freebsd tftp server for hetrogenous diskless clients

tech-lists tech-lists at
Mon Jun 14 14:51:04 UTC 2021

On Sun, Jun 13, 2021 at 12:02:49PM -0400, Daniel Feenberg wrote:

>We have more than 30 Linux clients PXE booting from a FreeBSD server. This
>is not a network install, /bin /sbin etc are NFS mounts.
>We have been doing this for many years, currently the Linux clients are
>all CentOS, they have been Ubuntu at times in the past. Both FreeBSD and
>Linux have been kept up to current supported releases.
>We like PXE booting with system files on read-only server because it makes
>updates quick and easy, ensures uniformity across clients and is in
>general convenient. We don't do it to save disk space. Network bandwidth
>is not really a problem - 1GBE is fine for this, although we upgraded to
>10GBE some years ago because the applications do a lot of network I/O. If
>you lose the network connection the client will hang till the network is
>restored, and jobs will continue from where they left off.

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for confirming this. Can you recommend any guides/how-tos as
and man 8 diskless seem to only address freebsd clients and servers? I'm
looking for an example with say ubuntu as client. or briefly describe how 
you did it?

The clients need to always get the same IP address. I guess this would
be tied to the MAC in some way.

One issue is that there is already a dhcp server active on the router.
If the freebsd tftp/pxe/nfs server is another dhcp server on the same
network, they'll clash. How can this be avoided?

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