first impressions: @vultr Bare Metal Server w/ pre-installed FreeBSD 12.0

I signed-up to be on the waiting list last week, but quickly noticed today there was a spot available. They had a promo with 2 x 240GB SSDs so I took the bait and tried out their Bare Metal Server running a pre-installed FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE amd64 (my choice).

Deployed and in less than 3 minutes, I had access to the box via SSH. I made observations and noted minor issues I had with the default setup.

  • /etc/fstab pointed to /dev/ufs/rootfs
  • drive cyclinder errors on the console window
  • unable to boot your own FreeBSD ISO image to start from scratch

After searching online for hints, I found this thread addressing the exact issues I had with bsdinstall – after running it once more and using /dev/ada1 as the target disk, I’m taken back to a shell prompt instead of the normal reboot after a fresh install.

Proceeded to update /etc/fstab to point to /dev/ada1p2 and rebooted with no issues. Ran the installer once more but this time, used /dev/ada0 as the target disk; updated /etc/fstab to point to /dev/ada0p2 and rebooted with no issues. The “cylinder errors” on the console window I mentioned earlier also disappeared.

YMMV, but this was a learning experience for me. By the way, if you have Floating IPs on the same data center as the bare metal server, you can use those with this setup.

Here’s a closer look at the errors I encountered:

Sep 10 16:53:50 guest kernel: GEOM: diskid/DISK-PHDV723501UJ240AGN: the secondary GPT header is not in the last LBA.
Sep 10 16:53:50 guest kernel: Trying to mount root from ufs:/dev/ufs/rootfs [rw]...
Sep 10 16:53:50 guest kernel: GEOM: diskid/DISK-PHDV723501UJ240AGN: the secondary GPT header is not in the last LBA.

Sep 10 17:15:46 guest kernel: UFS /dev/ada0p2 (/) cylinder checksum failed: cg 5, cgp: 0xf3ecdcef != bp: 0x59b1fb60
Sep 10 17:15:46 guest kernel: UFS /dev/ada0p2 (/) cylinder checksum failed: cg 5, cgp: 0xf3ecdcef != bp: 0x59b1fb60