Netbooting and NFS root for NetBSD on sparc64

So, you got a sparc64 machine (e.g. a Sun Fire V100) that you want to run NetBSD on. For ... reasons you want/need to netboot it and run it with a NFS rootfs. And your hosting environment for all that is mostly Linux. Well, let me describe what you need.

This is written for Linux hosts running Debian or Ubuntu.



Please ensure appropriate name resolution either via local DNS or via /etc/hosts on the Linux server.

basic sparc64 NetBSD boot process

Putting it all together


First, install the rarp service via: apt install rarpd. Then edit /etc/ethers with the following content:

02:25:45:67:89:01 sparc64box
and restart rarpd.



I'm assuming isc-dhcpd here, if you prefer a different DHCP server, you need to adjust accordingly. Further, general familiarity with that is assumed.

NFS server


To boot via the network to an NFS root, power up your sparc64 box to the OK prompt and initiate the net boot process with: boot net. Your machine should now boot via the network, mount the NFS root and complete the boot process. For troubleshooting, tcpdump can be very useful.
Last modified 2024-03-10 by Alexander Schreiber