Making a Compact Flash-based installer

tsuraan tsuraan at
Tue Nov 29 20:24:37 GMT 2005

>From Dave Kelly:
> In prior employment we shipped a bunch of "embedded servers" with
> FreeBSD on CF using Soekris hardware. What I suggest you do is rather
> than duplicate your *install* CD on CF, simply use another machine to
> install the desired image directly on the CF. Probably a good place to
> use "dangerously dedicated" rather than a traditional MSDOS partition
> table.

The problem is that the machines being installed are basically file
servers; they boot off of the CF card, but they have a lot of packages
installed on their terabyte hard drive arrays, which are also
initialized by sysinstall at the moment.  I could get away with
putting the base system on the CF, but I'd still need some way to
initialize the hard drives and install the packages into them.  It can
be done, but if I could get the CD onto the CF card, that would really
be a lot easier.

>From Brian McCann:
> I've booted off of CF before...and am doing so because the arrays are
> >2TB, and the BIOS won't boot from it.  I just made a boot floppy,
> then DD'd it to the CF card.  If your CF card is >640 (or 700) MB, you
> could do the same (DD from the CD to CF).

This doesn't seem to work; it looks like the computer only recognizes
a bootable CD when it's really a CD; if it's a hard drive it seems to
expect something else.  I haven't quite figured out why though.

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