Subject: Diskless Support
To: None <>
From: Gordon W. Ross <>
List: current-users
Date: 10/31/1994 09:12:37
> Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 13:31:44 +0100 (MET)
> From: Matthias Drochner <>
> Sender:
> Precedence: list
> I finally got a diskless system running. Diskless systems
> might be a little bit exotic, so I don't complain about the
> installation scripts, which handle only standard harddisk
> setups.
> Here are the problems I encountered:
> 1. How to make a new boot floppy? After booting a kc*-floppy,
> one can mount the binaries and system sources on the
> fileserver and compile a diskless kernel. But how to put it onto
> a boot floppy, if the drive is occupied by the install root?
> I finally managed it using the second (5") drive for a
> temporary filesystem. A boot kernel with vn-support
> would be more convenient (or, better, a diskless boot floppy).

I got someone to make a boot floppy for me with a diskless kernel.
A better way would be to use a boot floppy that loads a network
boot program that can load the kernal via NFS.  I hear Brezak has
done this but I have not tried it out yet.

> 2. My fileserver (DEC ULTRIX) insists in UNIX-RPC-authentication
> for NFS-mounts. I hacked it into the krpc code (anybody
> interested? ... mail!).

Yuch.  Is there no way to tell Ultrix to be more friendly?

> 3. I had to reorder /etc/rc. This is no real problem, but why not
> use a shell variable (eg "DISKLESS") for conditional actions
> (the way ULTRIX does)?

Sounds reasonable

> Is anybody still improving the diskless support? How about
> bootp instead of rarp/bootparam?

I would like to clean-up the krpc code some time.  The encode/decode
implementation depends on contiguous replies and should not...
Adding BOOTP support might be nice, but most systems that support
diskless NFS do it the rarp/bootparams way.  The only advantage
would be that you could boot from an NFS server that had difficulty
supporting an rarpd server (i.e. no raw IP or something).

> Is there a DOS program for loading and starting a NetBSD kernel?

Maybe Brezak has one?