vincenzo romero wrote:

Am new to FreeBSD and relatively new to linux;  I have a CentOS 5.1
PXE/tftpd/dhcpd server; I'd like it to be the build/PXE server where a
bunch of 1U clients could PXE boot and run:

1.  diskless over NFS-Root

In googling, seems like there is a clone script that preps and lets
you generate a root file system structure and let your clients boot
off the network.

I found the docs I could find on the internet way obsolete back in 2005 when I played with it, and I am not aware that these has been updated.

I wrote my own guide to make up for this, however, this may now also be obsolete as it's been some time since I played with this.

My main problem with diskless is that FreeBSD mounts memory backed filesystems for /var and /tmp which waste a lot of precious RAM if you have restricted memory. And a feature, useless in diskless operation, prevents mounting /var and /tmp from a server.

I checked the Free BSD Handbook (Chapter 29) where extensive
documentation on setup is outlined, but it assumes that the
PXE/TFTP/NFS/DHCPd servers are FreeBSD;  mine is a CentOS; just want
to support diskless PXE boot for my clients.

Section 9Usning a Non-FreeBSD server - just indicates that
do a tar/cpio of root; but ensure that special files in /dev are taken
care of ...

There is no problem serving files from a non-FreeBSD server, however things are easier, as you need to build all applications served via NFS for FreeBSD. This mainly affects you if you want diskless clients, you need to keep these updated. For installation this is not a concern.

The /dev is not a problem, the diskless client mounts a /dev locally, it is not a real file system.

- does anyone have this type of scenario setup?  if so, can you please
share with me your insights/cheat-sheet-how to?

- i'd be interested in understanding the setup of how you handled
copying the /dev files into your exported ROOT directorty ...

Are there any other recommendations ?

If you want to do network installation rather than diskless, avoid NFS, it is much easier to set up installation over ftp.

Cheers, Erik
Erik Nørgaard
Ph: +34.666334818                 
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