuming, that the uSD card is present in the system as /dev/mmcblk0:

$ git clone
$ cd u-boot-armada38x
$ make armada_38x_clearfog_config
$ make u-boot.mmc
# dd if=u-boot.mmc of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=512 seek=1

Plug SD card to board and turn the Clearfog on.

U-boot configuration

Open board serial console, reset SoC and wait for:

Hit any key to stop autoboot:

Stop In U-Boot by pressing any key. Then set proper booting command in bootcmd variable:

setenv fdtfile armada-388-clearfog.dtb
setenv bootcmd ‘fatload mmc 0:2 900000 ubldr.bin; go 900000;’
setenv bootdelay 5 #or smaller

Now you could restart board and wait for system:


After less then minute you could login to FreeBSD:

FreeBSD/arm (Amnesiac) (ttyu0)


Set root password

After login to FreeBSD (root with no password) you can set password by typing:


Then you have to type new password 2 times.

Create ordinary user

To create new user use:


It works in interactive mode, so it will ask you few questions and suggest default values

Grow rootfs partition

If size of your SD card is larger than size of partition you have created you can type following command:

service growfs onestart

It will resize rootfs to maximum size.

Official SolidRun Images

The latest images can be found here:

Known Issues

Switching between Clearfog Base and Clearfog Pro need some software changes (Uboot etc.)