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C.5 Choosing a Boot Method

Choosing a Boot Method

This section describes how to start (or boot) the installation program. Once the installation program is running, you will be able to choose from several installation methods. You can choose from the following installation methods: CD-ROM, NFS, hard disk, and FTP. (Note that if the installation program is booted directly from CD-ROM, the installation will automatically proceed from that CD-ROM.)

There are three different ways a Red Hat Linux/SPARC installation can be started:

Boot From Diskette -- The installation program is read from a diskette.

Boot From CD-ROM -- The installation program is read directly from the Red Hat Linux/SPARC CD-ROM.

Boot From the Network -- The installation program is read from a TFTP server.

C.5.1 Booting From Diskette

Booting From Diskette

If your SPARC system has a diskette drive, you can boot the Red Hat Linux/SPARC installation program from a diskette. The boot diskette image (known as boot.img) is located in the images/ directory on your Red Hat Linux/SPARC CD-ROM. Please refer to Appendix B for instructions on writing the image file to a diskette. Make sure you label the diskette ``Boot Diskette''.

C.5.1.1 Diskette Boot Commands

Diskette Boot Commands

For SPARC systems with a PROM version of 2.0 or greater, the proper boot command (when in new command mode) is:

boot floppy

On the other hand, SPARC systems with PROM versions less than 2.0 should use the following command at the > prompt:

b fd()

Please Note:There have been reports that some systems with pre-2.0 PROMs cannot boot the Red Hat Linux/SPARC installation program from diskette. If you find this to be the case with your SPARC system, you will need to use another boot method.

C.5.2 Booting From CD-ROM

Booting From CD-ROM

If your SPARC system has a fully Sun-supported CD-ROM drive, you can boot directly from the Red Hat Linux/SPARC CD-ROM. For SPARC systems with a PROM version of 2.0 or better, use the following command when in new command mode:

boot cdrom

SPARC systems with PROM versions less than 2.0 may not be able to boot from a CD-ROM at all. Theoretically, if your SPARC system has a CD-ROM at SCSI id 6, the following command should boot the Red Hat Linux/SPARC installation program:

b sd(0,6,0)

Unfortunately, due to a lack of resources, Red Hat Software has not been able to test this boot command. If one of our readers has been successful getting a pre-2.0 SPARC system booted from the Red Hat Linux/SPARC CD-ROM, please send us mail at docs@redhat.com, and we'll update this manual. Thank you!

Note that using an NFS-mounted root after booting from CD-ROM is not supported, as the filesystem on the Red Hat Linux/SPARC CD-ROM performs the same function as an NFS-mounted root. Therefore, no additional boot command arguments should be given for CD-ROM boots.

C.5.3 Booting From the Network

Booting From the Network

There are two types of network boots supported by the Red Hat Linux/SPARC installation program:

  1. Network boot with NFS-mounted root. This method is required for SPARC systems with less than 12 MB of RAM.

  2. Network boot with network-loaded ramdisk. This method can be used by systems with at least 12 MB of RAM.

While booting your SPARC system from the network is fairly straightforward, there are several requirements:

C.5.3.0.1 Setting up RARP
Setting up RARP

If you are going to use rarp, please refer to Section C.4.1.

C.5.3.0.2 TFTP Server Setup
TFTP Server Setup

If you are going to set up a TFTP server on a Red Hat Linux system, simply install the latest tftp package using RPM, and make sure the line in inetd.conf that will run tftp is uncommented. Don't forget to kill -HUP inetd if you needed to make any changes to inetd.conf.

Next, you'll need to make a symlink describing the SPARC system to be booted, and pointing to the file from which it should boot. The name of the symlink contains two items:

  1. The IP address of the system to be booted, in hexadecimal.

  2. A string describing the architecture of the system to be booted.

To convert the more common ``dotted decimal'' IP address into its hex equivalent, convert each of the address' four groups of numbers into hex. If the resulting hex number is only one digit, add a leading zero to it. Then append all four hex numbers together. For example, take the IP address 10.0.2.254. Convert each set of four numbers into hex, and add a leading zero where necessary:

 10 = A  or 0A
  0 = 0  or 00
  2 = 2  or 02
254 = FE or FE

Therefore, the IP address 10.0.2.254 in hex is: 0A0002FE.

The second part of the symlink name is the SPARC system's architecture. For our example, we'll use SUN4M. The IP address and architecture are separated by a dot, resulting in this symlink name:

0A0002FE.SUN4M

The last step is figuring out what this symlink should point to. There are two choices. If you want to use an NFS-mounted root, use the file /kernels/vmlinux. If you would rather use a ramdisk, use the file /images/tftpboot.img.

Place the appropriate file in the TFTP server's directory, and create the symlink. In this example, we're using the image that includes a ramdisk:

ln -s tftpboot.img 0A0002FE.SUN4M

C.5.3.1 Network Boot Commands

Network Boot Commands

You're now ready to boot. If you're going to boot tftpboot.img, simply use the following command (in new command mode):

boot net

On the other hand, if you're going boot from vmlinux and use an NFS-mounted root, use this command:

boot net linux nfsroot=nfs.server.IP.address:/path/to/RH/image

Replace nfs.server.ip.address with the NFS server's IP address, and
/path/to/RH/image with the path to the exported directory containing the appropriate Red Hat Linux/SPARC files.

SPARC systems with PROM versions less than 2.0 should use this boot command, appending the usual NFS root argument if required:

b le()


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