Subject: Re: headless install
To: Oliver Tonnhofer <>
From: Aaron C. Springer <>
List: tech-install
Date: 08/10/2002 12:45:24
Thank you all for your help.

The only thing I got from the OBSD folks was 
For the man page impaired, here is a little help:
Place a null-modem cable between the PC and the terminal.
Add a file to the boot floppy etc/boot.conf with the following text:
set tty com0
Put the boot floppy in the PC and boot it up.
Do the install.
Label the boot floppy properly and save it a rememberal place for
another install.
Brag about it to your friends with the words: "If you would
only read the man pages!"
This might be a FAQ issue, but people don't read the FAQ either...

I could not find anything on this in their faq or man page and I am too dumb to
figure out how to write the file to the boot floppy.  I can mount it but I can
not write to it, I get "read only filesystem" even though it is mounted read

Anyhow, thank you for the helpful approach it is a refreshing contrast to the
OBSD "you are an idiot go away" attitude.

Does my idea of the standard install opening consoles on the serial ports so
folks could at least get in make any sense?

On 10-Aug-2002 Oliver Tonnhofer wrote:
> Hallo Aaron,
> (Aaron C. Springer) wrote:
>>Yes! The boot-com1.fs and the boot2.fs worked great.
>>The com settings are 9600/8/n/1 all kernel ouput is visible, no login or id
>>required, it prompts for disk2.
> During the installation you have to select the 'serial bootblock' and
> not the normal. And after installation and before the first reboot, you
> have to change /etc/ttys:
> Goto Utilities Menu and select /bin/sh.
># cd /mnt/etc/
># ed ttys
> 7
> s/Pc/std.9600/
> s/pc3/vt220/
> s/off/on/
> p
> w
> q
># reboot
> With this little modification you are able to login over serial console.
> To be OnTopic: Isn't it possible to change sysinst to do this /etc/ttys
> modification, when serial bootblock is selected? It would be nice.
>>I hope this capability is a permanent addition.
> It is not a new feature. At least in 1.5.2 you could press any key
> during the bootloader msg and type 'consdev com0' for switching the
> console to the serial port.
> -----
>>> NetBSD/i386 BIOS Boot, Revision 2.7
>>> (, Thu Jun 13 05:57:50 CEST 2002)
>>> Memory: 640/48128 k
> Use hd1a:netbsd to boot sd0 when wd0 is also installed
> Press return to boot now, any other key for boot menu
> booting wd0a:netbsd - starting in 5
> -----
>>One OpenBSD user has just been converted to NetBSD!
> Nice :)
> ~
> Oliver

Aaron C. Springer
pgp key on request