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Setting up Remote Access Without Any Console

You only need to follow these directions if your machine doesn't have a working local console or a working serial console (such as an iBook or an hp425e). It's not the best way to run a machine, as there are some things that you can only do from console, such as choosing the boot disk, kernel, and booting options.

Basically what this page describes is how to set up your NFS filesystem such that the client will boot far enough to start a telnet daemon and let you log in to further configure the machine.

  1. Create the device files.
    Trivial as this sounds, this may be the most difficult step here. First, try to run the MAKEDEV script:
    # cd /export/client/root/dev;./MAKEDEV all

    If your NFS server OS doesn't deal with this gracefully, then you will need to manually create the necessary device files, then run MAKEDEV all once your client is booted to get the standard set of device files. To manually create them, you need to look through your MAKEDEV file and determine which devices you need (probably ethernet, pseudo-terminals, null, stdin, stdout, and stderr). If you will be mounting the miniroot filesystem, you'll probably also need the vnode disk device files. Once you know what the major and minor numbers are for your devices, then you need to man mknod to determine the syntax of your server's mknod command, then make those devices.

  2. Edit /export/client/root/etc/rc.conf and change the line to read:

  3. Edit /export/client/root/etc/inetd.conf and make sure that the telnet daemon is uncommented (in NetBSD 1.5 and later, telnet is disabled by default).

  4. Edit /export/client/root/etc/master.passwd and add a user so that you can telnet in. Just add a line to the end of the file reading something like:
    me::1000:100::0:0:My account:/home/me:/bin/csh
    where me is the name of the account, there's no password, the home directory is in /home/me, and the shell is /bin/csh. Make sure there's a return at the end of this line, but that there are no blank lines in the file.

  5. Edit /export/client/root/etc/group and add yourself to group wheel:

  6. Edit /export/client/root/etc/rc.local and add a line to the end of the file reading:
    /usr/sbin/pwd_mkdb -p /etc/master.passwd
    This will create all of the shadow password files and databases so that your user can log in.

  7. Boot and telnet in. su to root.

  8. If you didn't make all of the device files before, do so now:
    # cd /dev;./MAKEDEV all

  9. Create passwords for both your me user and for root:
    # /usr/bin/passwd -l root # /usr/bin/passwd -l me

  10. Remove the pwd_mkdb line from /etc/rc.local as this was only needed the first time your machine booted.

Congratulations! Now you need to finish up by setting all of your diskless server daemons to automatically start when your server reboots. Either that, or you need to manually install onto your local hard drive.

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