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Setting up a FreeBSD on a Sun Netra X1


This documents the installation of FreeBSD on a Sun Netra X1 machine.


Sun Netra X1 (with a Sun Microsystems UltraSparc-IIe Processor (400.00 MHz CPU)), 1GB RAM, 20 GB HD. NO CD-ROM.

Operating System: FreeBSD

Why FreeBSD? - I had used it recently on a laptop, and was impressed by it's simplicity of use, and robust installation. I also knew it better that Solaris, and was more comfortable with FreeBSD's upgrade methods, so I chose it to be my server.


Remember to refer to the FreeBSD handbook if you have difficulties during the install.

To download the CD ISO images (you only need the first for the minimal install):

wget -b ftp://ftp.freebs86/ISO-IMAGES/6.0/6.0-RELEASE-sparc64-disc1.iso

and then burn it onto a CD.

The Sun servers use a Lights-Out Management interface (LOM). You can control the server (reboot, shutdown) with a serial console even if the main operating system is shut down. There is no VGA card. The server can only be controlled by a serial console using a Standard SUN RJ45->Serial cable, and a console application (like HyperTerminal for Windows).

I chose to connect a CD-ROM drive on the second IDE channel as the Sun Netra X1 does not have a CD-ROM drive. It was a simple process of opening the box and connecting a spare CD-ROM to the available cable. I removed the CD-ROM after the install before I racked the server.

To get the CD-ROM to boot with the new FreeBSD CD, type:

#. (to get into LOM)
boot cdrom

The server then booted the FreeBSD CD. Choose VT100 (2nd choice) as terminal. The installation is like any FreeBSD installation, however, if your arrow-keys don't work, use - and + to move the cursor up and down.

I Selected Standard installation

Once in the fdisk utility, I deleted all existing partitions, then selected A (Use Entire Disk) followed by Q to exit.

Under the FreeBSD Disklabel Editor, I selected A (Auto Defaults) followed by Q to exit.

I then selected "Minimal" - The smallest installation possible (I can always add things later).

Once the minimal install was complete, I configured Ethernet with "no IPv6", then I accepted all the defaults.

Lastly, I set the root password, and exited the install, which returned me to the LOM prompt, from which I typed:

boot disk

If you need to run the installer program again, run sysinstall; you can use this to add packages and modify your network and other settings easily too.

Adding Additional Packages

Now here's the coolest part of FreeBSD IMHO: the package management system. The Handbook covers this in detail, but for now, I'll just show the commands used to collect the packages I wanted from the internet and install them:

# I prefer the BASH shell
pkg_add -r bash
# my preferred simple editor (a more advanced clone of pico, pine's editor)
pkg_add -r nano
# A simple text browser is always handy
pkg_add -r lynx

rc.conf Modifications

The /etc/rc.conf file controls the core of additional applications and daemons, here is a summary of the modifications I made to this file:

# network settings
ifconfig_dc0="inet  netmask"
# if you want to enable remote ssh access

More Questions?

How Do I? : I have a bunch of FreeBSD questions and answers here.

On This document? : Contact me here.

Local Docs : /usr/share/docs; If you are unfamiliar with FreeBSD's directory layout, please refer to the hier(7) man page.

FreeBSD Handbook : The handbook (available in multiple formats), and other documentaion and support groups can be found at http://www.freebsd.org.

Need more applications : try here

Hypertext man (manual) pages : are here

© Roqet :: 2022-03-01 16:07:34