Manually installing PC-BSD 9 snapshot
One of my boxes has an Nvidia video card in addition to the motherboard video card. The motherboard video card cannot be disabled, however, only the Nvidia card is connected to a monitor.
When I try to install a new distribution from cdrom/dvd or usb, Xorg loads a driver for the motherboard video card but not for the Nvidia video card, resulting in no video once Xorg takes over.
In the past, I would install the new distribution on a hard disk in a VirtualBox session, add a "xorg.conf" that forces use of the Nvidia card and it would always work fine directly on the computer afterwards.
Tried installing the latest PC-BSD 9 snapshot the same way on a hard disk with pre-existing gpt partitions. However, VB would allow them to be used.
Instead, I copied the contents of the PCBSD.tbz archive from a mounted installation USB image to the appropriate partitions on the gpt disk, added the working xorg.conf as well as a fstab, and made a menuentry on "grub.cfg" for the new installation. This allowed me to boot into a single user session where I added the root password and one user.
After a reboot I had a shell login prompt (no X yet). Logged in, mounted the installation USB image, changed directories to the "packages" root directory on the mounted installation image, and with "pkg_add" installed all the packages listed on "/usr/local/share/pcbsd/base-ports/base-system/ports-list". (I now see that it would have been easier to install the actual version of the packages listed on "pkg-list, perhaps "pkg_add `cat pkg-list`".)
Rebooted into a gdm login manager, logged in to a graphical session and everything seemed to work.
Since PC-BSD 9 is still in beta and there will be many more snapshots to test, is the above method is O.K.?
If not, is there a better method (given the peculiarities of how Xorg treats my video hardware when run from installation media)?