Mohammad - FreeBSD 11 installation from a read only rescue disk

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Hello, and happy new year.

I've been a DigitalOcean user for years now, but sometimes I need a dedicated server. I deal with 2 dedicated server providers in Europe. They have an automated installation procedure but I would rather do it myself.

Up until recently I've been only installing 10.3 using bsdinstall from a rescue disk which worked well. But ever since FreeBSD 11 came out and I started to upgrade to that, I couldn't finish the installation due to a mising MANIFEST file.

With the first provider, the rescue disk root is writable so I would just download MANIFEST from a FreeBSD mirror to /usr/freebsd-dist and would go about doing my business, but with the second host the root is read only, so I can't create /usr/freebsd-dist or download MANIFEST.

According to, I should be able to set BSDINSTALL_DISTDIR to a temporary location and bsdinstall would know to fetch the files from there but sadly that didn't work, the environment variable seemed to have no effect.

What I'm currently doing is installing 10.3 and then upgrading to 11.1, which is very time consuming. Any idea what I am missing?

Thank you so much for all you do, I donated to the FreeBSD foundation last week because of the podcast and everything else you do.

Keep up the great work
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