netboot

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jhendrix
Posts: 7
Joined: 09 Mar 2007, 22:07

netboot

Postby jhendrix » 08 Oct 2007, 11:02

Many of the Sparc machines I maintain have no CD/DVD-drive. A netboot image would be welcome, especially when it has access to all regular systemrescuecd tools :)

For this to work, you might consider to boot the kernel from a tftpserver and subsequentially mount de CD over NFS.

Hope this helps,

JP

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2715
Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 09:44

Postby admin » 08 Oct 2007, 17:36

How exactly does that work before the tftp stage ? On x86 there is a boot manager (pxelinux) loaded by the network card. What about sparc ?

jhendrix
Posts: 7
Joined: 09 Mar 2007, 22:07

Postby jhendrix » 08 Oct 2007, 18:26

Good question, from the top of my mind netboot on Sparc works as follows:

1. force the machine into the OK-prompt
2. type "boot net" (the exact command may vary accross architectures, but for my machines this had always worked)
3. the server sends out a RARP request onto the network (broadcast)
4. the boot server (Linux) runs rarpd and upon receiving a RARP request it checks /etc/ethers for the client's MAC address and its hostname or IP-address
5. the missing IP-address or hostname is resolved from /etc/hosts on the boot server
6. IP address and hostname are sent back to the RARP-client
7. the client sends out a bootparam request to the boot server
8. the boot server is running bootparamd and checks /etc/bootparam for parameters. This contains address of TFTP server, NFS server and some other settings.
9. Sparcy translates its IP address to hex and queries the TFTP-server for a file like "C0A80A0A". The image mentioned below is an all-in-one image and just boots a very limited linux environment.
10. When booting a Solaris TFTP-image, it mounts its root filesystem over NFS. You may want to consider this same trick as I observed downloading the image to be very slow on an 100Mbps network.

11. Notice:
- an 10.x.y.z/24 address may be forced by the machine to a 10.0.0.0/8 address. I solved this by booting from a 192.168.x.0/24 network. I observed this when netbooting Solaris 10, and I like to play it safe now ;)
- on multi-NIC servers the interface that is used to TFTP-boot (bge0) may be different from eth0 under linux. Eg. my V240 boots the TFTP image from "bge0" and Linux runs eth0 at hardware socket bge2.
- I needed a userspace NFS(2) server instead of the kernel driver, not sure why though
- Booting Solaris 10 from a network server requires a writable(!) DVD-image on the NFS server! So copy the DVD contents into a normal directory if you like to try and boot Solaris.
- Wireshark and loads of logging (esp. on NFS) helped me a lot in understanding what is going on.


You may want to check this image: http://dev.gentoo.org/~agaffney/sparc/m ... 070724.img
which is somewhat limited. agaffney is usually on #gentoo-sparc on freenode ;) and googleing around I found several (gentoo)handbooks and wiki's on netbooting.
I'll try to write down my experiences building a boot server over the last month. Have to do that anyway.

Hope this helps,

JP

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2715
Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 09:44

Postby admin » 08 Oct 2007, 18:36

Thanks for your quick and detailed reply. It seems this feature will require a long time of development so be patient :)

jhendrix
Posts: 7
Joined: 09 Mar 2007, 22:07

Postby jhendrix » 09 Oct 2007, 12:23

I know, just booting Solaris took me a month's work. But then again, I'm writing everything down: http://wirespeed.xs4all.nl/mediawiki/in ... from_Linux
OK this is a work in progress so bear with me too :P
Now everything is set up, booting and installing a Sparc server over the network is just minutes work. Decent rescue tools would be a good addition.

BTW: Booting the Linux image I mentioned is wayyyyy easier than Solaris ;)

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2715
Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 09:44

Postby admin » 09 Oct 2007, 17:48

Thanks. I worked on jumpstart, and that's right it's sometimes a pain. It takes 10 minutes to detect the network on a quad-ports card...

dalek
Posts: 4
Joined: 19 May 2009, 10:58

Postby dalek » 20 May 2009, 16:17

I have a Solaris 10 box that can be used to test it. THen again, I do need to get my Solaris 9 machine up enough to such data out. So, I am biased...

And, I am even resurrecting this old thread.


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