Sysinstall, also known as sysinstall(8), is a fullscreen character-mode FreeBSD system installation and configuration tool. It was written in C by Jordan Hubbard, is curses based and first appeared in FreeBSD 2.0.
Sysinstall is the first utility started by a FreeBSD boot floppy or cdrom and is mostly used to install FreeBSD on a new system or do basic post install configuration tasks. It can be run interactively through its text-based menu driven interface (which is the default) or in batch mode following a script provided by the user.
According to its man page entry sysinstall is "at the end of its life cycle and will eventually be replaced" and furthermore is "a prototype which lasted several years past its expiration date and is greatly in need of death." A 2007 Summer of code project named finstall aimed to create a user-friendly graphical installer for FreeBSD. However it was not intended to replace sysinstall. A SourceForge project was started in November 2007 for finstall. Beginning with FreeBSD 9.0, bsdinstall replaced sysinstall as the default FreeBSD installer, as announced earlier.