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flashboot

This is a small infrastructure to build minimal OpenBSD installations suitable for booting of flash devices. This is derived from the scripts and tools used to build the OpenBSD installation media.

Flashboot produces kernels for the PC Engines WRAP 1/2 boards, the Soekris Net45xx and 48xx systems, the Commell LE564 and the IBase FWA7204 SBCs. Each of these kernels is approximately 5.5Mb in compressed size on disk and extracts to a ramdisk that includes sshd, isakmpd, hostapd, identd, bgpd, pf, ntpd, dhcpd, syslogd (with memory buffered logging support) and a reasonably complete set of standard commandline tools (grep, sed, awk, vi, etc). A semi-GENERIC kernel is also included in the binary distribution for users with mainstream hardware.

Please note: to use flashboot, you will need to understand how to format and prepare the flash media to be bootable yourself. Some basic help is provided in the documentation in the source release, but you really need to understand the boot process. There is no substitute for reading the fine documentation on the subject: boot(8) boot_i386(8) installboot(8).

There is a mailing list for flashboot development, support and release announcements. It is very low volume (as of late March 2006).

News

Wed, 07 Dec 2011: Moved to Github

Jakob Schlyter is now maintaining Flashboot at Github. If you want an up to date version, please head over there.

[permanent link]

Mon, 05 Mar 2007: flashboot-4.0 released

Jakob Schlyter and Rickard Dahlstrand have completed and released flashboot-4.0. This release is based on OpenBSD 4.0 and introduces the new version numbering scheme that directly follows OpenBSD releases. Flashboot binary releases are available, and now include disk images that can be written directly to flash media.

[permanent link]

Fri, 19 Jan 2007: Beta flashboot based on 4.0-stable

Jakob Schlyter and Rickard Dahlstrand have been very busy improving flashboot over the last six months. They are kindly making available a binary flashboot release based on OpenBSD 4.0-STABLE and they need your help testing a beta release. Please report your finding to the flashboot mailing list. Thanks!

[permanent link]

Sun, 06 Aug 2006: flashboot-1.0beta1 released

OpenBSD CVS head has switched from 3.9-current to 4.0-beta, so I have made a flashboot-1.0beta1 release. This has been tested on the Soekris NET4501, Commell LE564 SBC, iBase FWA7204 and PC Engines WRAP. The binary distribution includes kernels for all these (the same kernel is used for the Commell LE564 as the iBase FWA7204). The binary distribution also includes a GENERIC kernel and one for the Soekris NET4801, which I was not able to test for lack of hardware. Some additional changes in this release:

[permanent link]

Wed, 29 Mar 2006: flashboot-1.0alpha1 released

Released flashboot-1.0alpha1. This adds a kernel configuration (and pre-build kernel in the binary distribution) for the PC Engines WRAP boards. This was made possible by PC Engines' unsolicited donation of a WRAP 1C board - thanks! Also in this release is: support for /flash to be mounted read/write (by specifying it that way in fstab), the addition of a rc.init that is called early in the boot process and an update of the underlying OS to OpenBSD 3.9-current.

[permanent link]

Details

This is a small infrastructure to build minimal OpenBSD installations suitable for booting of flash devices. This is derived from the scripts and tools used to build the OpenBSD installation media.

The system builds a ram-disk kernel (bsd.gz) with a full set of router / firewall / VPN operating system. This kernel should be installed into the root directory of the boot device. Note that this infrastructure only builds these files, it is beyond its scope to install them on the flash device.

NB. If you wish to support this project, please purchase some OpenBSD merchandise (e.g. one of the very fine posters).

Download

flashboot is now maintained by Jakob Schlyter as a Github project.