2.2. Hardware Requirements

2.2.1. Minimal Configuration

The minimal configuration to install FreeBSD varies with the FreeBSD version and the hardware architecture.

A summary of this information is given in the following sections. Depending on the method you choose to install FreeBSD, you may also need a supported CDROM drive, and in some cases a network adapter. This will be covered by Section 2.3.5, “Prepare the Installation Media”. FreeBSD/i386

FreeBSD/i386 requires a 486 or better processor and at least 64 MB of RAM. At least 1.1 GB of free hard drive space is needed for the most minimal installation.


On old computers, increasing RAM and hard drive space is usually more effective at improving performance than installing a faster processor. FreeBSD/amd64

There are two classes of processors capable of running FreeBSD/amd64. The first are AMD64 processors, including the AMD Athlon™64, AMD Athlon™64-FX, AMD Opteron™ or better processors.

The second class of processors that can use FreeBSD/amd64 includes those using the Intel® EM64T architecture. Examples of these processors include the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, Quad, Extreme processor families, the Intel® Xeon™ 3000, 5000, and 7000 sequences of processors, and the Intel® Core™ i3, i5 and i7 processors.

If you have a machine based on an nVidia nForce3 Pro-150, you must use the BIOS setup to disable the IO APIC. If you do not have an option to do this, you will likely have to disable ACPI instead. There are bugs in the Pro-150 chipset for which we have not yet found a workaround. FreeBSD/powerpc Apple® Macintosh®

All New World Apple® Macintosh® systems with built-in USB are supported. SMP is supported on machines with multiple CPUs.

A 32-bit kernel can only use the first 2 GB of RAM. FireWire® is not supported on the Blue & White PowerMac G3. FreeBSD/sparc64

Systems supported by FreeBSD/sparc64 are listed at the FreeBSD/sparc64 Project.

A dedicated disk is required for FreeBSD/sparc64. It is not possible to share a disk with another operating system at this time.

2.2.2. Supported Hardware

Hardware architectures and devices supported by a FreeBSD release are listed in the Hardware Notes file. Usually named HARDWARE.TXT, the file is located in the root directory of the release media. Copies of the supported hardware list are also available on the Release Information page of the FreeBSD web site.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at http://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.

Send questions about this document to <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.org>.