[nycbug-talk] Africa Network Traffic

Alex Pilosov alex at pilosoft.com
Sat Oct 6 21:10:47 EDT 2007

On Sat, 6 Oct 2007, Miles Nordin wrote:

> in more on-topic but still kind of frivolous news, I just netbooted
> OpenBSD over an intel em/wm fiber card.  The card didn't come with a
> PXE ROM, so I made an .iso EtherBoot image with
> http://rom-o-matic.net/, and stuck this .iso in a CD drive.  It boots
> and loads OpenBSD's pxeboot(8) stage2 over the fiber.  EtherBoot has
> this PXE_EXPORT option now which offers a PXE stack to the image it
> downloads with tftp: this means you can now use the mostly-Linuxy
> EtherBoot to boot BSD in a sane way.  You could sometimes sort of boot
it always puzzled me why pxe booting freebsd is such a (*&#@$ hassle,
particularly the compile-time nfs vs tftp requirement for bootloader, that
is so 1990. also, sysinstall automation sucks bricks (vs kickstart or
jumpstart or anything else) - how come i can't fetch sysinstall.cfg file
over the net? everyone i know that does pxe install of fbsd ends up
rewriting sysinstall.

I'm actually surprosed that you have em nic without pxe stack. I think you
just didn't enable (control-S on boot and bios menu to choose bootable).

> BSD with it before this feature existed, but now you can do BSD without
> compiling so-called ``ELF support'' into Etherboot, and without giving
> up the BSD stage2 'boot> ' prompt and passing root device information to
> the kernel, and stuff.  EtherBoot provides the network driver, and
> OpenBSD's normal pxeboot provides the 'boot> ' prompt and the kernel ELF
> relocation.  I'm using EtherBoot 5.4.3 for this, not gPXE, not grub.  
> Etherboot 5.2.x won't do this PXE_EXPORT thing.
yes, etherboot doesn't suck too much.

> Also, this Intel card is the only fiber card that's worked for me in
> OpenBSD.  I want fiber because I'm putting a sacrificial old abandoned
> PeeCee in a tent on the roof as a wireless AP, and I don't want to worry
> about lightning frying anything that isn't sacrifical.  I also tried a
> Broadcom 5703 and a couple Alteon AceNIC's (ti(4)).  The former doesn't
> work, and the latter work in FreeBSD, but not OpenBSD.
em have the best support all-around, pretty much. its the most popular
card, plus intel has engineers working on linux driver. fbsd driver also
isn't too bad.

> I don't particularly like using these Intel cards because I heard on
> some mailing list there is some alignment problem with the design that
> makes them slow on non-i386 (?), and because I just don't like Intel,
liking is overrated, when you need to get job done.

also, today, the world IS i386 (and maybe a bit of emt64). everything else 
is b-game.

> but I guess they seem to be the best-supported at least on i386, with
> both EtherBoot and OpenBSD supporting the fiber version of the card that
> I ended up with.  ebay for something like 'intel pro/1000 mf' if you
> want one.
yes, for intel cards, driverwise there isnt much difference between copper 
and fiber (its all abstracted behind phy layer).


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