Booting from floppy to install 8.1

Thomas Mueller mueller6727 at
Thu Jul 29 09:12:44 UTC 2010

> Should I be able to do a network install of 8.1 using a 7.3 boot
> floppy set?  (I'm not planning to set up zfs, at least initially.)

> If not, are the 7.3 and 8.1 boot/loader files similar enough that
> the boot/loader from a 7.3 boot floppy "should" work when all else
> in the floppy set is from 8.1?

> Is there a reasonable way to build the proper boot/loader file for
> an 8.1 boot floppy using a 6.x or 7.x system?

I once net-installed FreeBSD using a boot CD from an earlier version; I think it was a disk one rather than boot-only.  You have to specify the version to install as 8.1-RELEASE exactly as the ftp servers do; exactly as you would do with freebsd-update.  If you use boot floppies, use only the two (or is it three?) needed to boot the install system.

I never used zfs, don't have big enough hard drive or enough RAM to justify zfs.

You could look into PLoP ( boot manager: may be able to boot CD or USB even when BIOS does not support booting from CD or USB.  My computer BIOS supports booting from CD but not USB; however NetBSD 4.0.1 installed on a USB stick booted from PLoP.  There are various ways of running/installing PLoP, including installing on a floppy.  You might possibly then be able to boot from CD or ATAPI Iomega Zip-250.

If I were in your situation, my first choice would be net install, assuming you have cable or DSL; dialup would be awful slow.

I have problems finding errorfree floppies: might be able to find two or three to boot, if I'm lucky, but no way could I find enough good floppies to accommodate all those .aa, .ab, .ac ... files.


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