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Introduction (hp300-specific), Diskless NetBSD HOW-TO

Client hardware requirements

Setting up the client hardware

How the Boot ROM starts loading from a diskless server

HP intended for all Series 300/400 machines to entirely use the RMP (Remote Maintenance Protocol) for all things diskless (including filesystem). To keep things simple, the NetBSD folks have only implemented the bootstrapping procedure (known as rbootd), wherein the Boot ROM gets the initial bootloader. Here's what happens when you power on your hp300:

  1. The Boot ROM runs through a bunch of hardware checks
  2. The Boot ROM checks for the bootloader in various places (see above)
  3. When it gets to checking the ethernet, it will broadcast an RMP Boot Request packet
  4. If it gets a response, it will send another request (this time asking for the name(s) of the bootloaders on that server)
  5. If the user selects that device to boot, the server will send the bootloader to the client using RMP
  6. The Boot ROM will transfer control to the bootloader and it will start looking for a NetBSD diskless server (rarp, then bootparams, then nfs)

A few things worth noting

Begin setting things up (suggested order):

  1. rbootd
  2. rarp
  3. bootparams
  4. nfs
  5. client filesystem
  6. finishing up

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