Subject: Setting up a "diskless" machine
To: None <>
From: David Forbes <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 08/17/2001 21:21:56
Dear all,

I now have "temporary" access to an extra machine that I'd like to set up
to use run NetBSD, initially as an X terminal, but moving on eventually to
all sorts of things.  For various reasons, I don't want to disturb the
contents of the HD just yet.

I can see several ways of doing this and I was wondering what other
people's experiences were with this sort of thing:

a)  Boot kernel from CD-ROM, having all filesystems over NFS.

b)  Boot kernel from CD-ROM, having initial filesystems on CD, and
union mount an NFS /usr over it.

c)  Boot kernel from CD-ROM, with all of a standard / partition in memory
disk.  (Ok, so a fair bit of RAM would be lost, but I don't see that as a
key constraint at the mo.)

Performance constraints are that it's only a 24x CD-ROM drive, 256Mb RAM
and a 10bT network.  User home directories and swap (if I feel it needs
any) will be NFS mounted.  Being able to survive a re-boot of the NFS
server, without having to restart would be a useful bonus.

Thought/comments appreciated.