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

If you don't find what you need in this HOW-TO, look at The VAX Network Booting HOWTO by Brian Chase, on which this information is based.

Client hardware requirements

Setting up the client hardware

How the bootrom starts loading from a diskless server

DEC intended for MOP (Maintenance Operations Protocol) to handle a lot of network-related tasks, such as netbooting. Thus, it's built-in to most (all?) VAX ROMs. To keep things simple, the NetBSD folks have only implemented the bootstrapping procedure, wherein the Boot ROM gets the initial bootloader from a server.

  1. The Boot ROM runs through a bunch of hardware checks
  2. If your model of VAX supports setting the default boot device, then it automatically broadcasts a mop request. Otherwise, each time you boot your vax, you will need to tell it to send a mop request.
  3. If it gets a response, it will download the NetBSD bootloader
  4. The bootrom will transfer control to the bootloader and it will start looking for a NetBSD diskless server (bootp then nfs. The old way rarp, then bootparams, then nfs will be tried if bootp fails.)

Begin setting up your bootloader

  1. mop
  2. bootpd
  3. nfs
  4. client filesystem
  5. finishing up

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