FreeBSD networked install
Eugene M. Zheganin
emz at norman-vivat.ru
Sat Mar 15 06:54:03 PDT 2008
I want to ask if there will be some changes in the FreeBSD networked
The situation really needs to improve.
Since the absence of a CDROM drive in a modern server environment seems
to become common (and the legacy floppies are already dead), I think
it's vital to have some other, non-CDROM methods of installing. Working
For example, during last halfyear I had 2 servers with sata-only drives,
and without legacy IDE power jacks.
The only methods of installing FreeBSD on these servers were:
- to extract a hard drive and to install elsewhere
- to get the SATA CDROM
- to copy the 6.2 installation CD onto read-write fs and distribute it
over the TFTP with the help of pxeboot (this method is unsuitable for
newbies, because the sysinstall doesn't start automatically, because
read-write fs really required, but mostly because it's undocumented now).
I have and USB-CDROM, but
http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=i386/115854 prevents me from
using it (it really does crash on both servers).
The same PR blocks me from using USB-Floppy.
I tried to do the same TFTP trick using 7.0-RELEASE CD, but after
loading kernel it says 'No init found' and panics. :/
Before the 5.3-RELEASE there was a great thing - a 'boot.flp' image. It
was a fake 'floppy' image of 4MB. It was possible to extract its
contents into the TFTP root and boot the FreeBSD via TFTP with no pain.
After the 5.3-RELEASE the naming scheme of floppy images was reset, and
'boot.flp' became 1st booting floppy, but the real 'boot.flp' was
completely wiped. Most of the googled howtos are built on this method,
and I really think it was great and quick.
I think this method needs to be restored. Or at least the CD/TFTP method
needs to be fixed to stop requiring read-write NFS and use the mfsroot.
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