boot0sio working for anyone?

David Wolfskill david at
Sat Feb 9 17:24:26 UTC 2008

On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 06:07:36PM +0100, Ulrich Spoerlein wrote:
> ...
> > You know you can use Grub to boot FreeBSD, right?  Including multiple
> > installations on multiple disks / slices.
> Thank you Dag-Erling! Somehow I did not consider GRUB. I'm now using the
> following menu.lst which gives me *exactly* what I wanted.
> > I'm using the FreeBSD boot loader; hitting F[1-5] when the FreeBSD boot
> > loader prompts does the usual disk & slice selection, though I only use
> > that ability when I've forgotten to set the next boot slice via
> > boot0cfg(8).
> Are you doing this via keyboard or serial line? Is it possible to get
> that F1-F5 output via serial *without* BIOS support?? I'm just curious,
> although I found a pretty decent solution, thanks to Dag-Erling.

I hardly ever have a keyboard (or monitor) attached to the machine
in question.

I do the same thing for a couple of other machines here at home, and I
did it with the desktop I used at my previous employer's, but I don't
now recall if the FreEBSD boot loader prompts show up on the machines
that lack BIOS serial redirection:  it hasn't been an issue for me,
because I use boot0cfg(8) to (pre-)select the boot slice.  (I can't
easily test this at the moment, because those other 2 FreeSBD machines
here at home are currently in productive use (as a firewall & as a mail
hub, respectively), and the only other FreeBSD machine I have at hand is
my laptop, for which disconnecting the keyboard involves rather
invasive surgery.  And I probably shouldn't try to login to the desktop
at my previous employer's to reboot it.... :-})

If grub works for you, that's great.  I tried it about 2.5 years ago,
and found it incredibly frustrating, since I didn't see a convenient way
to select the boot slice via a simple scriptable command-line facility
(without going to the hassle of writing something to parse its config
file), while I could merely use boot0cfg(8) with the FreeBSD boot
loader.   (I didn't try exceptionally hard, though, for various
off-topic reasons.)

David H. Wolfskill				david at
I submit that "conspiracy" would be an appropriate collective noun for cats.

See for my public key.
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