how to boot into freebsd installer using pxe?

Felix von Leitner felix-freebsd at
Sun Jul 24 15:49:46 GMT 2005


I would like to offer a network based install service in our LAN here,
and I would like it to be able to install NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and
Gentoo.  I have a PXE environment booting Grub 0.97, which can boot a
Net/OpenBSD kernels and the FreeBSD loader.

So far, so good.

Which files do I need to offer over TFTP or NFS for PXE to boot into the
installer?  How do I pre-configure the installer to install from the
install server per default, and not from the Internet?

I'm not particularly glued to grub, if it is better to do this with
syslinux (or $WHATEVER), I'm game.  However, I need to have a boot menu
offering all the above operating systems, I can not simply boot directly
into NetBSD's PXE loader.  And I want to offer a net-bootable memtest.

By the way: OpenBSD ships the pxeboot file in their install directory, I
would very much like FreeBSD to do the same.  I would like FreeBSD to
shop a tarball with the necessary files (minus the install sets) that
need to be available via TFTP/NFS and a small README saying what needs
to be done, in a system-agnostic way.

I'm thinking about an install LAN on a LAN party here, so as many people
as possible can install FreeBSD.

The next step would be to offer something like a live CD just bootable
over PXE.  Think about the advocacy possibilities if people can just try
FreeBSD over the net!  Also, think about the environment, of all the CDs
that don't need to be burned or pressed and then thrown away.


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