Using FreeBSD's Bootonly Installer Behind a Proxy

I’ve been so busy for the last month that I almost forgot about FreeBSD 12.0 which I had been looking forward to. Now it’s just around the corner!
Although it’s quite late, I tried to install 12.0-RC3 on a host behind a HTTP proxy and found that using a bootonly installer in this environment was a bit tricky. The following are the steps I took.

  1. Boot the host with a bootonly installer.

  2. Go into Shell at the Welcome dialog.

  3. Select an appropriate keymap for my keyboard.

    kbdcontrol -l jp
  4. Set the http_proxy environment variable to let installer fetch distribution sets (tarballs) via proxy.

    export http_proxy=proxyhost:3128
  5. Run the standard installer program ‘bsdinstall’ and proceed to disk partitioning screen.

  6. Just before hitting OK at the “Last chance!” confirmation dialog, press [Alt] + [F4] to open a console and set up IP and DNS configurations. If a DHCP server is available, the easiest way is to run the following command.

    dhclient em0

    If not, manually configure IP address with ifconfig and add nameserver lines to /tmp/bsdinstall_etc/resolv.conf (symlinked to /etc/resolv.conf). It’s might be something like:

    ifconfig em0 inet
    route add default
    echo nameserver > /tmp/bsdinstall_etc/resolv.conf
  7. Go back to the installer screen with [Alt] + [F1] and go on.

  8. Before exiting the installer, I usually ran the following commands in chrooted shell to rearrange ZFS dataset to use true /home instead of /usr/home symlinked to /home.

    zfs rename zroot/usr/home zroot/home
    zfs set mountpoint=/home zroot/home
    rm /home