I finally got OpenBSD installed on my Soekris net4801. The problems I'd had was because I for some reason thought it was 9600 baud serial console, when in fact it is 19200 baud. Setting the speed wrong gives a lot of gibberish on the screen.
Here's the outline:
- Set up a OpenBSD PXE boot environment.
- Get a serial console to the Soekris.
- Install OpenBSD.
- Geek out!
OpenBSD PXE Environment
Edit IPs to fit your network setup. I also have static leases configured for all my other clients, but they're not relevant in this context.
pkill -HUP inetd’. Of course you should change 172.16.0.1 to whatever is relevant in your network setup.
/tftpboot directory and copy the
pxeboot files from the closest OpenBSD mirror into it. Then create a
etc directory in
/tftpboot and create the file
/tftpboot/etc/boot.conf containing these three lines:
Get a Serial Console
I will describe how to do it on Mac OS X using a Keyspan USA-19HS USB→Serial adapter, if you're using something else details will certainly vary.
- Install Keyspan drivers.
- Connect cables, USB→Serial→Soekris, and connect the 1st Soekris network interface to the LAN.
- Open a Terminal.app and execute ‘
sudo cu -l /dev/tty.USA19Hfa13P1.1 -s 19200’. The exact
- Power on the Soekris and type Control-P when prompted to enter monitor.
- In the Soekris monitor, enter the command ‘
boot f0’ to PXE boot.
You can find the BIOS files on the soekris download page, and some help for the update on the wiki. There are a few differences depending on the OS you use when updating, so be sure to read the wiki entry.
After the Ctrl-P to enter Monitor I only enter
~+lsx -X ~/4801.bin (renamed BIOS file),
reboot (not the ‘?’), the rest is system output.
Then it boots with a new, fresh comBIOS.
It is very easy, just follow the instructions. In my opinion OpenBSD have the best installer of any operating system I've tried, easy, simple, fast and easily customizable if you need to.
Of course you have no use for the
x*.tgz packages on a headless system with only a serial console, but I am sure you can install it if you want to.
So far I have geeked out on my NET4801 kernel configuration file and pared the kernel down to 1.9 MB instead of the normal 6.5 MB.
Author M. G. Liebach
LastMod 2016-05-01 (9fc4632)