Subject: Re: Netboot trouble (was Re: Sparc questions)
To: Mike Parson <>
From: Benjamin Walkenhorst <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 11/20/2004 13:55:17

Mike Parson wrote:

>Have you run tcpdump on the rarpd/tftpd/nfsd server?  Just because rarpd
>isn't logging anything doesn't mean the packets aren't making it onto
>the wire.  What OS are you running on the boot server?
The server is running NetBSD-1.6.2/i386.
I have not run tcpdump or ethereal so far, however, one person on IRC 
gave me the
advice to try "watch-tpe" on the Sparc which listens on its ethernet 
interfaces for broadcasts.
First nothing would happen, but after letting it listen for a while, it 
obviously receivced
ARP requests from my network.
I'm going to try tcpdump next... --> No, apparently, the rarp-requests 
do not make it to
the server.

Given how painless the machine was to set up otherwise, I feel this is 
pretty weird
behaviour... The NIC and the cable obviously work, the Sparc just has 
trouble detecting
the cable from OpenBoot.
Just for completeness' sake I should mention that the Sparc has a 10MBit 
Ethernet Interface
whereas my two pc are connected via 100MBit Ethernet. However, I 
temporarily had a PC with
10MBit in summer, and it worked well, and when booting from hdd, it 
works as well.
Also, the switch is a Netgear device which - for home-equipment - is 
probably quite good.

>you need 
>/tftpboot/HEXVEROFIP.SUN4M which is a copy of, or symlink to,,
>which permisions that allow it to be read by anyone 644 would be ideal).
>It needs to be in all caps, and the requested file can be verified with

Yes, I did everything you say. I was/am using the HOWTO you mention 
below. =(

>make sure you arp in the entries from the ethers file

Uh, what do you mean by that?

>running daemons:
>the rpc portmapper (bootparamd and nfs are rpc services)

Those are all running.
Do I really need bootparamd? The HOWTO says it's only needed for sun3.
Another thing comes to mind - the server is running a DHCP server already.
Maybe, I can do the rarpd/bootparamd-stuff from dhcp? I'm going to look it
However, rarpd, bootparamd, tftpd, nfsd/mountd and rpcbind are up and
running. (tftpd is run by inetd, that is).

>This is all from memory, and I've never actually set up a boot server
>under NetBSD, just under Solaris and Linux.  There are more detailed
>docs on the NetBSD website, which is where I set mine up from the first
>couple of times.
Mmmh, I'm suspecting that somehow either OpenBoot's settings are broken or
the hardware is having a weird problem, as tcpdump did not show any rarp 
from the sparc coming to my server (they are on the same switch).
Luckily, I know someone who has been using Sun-hardware for years and 
who just
lives ten minutes away from here, so I'm gonna ask him to help me figure 
it out.

Kind regards,