Subject: Re: Net boot question
To: NetBSD <>
From: Christopher Schultz <>
List: port-cobalt
Date: 11/14/2005 16:04:27
This is an OpenPGP/MIME signed message (RFC 2440 and 3156)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


>> Maybe I'm missing the point, but the restore CDs don't need a UNIX
>> environment... they provide their own since they're bootable.
> Well, restore cd has it shortcomings - not easy to update sets to a new
> version, does not work with PCMCIA, does not provide recovery environment.

Providing a recovery environment would be *great*. I've seen people post
to the list basically saying "I've hosed my
userland/kernel/everything/forgot my root passsword/whatever. what do I
do?" and the responses usually boil down to "sorry... looks like you're
going to have to do a backup and then use the restore CD to start again".

I use Linux extensively, and really appreciate the ability to root a box
simply by having a recovery CD handy. Adding this ability to the
NetBSD-cobalt toolchest would be a real help.

>> 2. You can use a virtualization package like VMWare (with bridged
>>    networking) to launch the restore CD and use that as a netboot
>>    host. I can't recall if I've actually done this... I've restored
>>    my cube a handful of times but it's been a while.
> Hopefully with the new Player we can just distribute
> a VM and anyone can use it.

Agreed. VMWare, for example, will let you run a VM created by not only
it's own brethren, but some other products as well (like MS's VM). IT's
free, too! I tried QEMU in the past some some simple stuff, but I went
crazy because it didn't appear to allow direct access to the floppy and
CD-ROM drives. Kind of a pain when trying to install an old copy of
Windows 3.1 :)

> Restore cd does indeed provide dhcp server. You can verify this just by
> booting restore cd and doing ps.

Aah... so the recovery CD provides dhcp, which includes the requisite
information about the NFS/netboot server. I don't remember disabling my
local DHCP server... are there some dirty tricks that the recovery CD
plays, or do I just not remember disabling my DHCP?

>> Yeah, this is because they wanted to keep the restore CD as small as
>> possible, and so picked a very popular set of NICs (3Com and some
>> others, I think) to build-into the CD. Being able to bundle your own NIC
>> driver would help a lot.
> This is not the reason. In fact the card that I have is supported by
> restore cd but the scripts do not initialize it corretly.

That sucks. Was it a driver problem or a usage problem?

Thanks for the good information, and good luck!


Content-Type: application/pgp-signature; name="signature.asc"
Content-Description: OpenPGP digital signature
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="signature.asc"

Version: GnuPG v1.4.2 (MingW32)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Thunderbird -