PXE // FreeBSD

draft – fails into rescue shell so far

See PXE Setup and NFS Install Server for overall PXE and diskless instructions. This is FreeBSD specific.


be it bootonly or disc1, the live system gives up on trying to mount the CD and eventually switches to NFS, however it then tries to write to /var/db/mounttab and fails-over into rescue shell.

Grab the right ISO

The ISO is easier to mount than the IMG

cd /tftpboot/ISO-IMAGES/

yet again, the BOOT/bootonly image is not enough and the live system ends up wondering how it should behave

wget $mirror/releases/ISO-IMAGES/13.0/FreeBSD-13.0-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso.xz
unxz FreeBSD-13.0-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso.xz

mkdir /tftpboot/fbsd/
cd /tftpboot/fbsd/

mkdir iso/
mount ../ISO-IMAGES/FreeBSD-13.0-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso iso/

rm -rf nfs/
cp -a iso/ nfs/
umount iso/
rmdir iso/

PXE setup

cd /tftpboot/fbsd/nfs/boot/
ln -s pxeboot pxeboot.bin

vi /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default

label freebsd install nfs
    kernel fbsd/nfs/boot/pxeboot.bin

vi /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf

if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient" {
    if substring (option user-class, 1, 7) = "FreeBSD" {
        # diskless for fbsd
        option root-path "PXE-SERVER:/tftpboot/fbsd/nfs";

See client classification for more details.


pxeboot – Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) bootloader https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=pxeboot&sektion=8

32.8. Diskless Operation with PXE https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/handbook/network-diskless.html

Installing new Operating System such as FreeBSD with PXE boot? https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/34250/installing-new-operating-system-such-as-freebsd-with-pxe-boot

FreeBSD PXE boot Part 2 http://tonkersten.com/2011/06/96-freebsd-pxe-boot-part-2/ –> this is the real deal (loader.conf)

PXE booting of a FreeBSD disk image https://blog.cochard.me/2019/02/pxe-booting-of-freebsd-disk-image.html –> got the deal (loader.conf)