Table of Contents
Setting up the filesystem, Diskless NetBSD HOW-TO
The procedure outlined here is independent of the server's operating system.
These are files to extract or modify on the nfs server:
- # cd /export/client/root
- If you're not running NetBSD or OpenBSD on your nfs server, then you may
want to check to see if you have GNU tar, version 1.12 or later installed
(some distributions of Linux ship with an older GNU tar that doesn't
support the necessary features):
# tar --version
tar (GNU tar) 1.12
If not, you need to get GNU
as it provides the option to preserve uid and gid properly. If you
proceed in untarring the distribution sets, they will have ownerships
set incorrectly, which will cause problems.
If you use the GNU tar on non-Net/OpenBSD, use the
- Extract essential distribution sets:
# tar [--numeric-owner] -xvpzf /export/client/NetBSD-release/binary/sets/base.tgz
# tar [--numeric-owner] -xvpzf /export/client/NetBSD-release/binary/sets/etc.tgz
- Extract any additional distribution sets using the same procedure
- # mkdir /export/client/root/kern
- Set up swap:
# mkdir /export/client/root/swap
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/export/client/swap bs=4k count=4k
This creates a 16 MB swap file. If your operating system doesn't have a
/dev/zero (HP-UX doesn't), then you can download this 16 MB
swap file (16 KB gzipped).
SunOS, use the following command to create a 16 MB swap file:
# mkfile 16m /export/client/swap
- Set up /etc/ifconfig.le0, where le0 is the NetBSD
device name for your ethernet card. Create a file called
/export/client/root/etc/ifconfig.le0, which has the following
inet client netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.1.255
replacing 255.255.255.0 with the netmask your
network administrator wants you to use, and replacing 192.168.1.255
with the broadcast address your network administrator specifies.
- Set up /etc/fstab. Create a file called
/export/client/root/etc/fstab, which has the following lines:
nfsserver:/export/client/swap none swap sw,nfsmntpt=/swap
nfsserver:/export/client/root / nfs rw 0 0
nfsserver:/export/client/usr /usr nfs rw 0 0
nfsserver:/export/client/home /home nfs rw 0 0
- Edit /etc/rc.conf. Open in your editor
/export/client/root/etc/rc.conf. Some important things to set up
are (replace 192.168.1.1 with the router your network administrator
You should not have rc reconfigure your network device since it will
lose its connection to the NFS server with your root filesystem.
- Add your machines to /etc/hosts. Add the following lines to
192.168.1.10 client.test.net client
192.168.1.5 nfsserver.test.net nfsserver
- # mv /export/client/root/usr/* /export/client/usr/
Some space-saving techniques
Lazaro Daniel Salem has sent in
some suggestions on creating a pseudo-clustered environment (wherein all
clients and the server share almost all configuration files). This will only
work if your client(s) and server are running on the same NetBSD port (merely
running on the same architecture (i.e. microprocessor) will not suffice).
If you are curious, read his suggestions.
It's time to boot up your diskless machine!
- Here is an example of what the
diskless boot messages on a NetBSD/hp300 machine look like.
If your screen goes black or appears to hang, make sure that NetBSD
supports a local console on your particular machine, you may need to
hook up a serial terminal.
If your serial terminal doesn't show anything (or your machine
doesn't even have serial ports), then you need to read additional
directions on setting up remote access
without any console
- Your client will boot into single-user mode, giving you this prompt:
Enter pathname of shell or RETURN for sh:
- It'll ask you your terminal type.
On a NetBSD/hp300 machine, the local console, is
hp300h, and for serial console, you should probably use
- # mount /usr
- Create the /dev files.
# cd /dev
# /bin/sh MAKEDEV all
This takes a while (at least two minutes), be patient.
Note, this won't work using the HP-UX 9 or earlier NFS server,
since it doesn't allow client creation of device files. You'll have to
download this tarball of device files
(5 KB) for NetBSD/hp300 and run, on the nfs server:
# cd /export/client/root
# tar [--numeric-owner] -xpvzf dev.tar.gz
- Check to make sure swap will work:
# swapctl -A
swapctl: adding nfsserver:/export/client/swap as swap device at priority 0
# swapctl -l
Device 512-blocks Used Avail Capacity Priority
/dev/?? 32768 0 32768 0% 0
- Continue to multi-user mode. Edit /etc/rc.conf either
on the nfs server (in /export/client/root/etc/rc.conf) or on
the client, and change the line to read:
- Exit out of the single-user shell, by typing exit.
- Log in as root and have fun using your new NetBSD
Now, you should continue on and finish up the
diskless procedure by making sure your server(s) start all of the necessary
daemons the next time they reboot.
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