Newbie needs help setting up rackmount server

Maude User maudeuser at
Fri Aug 12 03:12:37 GMT 2005

It never even occurred to me that you could try using a USB flash drive to install from -- that
would be a very interesting approach.
Not sure how much a USB flash drive would cost, but I got a Panasonic USB2.0/Firewire CD-RW/DVD+/-RW (DVRS706) for $99 at, so that should be good to boot from
and will come in handy later for other things, and I can always have a boot CD as a backup.
- Steve in Brooklyn

Nikolas Britton <nikolas.britton at> wrote:
On 8/11/05, Maude User wrote:
> I didn't realize it would be slow using a null-cable modem - thanks for that info.
> I guess I should borrow a monitor and keyboard to do the install faster.

I'm personally liking the usb flash drive thingy idea I mentioned
earlier if you have no floppy or cd-rom drives. Not sure if this will
even work btw, never tried it.

What you would do is download the the 20MB bootonly.iso CD-ROM image
and mound it (this step my not be needed) with mdconfig:
"mdconfig -a -t vnode -f 5.4-RELEASE-i386-bootonly.iso -u 0"
Use "mount_cd9660 /dev/md0 /mnt" and you can change the config files
on the fake cd for console redirection to serial port, 'echo
"/boot/loader -h" > boot.config', etc.

Next you would dd the image onto the usb flash drive:
"dd if=/dev/md0 of=/dev/da0 bs=1M"

Now remove the usb flash drive from your laptop and plug it into the
server, tell the server to boot from the usb flash drive, the
filesystem on the flash drive would be cd9660 and hopefully boot like
a normal CD-ROM. If your flash drive was big enough you could load the
entier disc1.iso cd onto it, what happened to the miniinst.iso that
was only 270MB? I guess you could strip all the packages off the
disc1.iso to make a miniinst.iso disk?

What do you guys think, would this method work? the only hang up's I
can think of is making your usb flash drive think it's a CD-ROM and if
the FreeBSD install discs will work when it thinks its a hard drive,
da0 for usb storage.... I'll have to try it tomarrow....

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