On Sat, 2 Dec 2006, Kevin Sanders wrote:

On 12/2/06, Alexander Kabaev <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
I personally think that having a dedicated box in disk-less configuration is the best option out there. The ability to quickly go through series of hands/reboots without any associated fsck runs and without the risk of terminally damaging any local FS is priceless. If qemu can be tricked into disk-less booting, it should be just as good though.

Alexander, when you say disk-less configuration, are you referring to booting from a network image/server? That's an interesting idea. I'm fairly new to FreeBSD development also, and prefer the speed of a dedicated box, but recently suffered my first corrupted beyond repair system.

This is exactly the setup I use also. Most typically, the setup involves a central development server running -STABLE, with a private network link to a series of crash boxes. The development server NFS exports a file system to use as an NFS root and for file sharing, as well as running tftp and dhcp servers. The test boxes use PXE to boot fom the central server. Each test system has its own exported root, so I can use individual loader.conf's to tell test systems to boot off NFS, boot off local disks, etc. I always load the kernel over NFS using pxeboot, regardless of whether I boot boxes with a local root.

You get some very nice effects -- you can easily move boxes between FreeBSD versions by switching out root file system symlinks, you can be building the next kernel while the previous one dumps core, etc.

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge
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