Recent posts

Manjaro on the RPI4 with full disk encryption and remote unlock

13 minute read

pi cluster

Last year I got a raspberry pi 4 to play with and installed Manjaro on it.

The main reason I went with Manjaro was that the ArchLinux Arm image/tgz for the Raspberry Pi 4 was still 32 bits, or you needed to create-your-own kernel.

But started to like Manjaro Linux, it provided a stable base with regular updates. This year I upgraded my setup with 2 additional Raspberry Pi 4 to provide clustering for my k3s (Kubernetes) setup. I used virtual machines on the Raspberry Pi to host the k3s nodes. Also because want to the Pi for other tasks and virtual machines makes it easier to split the resources. It’s also an “abstraction layer” if you want to combine the cluster with other ARM64 systems in the future.

I always (try to) to full disk encryption, when you have multiple nodes it’s important to be able to unlock the encryption remotely.


Update your bootloader on FreeBSD 13 when you upgrade your zroot pool…

2 minute read

boot failed

One of the nice new features of FreeBSD 13 is OpenZFS 2.0. OpenZFS 2.0 comes with zstd compression support. Zstd compression can have compression ratios similar to gzip with less CPU usage.

For my backups, I copy the most import data - /etc/, /home, … - first locally to a ZFS dataset. This data gets synced to a backup server. This local ZFS dataset was compressed with gzip, after upgrading the zroot pool and setting zstd as the compress method. FreeBSD failed to boot with the error message:

ZFS: unsupported feature: org.freebsd:zstd
ZFS: pool zroot is not supported
gptzfsboot: failed to mount default pool zroot

As this might help people with the same issue, I decided to create a blog post about it.


How to run a FreeBSD Virtual Machine on the RPI4 with QEMU. Part 2: Network, Install from cdrom, startup

10 minute read

rpi4 with disk

In my last blog post, we set up a FreeBSD virtual machine with QEMU. I switched from the EDK2 (UEFI) firmware to U-boot, the EDK2 firmware had issues with multiple CPU’s in the virtual machines.

In this blog post, we’ll continue with the Network setup, install the virtual machine from a CDROM image and how to start the virtual machine during the PI start-up.


How to run a FreeBSD Virtual Machine on the RPI4 with QEMU. Part 1: QEMU setup

2 minute read


I got a Raspberry PI 4 a couple of months back and started it use it to run virtual machines.

This works great for GNU/Linux distributions but FreeBSD as a virtual machine didn’t work for me. When I tried to install FreeBSD or import a virtual machine image, FreeBSD wasn’t able to mount the root filesystem and ended with an “error 19”.

On the FreeBSD wiki, there are a few articles on how to use ARM64 FreeBSD with QEMU directly.

You find my journey of getting a FreeBSD Virtual Machine below.

I use Manjaro on my Raspberry PI, but the same setup will work with other GNU/Linux distributions.