Format USB device under FreeBSD

  • First locate the correct drive:

    camcontrol devlist


    <ST3500418AS CC35>                 at scbus3 target 0 lun 0 (pass0,ada0)
    <ST500DM002-1BD142 KC45>           at scbus5 target 0 lun 0 (pass1,ada1)
    <AHCI SGPIO Enclosure 1.00 0001>   at scbus9 target 0 lun 0 (ses0,pass2)
    <PNY USB 2.0 FD 1100>              at scbus10 target 0 lun 0 (da0,pass3)

    The first two are Seagate mechanical drives; the third is a fake or physical data plane; and the fourth is the USB drive

    We can use the usbconfig list command as well, however this will list all USB devices

    usbconfig list


    ugen7.1: <Intel EHCI root HUB> at usbus7, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
    ugen3.1: <Intel EHCI root HUB> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
    ugen6.1: <Intel UHCI root HUB> at usbus6, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
    ugen0.1: <Intel UHCI root HUB> at usbus0, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
    ugen4.1: <Intel UHCI root HUB> at usbus4, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
    ugen1.1: <Intel UHCI root HUB> at usbus1, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
    ugen5.1: <Intel UHCI root HUB> at usbus5, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
    ugen2.1: <Intel UHCI root HUB> at usbus2, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=SAVE (0mA)
    ugen3.2: <vendor 0x05e3 USB2.0 Hub> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (100mA)
    ugen3.3: <vendor 0x04d9 USB Keyboard + 3P  HUB> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=LOW (1.5Mbps) pwr=ON (50mA)
    ugen3.4: <vendor 0x0409 product 0x005a> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (100mA)
    ugen3.5: <Hewlett-Packard HP Color LaserJet 3800> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON (0mA)
    ugen3.6: <vendor 0x04a7 product 0x047a> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON (98mA)
    ugen3.7: <vendor 0x0409 product 0x005a> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE (100mA)
    ugen2.2: <Microsoft Microsoft Trackball Explorer> at usbus2, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=LOW (1.5Mbps) pwr=ON (100mA)
    ugen3.8: <PNY Technologies USB 2.0 FD> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON (200mA)

    We’ll format the USB named da0 msdos: using the newfs command

    newfs_msdos /dev/da0


    newfs_msdos: trim 48 sectors to adjust to a multiple of 63
    /dev/da0: 31154624 sectors in 486791 FAT32 clusters (32768 bytes/cluster)
    BytesPerSec=512 SecPerClust=64 ResSectors=32 FATs=2 Media=0xf0 SecPerTrack=63 Heads=255 HiddenSecs=0 HugeSectors=31162320 FATsecs=3804 RootCluster=2 FSInfo=1 Backup=2


  • Here is the Freebsd manpage for the newfs command:

    NEWFS(8)		FreeBSD	System Manager's Manual		      NEWFS(8)
         newfs -- construct	a new UFS1/UFS2	file system
         newfs [-EJNUjlnt] [-L volname] [-O	filesystem-type] [-S sector-size]
    	   [-T disktype] [-a maxcontig]	[-b block-size]
    	   [-c blocks-per-cylinder-group] [-d max-extent-size] [-e maxbpg]
    	   [-f frag-size] [-g avgfilesize] [-h avgfpdir] [-i bytes]
    	   [-k held-for-metadata-blocks] [-m free-space] [-o optimization]
    	   [-p partition] [-r reserved]	[-s size] special
         The newfs utility is used to initialize and clear file systems before
         first use.	 The newfs utility builds a file system	on the specified spe-
         cial file.	 (We often refer to the	``special file'' as the	``disk'',
         although the special file need not	be a physical disk.  In	fact, it need
         not even be special.)  Typically the defaults are reasonable, however
         newfs has numerous	options	to allow the defaults to be selectively	over-
         The following options define the general layout policies:
         -E	     Erase the content of the disk before making the filesystem.  The
    	     reserved area in front of the superblock (for bootcode) will not
    	     be	erased.
    	     This option is only relevant for flash based storage devices that
    	     use wear-leveling algorithms.
    	     Erasing may take a	long time as it	writes to every	sector on the
         -J	     Enable journaling on the new file system via gjournal.  See
    	     gjournal(8) for details.
         -L	volname
    	     Add a volume label	to the new file	system.
         -N	     Cause the file system parameters to be printed out	without	really
    	     creating the file system.
         -O	filesystem-type
    	     Use 1 to specify that a UFS1 format file system be	built; use 2
    	     to	specify	that a UFS2 format file	system be built.  The default
    	     format is UFS2.
         -T	disktype
    	     For backward compatibility.
         -U	     Enable soft updates on the	new file system.
         -a	maxcontig
    	     Specify the maximum number	of contiguous blocks that will be laid
    	     out before	forcing	a rotational delay.  The default value is 16.
    	     See tunefs(8) for more details on how to set this option.
         -b	block-size
    	     The block size of the file	system,	in bytes.  It must be a	power
    	     of	2.  The	default	size is	32768 bytes, and the smallest allow-
    	     able size is 4096 bytes.  The optimal block:fragment ratio	is
    	     8:1.  Other ratios	are possible, but are not recommended, and may
    	     produce poor results.
         -c	blocks-per-cylinder-group
    	     The number	of blocks per cylinder group in	a file system.	The
    	     default is	to compute the maximum allowed by the other parame-
    	     ters.  This value is dependent on a number	of other parameters,
    	     in	particular the block size and the number of bytes per inode.
         -d	max-extent-size
    	     The file system may choose	to store large files using extents.
    	     This parameter specifies the largest extent size that may be
    	     used.  The	default	value is the file system blocksize.  It	is
    	     presently limited to a maximum value of 16	times the file system
    	     blocksize and a minimum value of the file system blocksize.
         -e	maxbpg
    	     Indicate the maximum number of blocks any single file can allo-
    	     cate out of a cylinder group before it is forced to begin allo-
    	     cating blocks from	another	cylinder group.	 The default is	about
    	     one quarter of the	total blocks in	a cylinder group.  See
    	     tunefs(8) for more	details	on how to set this option.
         -f	frag-size
    	     The fragment size of the file system in bytes.  It	must be	a
    	     power of two ranging in value between blocksize/8 and blocksize.
    	     The default is 4096 bytes.
         -g	avgfilesize
    	     The expected average file size for	the file system.
         -h	avgfpdir
    	     The expected average number of files per directory	on the file
         -i	bytes
    	     Specify the density of inodes in the file system.	The default is
    	     to	create an inode	for every (2 * frag-size) bytes	of data	space.
    	     If	fewer inodes are desired, a larger number should be used; to
    	     create more inodes	a smaller number should	be given.  One inode
    	     is	required for each distinct file, so this value effectively
    	     specifies the average file	size on	the file system.
         -j	     Enable soft updates journaling on the new file system.  This flag
    	     is	implemented by running the tunefs(8) utility found in the
    	     user's $PATH.
         -k	held-for-metadata-blocks
    	     Set the amount of space to	be held	for metadata blocks in each
    	     cylinder group.  When set,	the file system	preference routines
    	     will try to save the specified amount of space immediately	fol-
    	     lowing the	inode blocks in	each cylinder group for	use by meta-
    	     data blocks.  Clustering the metadata blocks speeds up random
    	     file access and decreases the running time	of fsck(8).  By
    	     default newfs sets	it to half of the space	reserved to minfree.
         -l	     Enable multilabel MAC on the new file system.
         -m	free-space
    	     The percentage of space reserved from normal users; the minimum
    	     free space	threshold.  The	default	value used is defined by
    	     MINFREE from <ufs/ffs/fs.h>, currently 8%.	 See tunefs(8) for
    	     more details on how to set	this option.
         -n	     Do	not create a .snap directory on	the new	file system.  The
    	     resulting file system will	not support snapshot generation, so
    	     dump(8) in	live mode and background fsck(8) will not function
    	     properly.	The traditional	fsck(8)	and offline dump(8) will work
    	     on	the file system.  This option is intended primarily for	memory
    	     or	vnode-backed file systems that do not require dump(8) or
    	     fsck(8) support.
         -o	optimization
    	     (space or time).  The file	system can either be instructed	to try
    	     to	minimize the time spent	allocating blocks, or to try to	mini-
    	     mize the space fragmentation on the disk.	If the value of	min-
    	     free (see above) is less than 8%, the default is to optimize for
    	     space; if the value of minfree is greater than or equal to	8%,
    	     the default is to optimize	for time.  See tunefs(8) for more
    	     details on	how to set this	option.
         -p	partition
    	     The partition name	(a..h) you want	to use in case the underlying
    	     image is a	file, so you do	not have access	to individual parti-
    	     tions through the filesystem.  Can	also be	used with a device,
    	     e.g., newfs -p f /dev/da1s3 is equivalent to newfs	/dev/da1s3f.
         -r	reserved
    	     The size, in sectors, of reserved space at	the end	of the parti-
    	     tion specified in special.	 This space will not be	occupied by
    	     the file system; it can be	used by	other consumers	such as
    	     geom(4).  Defaults	to 0.
         -s	size
    	     The size of the file system in sectors.  This value defaults to
    	     the size of the raw partition specified in	special	less the
    	     reserved space at its end (see -r).  A size of 0 can also be used
    	     to	choose the default value.  A valid size	value cannot be	larger
    	     than the default one, which means that the	file system cannot
    	     extend into the reserved space.
         -t	     Turn on the TRIM enable flag.  If enabled,	and if the underlying
    	     device supports the BIO_DELETE command, the file system will send
    	     a delete request to the underlying	device for each	freed block.
    	     The trim enable flag is typically set when	the underlying device
    	     uses flash-memory as the device can use the delete	command	to
    	     pre-zero or at least avoid	copying	blocks that have been deleted.
         The following options override the	standard sizes for the disk geometry.
         Their default values are taken from the disk label.  Changing these
         defaults is useful	only when using	newfs to build a file system whose raw
         image will	eventually be used on a	different type of disk than the	one on
         which it is initially created (for	example	on a write-once	disk).	Note
         that changing any of these	values from their defaults will	make it	impos-
         sible for fsck(8) to find the alternate superblocks if the	standard
         superblock	is lost.
         -S	sector-size
    	     The size of a sector in bytes (almost never anything but 512).
    	   newfs /dev/ada3s1a
         Creates a new ufs file system on ada3s1a.	The newfs utility will use a
         block size	of 32768 bytes,	a fragment size	of 4096	bytes and the largest
         possible number of	blocks per cylinders group.  These values tend to pro-
         duce better performance for most applications than	the historical
         defaults (8192 byte block size and	1024 byte fragment size).  This	large
         fragment size may lead to much wasted space on file systems that contain
         many small	files.
         fdformat(1), geom(4), disktab(5), fs(5), camcontrol(8), dump(8),
         dumpfs(8),	fsck(8), gpart(8), gjournal(8),	growfs(8), gvinum(8),
         makefs(8),	mount(8), tunefs(8)
         M.	McKusick, W. Joy, S. Leffler, and R. Fabry, "A Fast File System	for
         UNIX", ACM	Transactions on	Computer Systems 2, 3, pp 181-197, August
         1984, (reprinted in the BSD System	Manager's Manual).

Tmux Commands

screen and tmux

A comparison of the features (or more-so just a table of notes for accessing some of those features) for GNU screen and BSD-licensed tmux.

The formatting here is simple enough to understand (I would hope). ^ means ctrl+, so ^x is ctrl+x. M- means meta (generally left-alt or escape)+, so M-x is left-alt+x

It should be noted that this is no where near a full feature-set of either group. This - being a cheat-sheet - is just to point out the most very basic features to get you on the road.

Trust the developers and manpage writers more than me. This document is originally from 2009 when tmux was still new - since then both of these programs have had many updates and features added (not all of which have been dutifully noted here).

Action tmux screen
start a new session tmux OR
tmux new OR
tmux new-session
re-attach a detached session tmux attach OR
tmux attach-session
re-attach an attached session (detaching it from elsewhere) tmux attach -d OR
tmux attach-session -d
screen -dr
re-attach an attached session (keeping it attached elsewhere) tmux attach OR
tmux attach-session
screen -x
detach from currently attached session ^b d OR
^b :detach
^a ^d OR
^a :detach
rename-window to newname ^b , <newname> OR
^b :rename-window <newn>
^a A <newname>
list windows ^b w ^a w
list windows in chooseable menu ^a "
go to window # ^b # ^a #
go to last-active window ^b l ^a ^a
go to next window ^b n ^a n
go to previous window ^b p ^a p
see keybindings ^b ? ^a ?
list sessions ^b s OR
tmux ls OR
tmux list-sessions
screen -ls
toggle visual bell ^a ^g
create another window ^b c ^a c
exit current shell/window ^d ^d
split window/pane horizontally ^b " ^a S
split window/pane vertically ^b % ^a |
switch to other pane ^b o ^a <tab>
kill the current pane ^b x OR (logout/^D)
collapse the current pane/split (but leave processes running) ^a X
cycle location of panes ^b ^o
swap current pane with previous ^b {
swap current pane with next ^b }
show time ^b t
show numeric values of panes ^b q
toggle zoom-state of current pane (maximize/return current pane) ^b z
break the current pane out of its window (to form new window) ^b !
re-arrange current panels within same window (different layouts) ^b [space]
Kill the current window (and all panes within) ^b killw [target-window]
  • Locate devices:

    camcontrol devlist

    Output; in this case only:

    <ST3500418AS CC35> at scbus3 target 0 lun 0 (pass0,ada0) <ST500DM002-1BD142 KC45> at scbus5 target 0 lun 0 (pass1,ada1) <AHCI SGPIO Enclosure 1.00 0001> at scbus9 target 0 lun 0 (ses0,pass2) <Generic STORAGE DEVICE 1532> at scbus10 target 0 lun 0 (da0,pass3) <Generic STORAGE DEVICE 1532> at scbus10 target 0 lun 1 (da1,pass4)

    Where ada0 and ada1 are mechanical drives, da0 is a miniSD card in a USB enclosure da1

    Or to print all partitions:

    gpart show

    Output (after formatting USB device):

    => 63 976773105 ada0 MBR (466G) 63 1 - free - (512B) 64 976773096 1 freebsd [active] (466G) 976773160 8 - free - (4.0K) => 0 976773096 ada0s1 BSD (466G) 0 4194304 1 freebsd-zfs (2.0G) 4194304 4194304 2 freebsd-swap (2.0G) 8388608 968384480 4 freebsd-zfs (462G) 976773088 8 - free - (4.0K) => 63 976773105 ada1 MBR (466G) 63 1 - free - (512B) 64 976773096 1 freebsd [active] (466G) 976773160 8 - free - (4.0K) => 0 976773096 ada1s1 BSD (466G) 0 4194304 1 freebsd-zfs (2.0G) 4194304 4194304 2 freebsd-swap (2.0G) 8388608 968384480 4 freebsd-zfs (462G) 976773088 8 - free - (4.0K) => 32 2012128 da0 MBR (983M) 32 2012128 1 fat32 (982M)

    List partitions on dev da0:

    gpart show da0

    Delete existing partitions:

    gpart delete -i da0

    Destroy label:

    gpart destroy da0

    Create new mbr spanning entire disk:

    gpart create -s mbr da0

    Create new fat32 partition spanning entire disk:

    gpart add -t fat32 da0

    Initialize fat32 file system:

    newfs_msdos -F32 /dev/da0s1

    Lets break something!

    Don’t do any of this unless you are prepared to break it all, or better yet, you read the man pages and find out what they actually do, very useful tools however.

    I’m just making notes from other notes, various resources on the net.

    gpart destroy -F da0

    Zero out the drive === !!!Don’t do this jazz regularly on any USB!!! The type of memory has a finite read/write number===

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/da0 bs=2m count=1

    Format the drive

    newfs_msdos -F32 /dev/da0s1

    read more
  • Alternatively or in addition to the above to install bhyve:

    pkg install vm-bhyve bhyve-firmware bhyve-rc-3 grub2-bhyve


    To ensure binaries built with this toolchain find appropriate versions of the necessary run-time libraries, you may want to link using


    For ports leveraging USE_GCC, USES=compiler, or USES=fortran this happens transparently.

    ===> NOTICE:

    This port is deprecated; you may wish to reconsider installing it:

    Unsupported by upstream. Use GCC 6 or newer instead… Message from vm-bhyve-1.1.8_1:

    To enable vm-bhyve, please add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf, depending on whether you are using ZFS storage or not. Please note that the directory or dataset specified should already exist.

    vm_enable="YES" vm_dir="zfs:pool/dataset"


    vm_enable="YES" vm_dir="/directory/path"

    Then run :

    vm init

    If upgrading from 1.0 or earlier, please note that the ‘guest’ configuration option is no longer used.

    Guests that are not using UEFI boot will need either loader=“grub” or loader=“bhyveload” in their configuration in order to make sure the correct loader is used.

    Message from bhyve-rc-3:

    Configuration is done completely though rc.conf. The rc script won’t touch any devices for you (neither disk, nor tap) so you need to make sure all of those have been initialized properly.

    General setup:

    kldload vmm

    Make it persistent:

    echo "" >> /etc/sysctl.conf cat >> /boot/loader.conf << EOF vmm_load="YES" EOF

    Minimal example:

    cat >> /etc/rc.conf << EOF cloned_interfaces="tap0 bridge0" bhyve_enable="YES" bhyve_diskdev="/dev/zvol/anything/bhyve/virt" EOF ifconfig tap0 create ifconfig bridge0 create service bhyve start tmux list-sessions tmux attach -t bhyve service bhyve status service bhyve stop

    Multi profile configuration example:

    cat >> /etc/rc.conf << EOF cloned_interfaces="tap0 tap1 bridge0" bhyve_enable="YES" bhyve_profiles="virt1 virt2" bhyve_virt1_diskdev="/dev/zvol/anything/bhyve/virt1" bhyve_virt2_tapdev="tap1" bhyve_virt2_diskdev="/dev/zvol/anything/bhyve/virt2" bhyve_virt2_memsize="8192" bhyve_virt2_ncpu="4" EOF ifconfig tap0 create ifconfig tap1 create ifconfig bridge0 create service bhyve start # start all service bhyve start virt2 # start individual tmux attach -t bhyve_virt1 tmux attach -t bhyve_virt1 service bhyve stop virt2 # stop individual service bhyve stop # stop all

    (by default ctrl-b d detaches from tmux).

    read more