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Old 23rd May 2012
ocicat ocicat is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,277

Originally Posted by daemonfowl View Post
ocicat, lunita obviously wants to install OpenBSD using a flash usb (as she doesn't have a CD player & it seems easier than pxe install ) and not just to install OpenBSD on a flash.
lunita, this post may be a digression from discussion attempting to answer your question. As pointed out by the forum rules, we frown on such hijacking of discussion on this site, however, my answer here will repeat & perhaps give further perspective as to my earlier post with greater technical detail. The reason for repeating is to point out that a default installation is not merely an installation to flash. A default installation to a USB device can be used to install OpenBSD onto other systems.

Yes, it is possible to create a custom script which will create a very specific installation of OpenBSD where one would in turn simply insert into a USB port, boot the computer, & if the BIOS supports booting from USB devices, execution would immediately launch into OpenBSD's installation script. On the i386/amd64 platforms, this would require sufficient knowledge & skill to navigate through the biosboot(8), installboot(8), boot(8), & fdisk(8) manpages. There are primarily three main ingredients to creating such a bootable USB device:
  1. Copy the bsd.rd installation kernel to the USB device after preparing the filesystem.
  2. Correctly install the necessary bootblocks in order to boot an OpenBSD kernel.
  3. Copy all needed filesets to the USB device.
A default installation of OpenBSD takes care of the first requirements automatically. However, a default installation will also boot into the default kernel which will not be bsd.rd -- the kernel which loads a minimal system into memory & contains the installation script. An earlier post points out what is needed to manually boot the desired kernel.

This leaves the question as to where to find the filesets needed to install OpenBSD onto another system. As discussed in Section 4.5.4 of the FAQ, bsd.rd can install the needed filesets from a number of locations as can be seen in the relevant question answered during installation:
Location of sets? (cd disk ftp http or 'done') [cd] _
Since one of the choices is "disk", the filesets could be copied onto the USB device itself, however, this is not the only choice.

So daemonfowl, you should see now that a default installation to USB can be used to install OpenBSD onto other systems as long as the system's BIOS supports booting from USB devices. In fact, this is the simplest method possible, plus, it is supported by the OpenBSD project.

Last edited by ocicat; 23rd May 2012 at 05:33 AM.
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