Subject: Re: Net boot question
To: Christopher Schultz <>
From: Andy Ruhl <>
List: port-cobalt
Date: 11/14/2005 19:26:23
On 11/14/05, Christopher Schultz <> wrote:
> Alex,
> >> 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 environme=
> 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 N=
> >> 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!

Just so the conversation doesn't stray too much, it would be nice to
point out what the goal of all of this is.

As far as I know (please straighten me out if I'm wrong), the mips
based Qube and Raq cannot be set to netboot without human
intervention. This means a netboot environment would be for testing or
fixing the disk inside the {Qube,Raq}. The process of doing this isn't
all that much different than doing it on any other platform, other
than the fact that you have to hold down buttons on the {Qube,Raq}.

The fact that it can be done with Cygwin is great. I like Cygwin if I
must use Windows.

But it's not really Qube or Raq specific is it?

I think what really should be done is someone should either edit, add
to, or replace this page with something more up to date:

This came from the NetBSD Netboot guide.

Or am I missing something?