setting up many FreeBSD boxes at once... advice?

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Tue Apr 22 18:30:28 PDT 2003

BSD baby wrote:
> I'm going to be setting up 6 identical FreeBSD boxes at the same time.
> (Workstation boxes inside our office.)
> Each one with the exact same setup.  Same ports installed, etc.
> Anyone whose done this before have any advice?

Sure.  You should consider one machine (ie, perhaps the one you use) as 
a build and test system.  Build that out to 4.7p10 or 4.8/STABLE via 
cvsup; build and install the ports that you want.

> Should I put /usr/ports on one NFS share so I don't have to keep
> cvsuping the directories or downloading the source files?

Certainly that would work.  You can also do a "make package" and scp or 
otherwise copy the .tgz file, which can be added via pkg_add.

> Actually... if the boxes are identical is there any harm in doing 
> a permanent NFS for the whole /usr partition?   All sharing one /usr?

People used to do this a lot when disk space was really expensive; it's 
one of the main reasons why a /usr partition exists.  That being said, 
disk space is very very cheap nowadays, and FreeBSD is efficient in 
terms of "software content per MB of OS install space", however one 
wants to measure or guestimate that for one's situation.

The main downside of using NFS sharing is that client machines tend to 
block hard if the NFS server goes down (not so good for a machine that 
might also be used as your test machine), and the security of NFS 
against a local intruder is effectively zero; make sure you have a 
firewall in place and block portmapper.  Most probably, the risk of 
downtime isn't going to be worth $50 or whatever of disk storage that 
having each system be capable of booting without the network requires.


More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list