Commit 1ecc7196 authored by Mike Hibler's avatar Mike Hibler

README file for tftpboot tarball distribution

parent 805f778b
1. DESCRIPTION:
These are the files/directories needed for PXE booting.
2. CONTENTS:
README
This file
freebsd*/
kernel/MFS for a PXE-booted memory based FreeBSD 4.7 or 4.10 system
(no 5.3 yet). We use this MFS for creating disk images and general
maintenance tasks on a node (e.g., when the node's disk is scrogged).
The MFS contains a pretty small set of utilities.
frisbee*/
kernel/MFS for a PXE-booted memory based FreeBSD 4.7, 4.10 or
5.3 system. This MFS is considerably smaller than the "freebsd" one.
It is used to reload node disks with frisbee. Since it may be loaded
simultaneously by many nodes to reload their disks, we wanted
this to be as small as possible. Not intended as an interactive
environment, its rc.local script invokes frisbee and then reboots.
freebsd.newnode/
kernel/MFS for a PXE-booted memory based FreeBSD system.
A specialized version of the frisbee MFS for loading on nodes
which are not yet part of Emulab.
mfs-entries.sql
At some point in the Emulab setup directions you will be told that
you need to ask Utah about DB entries for the MFSes. This file
contains commands for setting up those entries. As the database
schema changes occasionally, you should check the table layout
at the beginning of the file to make sure it matches your DB before
performing the INSERT commands.
pxeboot.emu-{sio,vga,null}
This is a specialized version of the FreeBSD boot loader.
Serial-line (-sio), VGA (-vga), and null (-null) console versions
of our standard PXE-booted startup. Whichever you choose should
be renamed as /tftpboot/pxeboot.emu (or whatever your boss dhcpd.conf
file says).
3. INSTALLATION:
If you are reading this file, then I guess you have succeeded in unpacking
the tarball. Hopefully, you have unpacked it into /tftpboot. If not, go
do that now, I'll wait...
...ok. First, you have to choose between using FreeBSD 4.7, FreeBSD 4.10
or FreeBSD 5.3 MFSes. For "frisbee", you almost certainly want to use 5.3
since it supports more hardware. For "freebsd" you would want to use 5.3,
except...there isn't one yet. Ok, so then you almost certainly want to
use 4.10, but...we have machines with older Intel BX chipsets on which the
4.10 kernel causes data corruption on IDE disks. I have not tracked this
down yet, but I do know that the 5.3 frisbee MFS doesn't show this problem
so the ultimate solution will be to use 5.3 all around. But in the meantime,
if you don't have older machines, try the 4.10 "freebsd" MFS first [1].
Otherwise just use the 4.7 version. In summary, I recommend:
frisbee53 (move it to "frisbee")
freebsd47 or freebsd410 (move one to "freebsd")
Anyway, after choosing your MFSes, you should have three generic MFSes
(frisbee, freebsd, freebsd.newnode). The three MFSes unloaded are "generic"
in the sense that they don't have any of your (or our) Emulab keys or
passwords. That is ok for the "newnode" MFS, but the other two will need
to be customized for your site. See the README file in each boot
subdirectory for MFS-specific customization and installation instructions.
If you don't have VGA or serial lines, and it appears that nodes are not
booting, try using pxeboot.emu-null which gives you a non-interactive version
of the boot loader. Some sites have had problems with "phantom" serial line
input from a non-existent serial line causing the -sio version of the boot
loader to drop into interactive mode. Make sure you replace the loader.conf
file in the three subdirectories with the -null version as well.
[1] To test whether 4.10 has problems on your machines, you will likely
have to install the 4.10 version of frisbee (frisbee410) and use that for
awhile. You are more likely to see the problem with the frisbee MFS rather
than the freebsd one, since the latter is not used as much. Anyway, if
you notice problems booting up a machine (doesn't boot, filesystem problems
once it boots), then you are probably tickling the bug. Switch to the 4.7
versions (at least for freebsd, I still recommend 5.3 for frisbee). Note
that the corruption is sporadic, so you might have to load many disks before
you see a problem. This sucks.
[ This file is a copy of doc/customize-mfs.txt in the Emulab source tree. ]
[ Last updated 05/17/05 ]
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