FreeBSD 8.4 was recently released. I noticed in the release notes that virtio is now enabled by default. Hurrah!

With this in mind, I decided to give Bytemark’s BigV another go. Previously I’d had to use a custom CD image and semi-manual installation process to use FreeBSD on BigV, or otherwise face the performance penalties for using KVM’s IDE emulation. (It’s really slow.)

The good news is that with 8.4-RELEASE you don’t have to do a thing to get virtio to work. It detected the disk and network adapter fine. The VM is flying along. Very happy with that.

Bytemark have had IPv6 support on their physical machine for some time so I thought I’d give that a go too. The documentation for setting this up was a bit sparse (what’s the default router?). I eventually found some documentation on Bytemark’s main support site which seems to work for BigV too.

Herein lies the problem: Bytemark’s network uses fe80::1 for the default router so that you can use the same setting anywhere on their network. This is a nice touch, however FreeBSD already creates this address on lo0 by default so it gave me some pause for thought.

After a short while I remembered that with IPv6 you can specify the interface in addresses, so I set my inet6 default route to fe80::1%vtnet0 and away it went.

I’m pretty happy with this setup now. BigV seems to give a bit more than most VPS providers do for the same money.

It’d be nice if they could provide a ready-made FreeBSD image now. :-)