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BOOT(8) NetBSD/sparc64 System Manager's Manual BOOT(8)
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boot, ofwboot -- system bootstrapping procedures
boot [-adqsv] [-- <boot string>]
Sun UltraSPARC systems support booting from locally attached storage
media (e.g. hard disk, CD-ROM), and booting over Ethernet networks using
Power fail and crash recovery
Normally, the system will reboot itself at power-up or after crashes. An
automatic consistency check of the file systems will be performed as
described in fsck(8), and unless this fails, the system will resume
The Sun Open Firmware performs a Power On Self Test (POST), and then will
boot an operating system according to configuration in Open Firmware
Boot program options
-a Prompt for the root file system device, the system crash dump
device, and the path to init(8).
-d Bring the system up in debug mode. Here it waits for a kernel
debugger connect; see gdb(1).
-q Boot the system in quiet mode.
-s Bring the system up in single-user mode.
-v Boot the system in verbose mode.
Any extra flags or arguments, or the <boot string> after the -- separator
are passed to the boot PROM. Other flags are currently ignored.
At any time you can halt the running system and get back to the Open
Firmware. If the console is the Sun framebuffer and keyboard, press the
`STOP' and `A' keys at the same time on the keyboard. On older models of
Sun keyboards, the `STOP' key is labeled `L1'.
If the console is a serial port the same is achieved by sending a
If you do this accidentally, you can continue whatever was in progress
with the go command.
Since machines vary greatly in the way their devices are connected, there
are aliases defined by the firmware. You can either use the fully quali-
fied Open Firmware path of a device node, or the alias.
The secondary boot loader, ofwboot, takes boot commands virtually the
same as Open Firmware. Thus, the following examples apply equally to
ofwboot as well as Open Firmware.
A typical list of usable boot devices (extracted from the output of the
Open Firmware command devalias) is:
If a device specification includes a partition letter (for example cdrom
in above list), that partition is used by default, otherwise the first
(a) partition is used. If booting from the net device, there is no par-
The boot device is an optional first part of the boot string, if no
device is specified the default device is used (see below).
FIRMWARE ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
All Open Firmware environment variables can be printed with the printenv
command and changed with the setenv command. The boot process relevant
variables and their suggested value for booting NetBSD are:
Of course you may select any other boot device, if you do not want to
boot from the device aliased to disk, see the discussion on devices
/netbsd system code
/ofwboot system bootstrap
/usr/mdec/ofwboot.net alternate bootstrap when booting from the net-
work, see diskless(8) for details.
Boot from CD-ROM:
Note that some multi-architecture CDs are not able to use the default
sparc64 partition for CD-ROMs (f), so they may require an explicit parti-
tion letter, for example
When using external SCSI CD-ROM drives it is important to know two
things: the Sun firmware expects the SCSI ID to be six, and the drive
must support 512-byte block reads, in addition to the standard 2048-byte
boot net -sd
to boot single user from network and break into the kernel debugger as
soon as possible.
boot net tftp:netbsd -a
to boot a kernel named netbsd obtained via tftp and have it ask for root
file system, swap partition and init location once it is up.
During installation from a different operating system
is used to boot a ``miniroot'' file system from the swap partition.
disklabel(8), diskless(8), fsck(8), halt(8), init(8), installboot(8),
rc(8), shutdown(8), sparc/boot(8), syslogd(8)
Sun developed its firmware and promoted it to become IEEE Std 1275-1994
IEEE 1275 Open Firmware:
NetBSD provides no way to boot UltraSPARC systems from floppy disks.
This is unlikely to change, due to very low demand for this feature.
The OBP on Ultra 1 and Ultra 2 machines can only boot from the first 4Gb
of the disk.
NetBSD 9.2 November 9, 2008 NetBSD 9.2