Documentation: Installing FreeBSD 7.0 via serial console and PXE

Danny Braniss danny at
Wed Jan 30 02:19:04 PST 2008

Hi Jeremy,
	I'm very glad that you a) can write! b) that you are actually doing
something with respect to the zillions of missguided how-to's :-)
	Having some experience with the subject, and please, don't read me 
wrong, I see some different approaches:
- indeed this IS the 21'st century, and it's unbelivable that we still have
  to deal with baudrates! (why can't they be more like modems? autosense:-)
- newer servers don't have serial anymore :-(, the have IPMI/ILO/etc
  some only have com2

what im trying to say, is that hard coding where the console is is a 'problem'
It's my belief that the setting of the console can be done via DHCP - at
the moment I can select the com1/2 - sio.0/sio.1 - via dhcp.

the other item I would like to raise, is the way we do it here.
1st: I boot the new host diskless, this allows us to find out quickly
if all hardware is working, using a tested root/kernel - since DHCP/TFTP/NFS
are working, it takes only a few minutes to bring up a new host
	set it to boot pxe
	add the mac address to the dhcp.conf
	and reboot
2nd: if/and when we decide to make the host 'stand-alone', we do
	sysinstall to partition the disk (or via bsdlabel if you are
        good at maths)
   cd /mnt-root
   rsh -n server dump 0f - /the/root/partition | restore rf -
   change the bios setting to boot off disk (or if you have the console,
   reboot and hit ESC when doing dhcp ...)

ok, so i fibbed a bit :-), there are some small 'configurables'(*) missing, but
I hope you get the idea.

PS: *: like setting a diskless setup, which is rather simple and gladly can
       try to explain so that you can the write it out in readable english :-)

More information about the freebsd-stable mailing list