Remote system directories

Ruben de Groot mail25 at
Tue Dec 21 04:48:02 PST 2004

On Tue, Dec 21, 2004 at 07:30:16AM +0300, Andrew P. typed:
> Hello!
> I've got a freebsd box with a 2Gb hard drive and a server with a lot of 
> free space. I want to make use of nfs and let the "small" box mount most 
> of its directories in read-write mode from the server. What directories 
> are safe to be moved to a remote location? The idea is that should the 
> server go down, the box must still be bootable and accessible via ssh.
> I've read hier manual page, but it doesn't go deep into how bad the 
> system need each directory at startup - and how heavy access is to each 
> folder during normal operation.
> Can the system boot into multi-user mode in case /usr fails to mount? 


> I'm now experimenting with different subfolders of /usr and other dirs, 
> and I'd be glad to hear a piece of advice.

If I were you I would do a minimal (though complete) installation of
FreeBSD on the client machine. Enable sshd and put a script in 
/usr/local/etc/rc.d to nfs-mount whatever you need from the server.
(remember, you can easily mount over an existing directory hierarchy,
thereby hiding the original files)
Something like:

# check if nfs-server is up
/usr/bin/showmount -e nfs-server
if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
  # mount nfs shares
  /sbin/mount -t nfs nfs-server:/export/usr /usr
  # etc

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