Sometimes you need to perform a network installation (i.e. when no USB or DVD drive is allowed to boot, but you can boot PXE). In case of FreeBSD you can use DNSMASQ to serve the DHCP that will assign the initial client address and configuration along with PXE boot image served over tFTP. At this point you will have bootloader running, so you can serve filesystem over NFS to obtain working environment and/or the installer..
- Create a directory that will hold the target filesystem over network. In my case that was
- Put OS/Installer files inside above directory
cd /usr/local/tftp/FreeBSD wget http://(..)/file.iso 7z x file.iso
- Edit /etc/exports to export the filesystem over NFS
/usr/local/tftp/FreeBSD -ro -alldirs -network 192.168.0.0
- Install the dnsmasq
pkg install dnsmasq
- Setup the /usr/local/etc/dnsmasq.conf
enable-tftp tftp-root=/usr/local/tftp/FreeBSD dhcp-range=192.168.0.50,192.168.0.60,255.255.255.0,1h dhcp-boot=boot/pxeboot dhcp-option=option:router,
- Restart services
service nfsd onerestart service dnsmasq onerestart
- In case you get bootloader running but troubles with NFS make sure that mountd is running. Also you can see who is using the NFS shares with
PXE Boot always use initial DHCP/tFTP to fetch configuration and bootloader, so the first stage is similar and should work with other Operating Systems and Bootloaders as well, the rest is up to bootloader itself..