How it started

June/July 2022 - Hetzner removes FreeBSD from rescue system

Hetzner dropped support for FreeBSD installs in June/July 2022 according to this post.

Alternative solutions were shared

1. Purchase addon USB drive and add install media

Purchase a USB addon drive, and request support write FreeBSD-13.1 install image to it. Give support the link and details in the addon request.

2. Download mfsBSD and overwrite first hard disk

Ole's post covers downloading a prebuilt mfsBSD-13.1.img file into the rescue console, and then using dd to overwrite the first hard drive.

A similar approach is covered in this blog post by the author of mfsBSD.

3. Download statically compiled qemu binary, run downloaded mfsBSD image with flag to attach disks

click0's post covers using an old statically compiled qemu binary (qemu-system-86_64, QEMU emulator version 2.2.0) to load up a mfsBSD iso file, and attach hard disks, from within the rescue system.

This will open SSH on port 1022 and allow connecting with user/pass and running basic commands, including zfsinstall.

This approach is the inspiration for this service, and required a little housekeeping to make it work.

Projects History


depenguinator is

"code for building a FreeBSD disk image which will boot into memory, configure the network, set a root password, and enable SSH.
This can be used to "depenguinate" a Linux box, without requiring any access beyond a network connection."

It was released in December 2003. A newer version, The Depenguinator, version 2.0 was released in 2008.


mfsBSD is a small boot image which can fit in PXE environments, thumbdrives and used as installer. It is based on the ideas of the depenguinator project.


This script uses a consumer of mfsBSD, with customisations and improvements to security. It provides a single command FreeBSD-13.1 installation via web.