Official FreeBSD 9 and 10 images now available

It’s been a few years since we first provided FreeBSD images for Brightbox Cloud. Unfortunately, these older images did not include virtio network or disk driver support, which was unavailable at the time, and as a result were unable to fully exploit their performance potential.

Neither did they include cloud-init, so your ssh keys weren’t automatically installed, the filesystem was not grown automatically, and none of the other great things that cloud-init usually does for you.

I’m pleased to announce that from today, we’re now providing official images for the 10.x-RELEASE and 9.x-RELEASE stable release branches, which include virtio support and bsd-cloudinit, finally making FreeBSD a first class citizen on Brightbox Cloud!

The bsd-cloudinit project is based on OpenStack’s cloudbase-init, which aims to bring the instance initialization benefits of cloud-init to cloud servers running a wide range of OSs. Its current features include:

  • Setting the hostname according to the metadata service
  • Automatic SSH host key generation
  • SSH public key injection
  • Automatic enlargement of the root partition to fill available space
  • Self removal after first boot

It doesn’t have full support for user-data just yet, but this is currently under development.

The new images will automatically install your ssh keys under the freebsd user. No root password is set by default, you can use sudo to run commands as root or start an interactive root session using sudo -i.

We’re still working on some improvements behind the scenes to reduce the time it takes to publish images after a new release. In the mean time, why not take your favourite daemon for a spin?

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