Raspberry Pi 4 and FreeBSD 13 - The Unbootening

While it’s relatively straight forward to install FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE on the Raspberry Pi 4, I ran in to a particular issue that warrants additional visibility.

A simple dd gets our extracted image on the SD card:

$ sudo dd if=FreeBSD-13.0-RELEASE-arm64-aarch64-RPI.img of=/dev/{OUTPUT DEVICE} bs=4M status=progress
$ sync

After inserting the SD card and attempting to boot, however, is where the issue arose. I enabled the UART in the U-Boot config.txt within the MSDOSBOOT partition and hooked up a serial cable.



After getting some output from U-Boot in the serial console, it appears that the bootloader is not recognizing the partition table (or a related issue that causes this error).


Hit any key to stop autoboot: 0 
switch to partitions #0, OK 
mmc0 is current device 
** No partition table - mmc 0**

Device 0: unknown device 
ethernet@7d580000 Waiting for PHY auto negotiation to complete...


I wasn’t finding what I needed through my go-to search engines but a hop, skip, and a jump over to the FreeBSD Forums quickly yielded this post which helpfully pointed to Bug 255080 solving the issue.

Comment #15 provides a link to the 2021.04 build of the U-Boot binary. Overwrite the u-boot.bin file that lives in the MSDOSBOOT partition base directory and you’ll be on your way!

It looks as though the part SKUs have been adjusted slightly and the 2020.10 U-Boot version does not account differing changes in certain models of the RPi 4 and Pi 400. From what it seems, the fix is expected in the next release.