Every VAX can be booted diskless if its CPU and network hardware is supported by NetBSD. Only the older VAX 11/7xx systems (this includes the VAX 8600) do not support netbooting from the bootrom. See note below.
Supported devices are: DEUNA/DELUA, DEBNA/DEBNT/DEBNK, DEQNA, DELQA, LANCE and SGEC chip based devices in VAXstations.
Although a fairly broad range of systems is supported, this support tends to come with certain limitations.
The NetBSD/vax port presently has only support for the included monochrome framebuffer in the VAXstation 2000 and VAXstation 3100. There may be support for the GPX / QDSS color graphics in the future. If your VAXstation is not configured for the monochrome framebuffer, or it is a VAXstation 4000, you have to use the serial console. You will either need a serial terminal such as a VT220, or you will need to interface the VAX to another system such a PC running a communications software package.
You will need to determine the ethernet hardware address of your workstation. This is sometimes also known as the "link level address" or MAC. It is a twelve digit hexadecimal number (i.e. it uses 0-9 and A-F for each digit). For example, 08:00:09:09:45:84 is the ethernet address of my workstation.
When at the console prompt on your VAX client, entering the following commands will output the ethernet address for the on board ethernet adapter.
Obtaining The Ethernet Address of Your MicroVAX 2000 or VAXstation 2000.
>>> test 50
This will print out quite a few lines of information. The line starting with "ID" is the one that references the VAX's ethernet address.
Obtaining The Ethernet Address of a MicroVAX II or VAXstation II.
It is the low byte of the six registers:
>>> e/p/w 20001920
P 20001920 FF08
P 20001922 FF00
P 20001924 FF2B
P 20001926 FF09
P 20001928 FFAA
P 2000192A FFCC
So the address if this interface is 08:00:2B:09:AA:CC.
Obtaining The Ethernet Address of other VAX machines.
>>> show ether
Generic way Obtaining The Ethernet Address of any VAX
Run tcpdump or mopd in in debug mode (command line switch -d) and start netbooting with the commands given below. Then the address will be shown to you by tcpdump or mopd.
At the console prompt:
>>> b/100 DEV
DEV is the abbreviation for the ethernet device. Replace DEV with the appropriate string from the following table:
|DEUNA/DELUA||See note below.|
|DEBNA/DEBNT/DEBNK||See note below|
The DEBNA/DEBNT/DEBNK interfaces are called ET. On a 8200 they are addressed as ETxn where x is BI slot number and n is zero. The naming on the 6000 machines is quite different:
>>> BOOT /XMI:x /BI:y ET0
where x is the BI adapter going to the BI bus where ethernet card sits and y is its slot number. The x is most likely E or D. A SHOW CONFIGURATION shows a list of cards so it's easy to find out those numbers even with closed doors and without confusing D and E.
From now on the examples will use the ESA0 interface. Please replace ESA0 in all following commands with the appropriate name of the interface of your VAX system.
Also, you may try to use the command:
>>> show dev
Not all VAXen support this command. But all VAXstations, excluding the VAXstation 2000 and II, all MicroVAX 3x00, III and VAX 4000 systems do. If your VAX supports this command, you will get a complete list of devices your VAX has, including the ethernet device with MAC address.
After the boot command has been issued, you should immediately be prompted for a bootfile name. If the bootloader is named MOPBOOT.SYS on your server, then enter in mopboot and press return.
The VAX client will return with:
Now the vax will continue without any user intervention.
VAX 11/7xx systems (this includes the VAX 8600) using the DEUNA/DELUA interfaces can not netboot from the bootrom. But the boot program can use them, so you first have to load that program from console storage (which is always present) and then as normal type
boot de(8,0,0,0)netbsd -s
or similar (this example was for an 11/750). You can skip the setup of a mopd in this case.
You need to change the name of the bootloader on the mop server to be the ethernet address of the mop client, as such:
# cd /tftpboot/mop # ln -s boot.mopformat 08002b1659bb.SYS
Make sure that the hex letters [a-f] are lower case, otherwise the VAX bootrom will not find the proper file. Now, when you netboot your vax, it will not prompt you for a file name. The command you run is:
>>> b esa0
Some vax models support setting the default boot device. The VaxStation 3100s (and possibly other models) will let you set the default boot device to be the ethernet device. From the console prompt, type:
>>> set boot esa0
After you set this, when these machines are rebooted, they will automatically netboot without any user intervention.