booting bsd using ramdisk and no HD

booting bsd using ramdisk and no HD

Post by jsta » Tue, 09 Jul 2002 02:22:54



Has anyone any experience booting freebsd or any other UNIX OS from a
CD and running the OS using a ramdisk on a computer without a hard
drive?

I wish to run a computer without a hard drive for security purposes
(ie to prevent any files whatsoever being written to disk) by booting
from CD and using a ramdisk for all disk operations. Any files
requiring permanent storage would be encrypted (GnuPG) and written to
an online server.

Is anyone already using such a system, or is there any existing
documentation about using UNIX in this way?

Many thanks for any help anyone can provide.

j*

jstar/emc/UK

 
 
 

booting bsd using ramdisk and no HD

Post by Warren Blo » Tue, 09 Jul 2002 04:41:29



> Is anyone already using such a system, or is there any existing
> documentation about using UNIX in this way?

There was an article about setting up a FreeBSD firewall system with
only a CD drive a few months ago:

http://bsdtoday.com/2002/March/Features646.html

--
Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota * USA

 
 
 

booting bsd using ramdisk and no HD

Post by jsta » Tue, 09 Jul 2002 23:36:20


Excellent! : this is exactly what I was looking for

much appreciated

j*

ps: for anyone else trying to do this, I also found a (less user
friendly) article about CD-booting FreeBSD and OpenBSD at
http://www.bsdtoday.com/2001/June/Newswire497.html



> > Is anyone already using such a system, or is there any existing
> > documentation about using UNIX in this way?

> There was an article about setting up a FreeBSD firewall system with
> only a CD drive a few months ago:

> http://bsdtoday.com/2002/March/Features646.html

 
 
 

booting bsd using ramdisk and no HD

Post by Torfinn Ingolfse » Thu, 11 Jul 2002 03:06:14



> Excellent! : this is exactly what I was looking for

A couple more:
Netboz (http://www.netboz.net/)
ClosedBSD (http://www.closedbsd.org/)
--
Torfinn Ingolfsen
Norway
 
 
 

1. lilo config for dual hd-boot hd->ramdisk-boot?

Hi, I've got a 128 Mb flashdisk with hda1 partition of size 48Mb
(actually 50192Kb), of which 41Mb is used. I can directly boot this
partition with a standard lilo configuration. Oh, I have 64Mb of RAM,
but the OS, my small program, and no other servers require only 6Mb of
this.

Since it is a flashdisk, with limited rewrite capabilities, I would like
to load the whole of this hda1 partition into a ramdisk and use the
ramdisk as the root fs, that way I only ever read from the flashdisk.

I don't think I need to use initrd (since my kernel *already* has
everything it will need, I do not need to do a two-stage boot),  and I
don't think I need a compressed image of the root filesystem (since the
first partition, which, as explained above, I can also use directly as
the root filesystem, contains exactly what I want to load into RAM).

Ok, so my 2.2.19 kernel has ramdisk support compiled in - i.e. not just
as a module, and also loopback device and initrd, though I don't think I
need the last two of these.

My lilo.config has:

        boot=/dev/hda
        prompt
        timeout=30

        #  To use hda1 as root
        image=/path/to/the/kernel
                label=flash
                root=/dev/hda1

        #  To load hda1 into ram0 and use *that* as root fs
        image=/path/to/the/kernel
                label=ram
                append="root=/dev/ram0 start_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=50192 load_ramdisk=1"

Booting the 'flash' works fine, but booting 'ram' doesn't; the kernel
gets loaded correctly, but then it says "can't mount root filesystem on
01:00". I presume '01:00' means major 1 minor 0, which *is* ram0, so it
seems that the kernel knows what I want to be the root filesystem, it's
only that it failed to load the partition into memory before trying to
mount it.

I also tried adding 'prompt_ramdisk=1' just to see if it was even seeing
any of the ramdisk-related kernel parameters, and it did not prompt me
after loading the kernel, before attempting to load/mount the root
filesystem.

Can anybody offer any advice? Many thanks!

Alexis

2. Will 20/40 GB tape drv write 5 GB tape?

3. Boot broken, no ramdisk or hd w/PCI video

4. Kgdb: breakpoint in start_kernel

5. Mount /etc on ramdisk (booting from HD)

6. HELP: Modem answers then hangs up

7. How to find nos. of cyl in HD ?

8. reconfiguring my network card

9. Booting Linux from its HD partition using IBM Boot Manager

10. diskless booting using a ramdisk root filesystem; possible ?

11. Booting a ramdisk from HDD using LILO?

12. Changing Serial Nos using 'brand'

13. Random Number Generation with Linux (using BSD) and BSD