diskless FreeBSD with grub

Daniel Hepper Daniel.Hepper at gmx.net
Wed Nov 2 09:28:54 PST 2005


Hi,

I want to boot diskless into FreeBSD-5.4 with grub.
I've setup dhcp to provide boot and ip information, tftp to load the
kernel and nfs to share the root filesystem. It runs smoothly when I use
the pxeloader from FreeBSD, but I can't get it working with Grub.

I tried this grub configuration:

<snip>
title bsd-nfsroot
kernel (nd)/kernel/kernel ip=dhcp root=/dev/nfs
nfsroot=141.2.71.253:/dta/fBSD_diskless
boot
</snip>

It loads the kernel, but does not boot. My guess is that it doesn't find
the root partition.
This one:

<snip>
title bsd-nfsroot
kernel (nd)/loader ip=dhcp root=/dev/nfs
nfsroot=141.2.71.253:/dta/fBSD_diskless
boot
</snip>

loader says it can't find the kernel.
And this one:

<snip>
title bsd-nfsroot
kernel (nd)/pxeboot ip=dhcp root=/dev/nfs
nfsroot=141.2.71.253:/dta/fBSD_diskless
boot
</snip>

grub complains that pxeboot is not a correct executable

I have spent hours digging the web without a solution. I would really
appreciate it, if someone could help or give me a pointer to helpful
resources.

The background of the problem:
I manage the software installation on a router-testbed. It consist of 24
identical x86-systems, with different local OS installation. When a
system boots, it load GRUB via PXE from a server. The grub menu is
generated dynamically from a configuration file, which determines what
OS the system should start.
For administration purposes, among other things software distribution,
you can configure the systems to boot a diskless linux system via nfs
(this works).
But as some users run FreeBSD and Linux can't access UFS2-partitions, a
diskless FreeBSD-image is required.


Greetings,
Daniel Hepper


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