Subject: how to boot into netbsd installer using pxe?
To: None <>
From: None <>
List: tech-install
Date: 07/24/2005 17:44:44

I would like to offer a network based install service in our LAN here,
and I would like it to be able to install NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and
Gentoo.  I have a PXE environment booting Grub 0.97, which can boot a
NetBSD kernel.

So far, so good.

But the NetBSD kernel (I use the GENERIC install kernel), after
detecting the hardware, asks me what device to boot from.

How can I tell the kernel where to boot from?

I'm not particularly glued to grub, if it is better to do this with
syslinux (or $WHATEVER), I'm game.  However, I need to have a boot menu
offering all the above operating systems, I can not simply boot directly
into NetBSD's PXE loader.  And I want to offer a net-bootable memtest.

By the way: OpenBSD ships the pxeboot file in their install directory, I
would very much like NetBSD to do the same.  I know the file is in
base.tgz, I found it with a little googling, but this (and the missing
documentation on how to do it) may keep people from offering NetBSD via
PXE.  I'm thinking about an install LAN on a LAN party here, so as many
people as possible can install NetBSD.

The next step would be to offer something like a live CD just bootable
over PXE.  Think about the advocacy possibilities if people can just try
NetBSD over the net?  Also, think about the environment, of all the CDs
that don't need to be burned or pressed and then thrown away.