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

David Kelly dkelly at
Tue Apr 22 20:18:42 PDT 2003

On Tuesday 22 April 2003 08:09 pm, 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?
> Should I put /usr/ports on one NFS share so I don't have to keep
> cvsuping the directories or downloading the source files?
> Actually... if the boxes are identical is there any harm in doing
> a permanent NFS for the whole /usr partition?   All sharing one /usr?

Haven't installed multiple identical FreeBSD workstations much of late. 
But I wouldn't bother with the NFS shared filesystems idea.

Build one system to your liking. Then clone it. Several ways to do it. 
Easiest to explain is to remove the other 5 HD's and temporarily 
install in your "master". I favor the "dump | restore" technique. Or 
dump each filesystem to a file and restore that dump image to similar 
partitions on the new drives.

Variations on this theme is to create the dump images and boot the clone 
machines with the standalone live filesystem CDROM. Create the 
partitions. Then suck the dump images over the network or from custom 

Another way which works pretty good is to make careful notes on your 
actions within sysinstall building the first machine. Repeat on the 
other 5. Think I once saw a an option for reading custom install 
parameters/scripts from within sysinstall? Haven't pursued that lately.

David Kelly N4HHE, dkelly at
The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its
capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.

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