Subject: Re: Network installer..
To: Alan Horn <>
From: Manuel Bouyer <>
List: tech-install
Date: 09/01/2000 21:10:31
On Fri, Sep 01, 2000 at 02:21:48AM +0000, Alan Horn wrote:
> Each,
> I have taken on a small project, and before it really gets underway I
> thought I'd check to see if there's any existing tools or similar projects
> happening out there.
> I am attempting to take the install process an create a network install
> version, i.e. an install server from which installs automatically happen,
> plus the capacity for install profiles etc.. for i386 this would most
> likely still need a boot disk image etc.. and the process is no doubt a
> lot harder than I initially see.. :) Anyway, the idea being that with
> several hundred installs to take place the job can be drastically
> streamlined and take hours instead of days.
> For those of you familiar with Solaris jumpstart, I'm trying to acheive
> something similar.
> As a sweetener, if we get this right, it may result in a _large_ NetBSD
> installation at a site that I know (not this site I'm emailing from I
> hasten to add.. ;)
> So, any help greatly appreciated...

diskless boot seems the way to go.
I you don't mind booting from floppy, the way to go is to build a kernel
with 'root on nfs' and put it (gzipped) on a floppy (newfs to make a
filesystem, installboot to make the floppy bootable, then copy netbsd.gz to
the floppy)
When booted, the kernel will look for a NFS server via dhcp, and use it
as root. When /etc/rc is started, the interface is already configured
and the name of the machine is known (hostnane will return it).
then you can tweak /etc/rc into a install script, which will work
upon these infos

I use something similar, but to install NT: diskless NetBSD partition and
format the HD, copies the NT cd to the disk, and create an unatteded
install file for the NT installer based on the machine's hostname.

Manuel Bouyer, LIP6, Universite Paris VI.