FreeBSD Rescue-System

Last change on 2020-07-31 • Created on 2020-03-19


This article explains the general usage of the Hetzner FreeBSD Rescue System.

What ist the FreeBSD Rescue System?

The FreeBSD Rescue System is based on a minimal FreeBSD distribution, which can be booted into from the network (PXE). This gives you the ability to repair your current FreeBSD system in case of a configuration error, down or upload files, or to install FreeBSD on your product. The installation and usage of FreeBSD requires a certain amount of FreeBSD knowledge and is recommended for advanced users only. Please note that Hetzner Online generally doesn't offer software support, so any problems arising from the use of FreeBSD are your own responsibility. The FreeBSD images were created through the image creation system mfsBSD by Martin Matuska.

How can I start the Rescue System?

Therefore, login to you Robot account. Next, click on the regarding server and select the Rescue tab. Choose the FreeBSD Rescue System from the dropdown menu, confirm and restart the server (normally through SSH, but in case of an error you can also do this via the Reset tab in Robot).

The password that was given to you when you activated the FreeBSD Rescue System can now be used to login as user root via SSH.

How can I mount my filesystem?

UFS filesystem

Please therefore use the command mount. Example:

mount -t ufs /dev/da1p1 /mnt

More options and the exact syntax can be found on this site.

ZFS filesystem

First of all, list the pools that can be imported by using the command:

zpool import

To mount for example the pool my_pool into /mnt, use the following command:

zpool import -o altroot=/mnt my_pool

How can I reset or change my root password?

To reset the password of the root user, please mount the root partition (/) of your installed system under /mnt, as described in the previous section. Afterwards, you can change the current root into the mounted root partition of your installed system:

chroot /mnt

Now you can change the password of the root user by:


Finally, exit the chroot environment, un-mount the root partition and reboot the server back to the installed system:

umount /mnt
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