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Oracle® OpenBoot 4.x Administration Guide

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Updated: June 2020

Network Booting Process

Network devices are packet-oriented devices capable of sending and receiving packets (frames) that are addressed according to Local Area Network (LAN) specifications for Media Access Control (MAC) addresses administered by the IEEE Registration Authority. OpenBoot supports booting network devices.

The network boot process involves:

  1. Obtaining the IP address of the booting client.

    The client knows its Ethernet address and system type, but needs its IP address to transfer the files it needs.

  2. Downloading the standalone boot program and executing it.

    The client uses specified network protocol to download the standalone boot program and executes it.

A client booting over a network can use RARP to obtain its IP address. When booting Oracle Solaris software, the loaded standalone program is inetboot, which uses the RPC protocol bootparams to obtain boot parameters, and loads the kernel and executes it. To boot with RARP and bootparams, use this command:

{0} ok boot network-device-specifier

Clients that are DHCP aware can use DHCP to obtain the IP address, boot parameters, and network configuration information with more efficiency and flexibility than the combination of the RARP and bootparams services. In addition, using DHCP removes the requirement for a boot server on every subnet. To boot with DHCP, use this command:

{0} ok boot device-specifier:dhcp

DHCP aware PROM clients support interoperability with BOOTP servers. The client prefers DHCP configurations over BOOTP, but accepts BOOTP configurations if no DHCP configuration is offered.

The default protocol used (that is, RARP or DHCP) when the command boot net is executed depends on how the net device alias is specified. If the net devalias specifies only the path to the network device, RARP is used as the default address discovery protocol. If the device alias includes dhcp as an argument, DHCP is used.

To boot using RARP (the default):

Note -  The device-specifier string might be different on your system.
{0} ok boot /pci@300/pci@1/network@0

To boot using DHCP:

{0} ok boot /pci@300/pci@1/network@0:dhcp

You can set the desired device alias by using the nvalias command. See NVRAMRC Editor Commands.

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