[rescue] Netboot problems

Phil Stracchino phil.stracchino at speakeasy.net
Wed Feb 16 00:20:25 CST 2005

Hey folks.

So, to start with, I have this U5.  It's running openBSD 3.6 and pf, and 
doing an excellent job of being a firewall/router here at my current 
(and hopefully not too temporary) place in Sunnyvale.  Naturally, I 
don't really want it doing anything else.

Now, I've also recently acquired this U2.  It's a pretty nice box, only 
a single 9G boot disk, but dual 400MHz/2MB USIIs and 2GB of RAM. 
(There's some chance I can acquire a Eurologic Voyager 3000 to hang off 
it for some serious storage.)  However, the OS install on it is ... 
really messed up, and it's Solaris 8 anyway, and reasonably enough I 
want to burn it down and start over with a clean Solaris 10 install, to 
which end I have a shiny new set of Solaris 10 3/05 CDs.

Problem:  It lacks a CDROM drive, and right now I lack a spare one to 
put in it for installation.  "Aha," you say, "hence the netboot." 
Indeed.  And over the course of hacking on it for several days, I have 
actually managed to get it netbooting Solaris 10 from the OpenBSD U5 ... 
right up to the point where it (I think) fails to mount root, panics, 
and resets so fast I don't even have time to properly see why it 
panicked.  I have a serial-console cable that should work, but I don't 
appear to be able to get a serial console from the U2 on the U5, and 
lacking a pair of machines between which serial console is known to 
work, I can't verify that the cable does in fact work.  I seem to get a 
connection -- the U5 *claims* to be connected -- but no data comes 
across the connection.

So....  any speculations as to what could cause the machine to be able 
to netboot as far as mounting root, but then not actually be able to 
mount root?  Any ideas why a serial console would not be working?  (I 
may be able to borrow a different console cable, but there's no guarantee.)

By the way:  There appears to be no way that I can determine to extract 
CD1 s1 on an OpenBSD box.  OpenBSD does not appear to grok ufs, nor to 
be able to read any but the first slice on a CD.  So if you try this 
yourself, you will have to extract s1 on either a Solaris box, or a 
Linux box with a kernel configured with support for ufs and Sun disklabels.

  Phil Stracchino
  Renaissance Man, Unix generalist, Perl hacker
  phil.stracchino at speakeasy.net
  phil.stracchino at ceva-dsp.com
  Mobile: 408-592-8081

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