Headless install with 5.X floppies not possible?

Doug White dwhite at gumbysoft.com
Sat Apr 2 15:02:23 PST 2005

On Sat, 2 Apr 2005, David Magda wrote:

> On Apr 2, 2005, at 09:45, Ralph Hempel wrote:
> > I haven't tried it with 5.x, but here's how I modify
> > the CD to allow headless installs for 4.x
> >
> > <http://www.hempeldesigngroup.com/embedded/stories/
> > bdgFreeBSDHeadless.html>
> Wouldn't is be better to simply use the "-P" option instead of "-h"?
>  From boot(8) on my FreeBSD 4.x system:
>                       -P    probe the keyboard.  If no keyboard is
> found, the
>                             -D and -h options are automatically set.
> The following is in the BUGS section of boot(8):
>       Due to space constraints, the keyboard probe initiated by the -P
> option
>       is simply a test that the BIOS has detected an ``extended''
> keyboard.  If
>       an ``XT/AT'' keyboard (with no F11 and F12 keys, etc.) is
> attached, the
>       probe will fail.
> This way if there's a keyboard, then there's presumably a screen, so
> the 'regular' way of using the console will be used. If there's no
> keyboard then serial console will be activated. This is how Sun
> hardware works by default and it works quite well I find.
> Are there any major issues with making this the default for x86 (and
> amd64?) for future releases?

May BIOSes lie and always report extended keyboards, even if there is none
connected. Others lie and don't reliably set this bit. So this cannot be
trusted in the general case.

Doug White                    |  FreeBSD: The Power to Serve
dwhite at gumbysoft.com          |  www.FreeBSD.org

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