diskless (or rather, readonly)

Helmut Hissen helmut at zeebar.com
Sun Aug 6 19:52:50 UTC 2006

Face it: You're on the road less travelled.  It can be fun, but it's a 
lonely place.

I have had multiple 100% silent (no moving parts) FreeBSD workstations 
in my office for the last six years, and it really is the way to go, but 
every time I upgrade my main server, I wind up patching a bunch of 
rc.stuff and the docs are always lagging the code.   It takes a few 
(mostly unattended) hours to reinstall Everything on my main (basement) 
FreeBSD server, and then it takes two days of fiddling to string 
together the weirdness that is the latest ever-evolving version of 
diskless support to resurrect my silent (office) workstations.

I suspect that if the feature was more popular, it would receive more 
attention during QA and releasing.  FreeBSD is not alone here; from xorg 
to gnome to xmms, somehow developers over the years have assumed that 
the same user would never have multiple X sessions active on multiple 
hosts using the same home directory.  I know this is just one of many 
ways of using diskless boot, but like all the other ways, this is just 
not the sort of configuration that gets tested (much apparently) before 
promoting code to production.... which makes all the difference.

How to fix this?  Maybe a coordinated effort to clean up this part of 
the code for all and then keep it clean?  Maybe we can leverage some of 
the recent mainstream attention to "silent PCs" to make this a more 
popular (as in "more often used") feature? 


Helmut Hissen <helmut at zeebar.com>

James Mansion wrote:
> Thanks Vlidimir.
>> I think rc.diskless2 (and rc.diskless1 ) is 5.X related.
> I have to say, one of the things one hears about FreeBSD by
> proponents is that the quality of documentation is supposed to be
> better than linux.  But it is depressing that when you read
> the documentation, you then have to try and work out whether
> it applies to 4.x, 5.x or is actually in any way related to
> current 6.x systems.

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