BHYVELOAD(8) FreeBSD System Manager's Manual BHYVELOAD(8)


bhyveloadload a FreeBSD guest inside a bhyve virtual machine


bhyveload [ -c cons-dev][ -d disk-path][ -e name=value][ -h host-path][ -m mem-size] vmname


bhyveload is used to load a FreeBSD guest inside a bhyve(4) virtual machine.

bhyveload is based on loader(8) and will present an interface identical to the FreeBSD loader on the user's terminal.

The virtual machine is identified as vmname and will be created if it does not already exist.


The following options are available:
-c cons-dev
cons-dev is a tty(4) device to use for bhyveload terminal I/O.

The text string "stdio" is also accepted and selects the use of unbuffered standard I/O. This is the default value.

-d disk-path
The disk-path is the pathname of the guest's boot disk image.
-e name=value
Set the FreeBSD loader environment variable name to value.

The option may be used more than once to set more than one environment variable.

-h host-path
The host-path is the directory at the top of the guest's boot filesystem.
-m mem-size [ K| k| M| m| G| g| T| t]
mem-size is the amount of memory allocated to the guest.

The mem-size argument may be suffixed with one of K, M, G or T (either upper or lower case) to indicate a multiple of Kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes or Terabytes respectively.

The default value of mem-size is 256M.


To create a virtual machine named freebsd-vm that boots off the ISO image /freebsd/release.iso and has 1GB memory allocated to it:

bhyveload -m 1G -d /freebsd/release.iso freebsd-vm

To create a virtual machine named test-vm with 256MB of memory allocated, the guest root filesystem under the host directory /user/images/test and terminal I/O sent to the nmdm(4) device /dev/nmdm1B

bhyveload -m 256MB -h /usr/images/test -c /dev/nmdm1B test-vm


bhyveload first appeared in FreeBSD 10.0, and was developed at NetApp Inc.


bhyveload was developed by Neel Natu <neel@FreeBSD.org> at NetApp Inc with a lot of help from Doug Rabson <dfr@FreeBSD.org>


bhyveload can only load FreeBSD as a guest.
January 7, 2012 FreeBSD