Switch to SpeakEasy.net DSL

The Modular Manual Browser

Home Page
Manual: (SunOS-4.1.3)
Apropos / Subsearch:
optional field

BOOT(8S)                                                              BOOT(8S)

       boot - start the system kernel or a standalone program

       >>b [ device [ (c,u,p) ] ] [ filename ] [ -av ] boot-flags
       >>b tapedev ([c,u,p])install [ filenum ]

   SPARCstation 1 SYSTEMS
       >>b [ device [ (c,u,p) ] ] [ filename ] boot-flags

   SPARCstation 2, SPARCstation 10 SYSTEMS, SPARCsystem 600MP SERIES
       >>b [ device-specifier ] [ filename ] boot-flags

       The  boot  program is started by the PROM monitor and loads the kernel,
       or another executable program, into memory.

       The following applies to all Sun systems  except  Desktop  SPARCsystems
       and SPARCsystem 600MP series.  See openboot(8S) for those systems.

       The  form b...install loads the miniroot from a SunOS distribution tape
       or CDROM into the designated partition of diskdev (commonly 1, the swap
       partition),  and  then  boots the mini-root kernel in preparation for a
       software installation.

       The form b?  displays all boot devices and their device arguments.

       The form b!  boots, but does not perform a RESET.

   Booting Standalone
       When booting standalone, the boot program (/boot) is brought in by  the
       PROM  from  the  file  system.   This  program contains drivers for all

   Booting a Sun-3 System Over the Network
       When booting over the network, the Sun-3 system PROM obtains a  version
       of  the boot program from a server using the Trivial File Transfer Pro-
       tocol (TFTP).  The client broadcasts a RARP request containing its Eth-
       ernet  address.   A server responds with the client's Internet address.
       The client then sends a TFTP request  for  its  boot  program  to  that
       server  (or  if  that  fails, it broadcasts the request).  The filename
       requested (unqualified -- not a pathname) is the hexadecimal, uppercase
       representation of the client's Internet address; for example:

              Using IP Address = C0090111

       When  the  Sun  server  receives the request, it looks in the directory
       /tftpboot for filename.  That file is typically a symbolic link to  the
       client's  boot program, normally boot.sun3, in the same directory.  The
       server invokes the TFTP server, tftpd(8C), to transfer the file to  the

       When  the  file is successfully read in by the client, the boot program
       jumps to the load-point and loads vmunix (or a standalone program).  In
       order  to  do  this, the boot program makes a broadcast RARP request to
       find the client's IP address, and then makes a second broadcast request
       to a bootparamd(8) bootparams daemon, for information necessary to boot
       the client.  The bootparams daemon obtains this information either from
       a  local  /etc/bootparams  database file, or from an NIS map.  The boot
       program sends two requests to  the  bootparams  daemon  --  the  first,
       whoami,  to obtain its hostname, and the second, getfile, to obtain the
       name of the client's server and the pathname of the client's root  par-

       The  boot  program  then  performs  a  mount(8)  operation to mount the
       client's root partition, after which it can read  in  and  execute  any
       program within that partition by pathname (including a symbolic link to
       another file within that same partition).  Typically, it reads  in  the
       file  /vmunix.   If  the  program  is  not  read  in successfully, boot
       responds with a short diagnostic message.

   Booting Other Sun Systems Over the Network
       Other Sun systems boot over the network in a similar fashion.  However,
       the  filename  requested from a server must have a suffix that reflects
       the kernel architecture of the machine being booted.   For  these  sys-
       tems, the requested filename has the form:


       where  ip-address  is  the  machine's Internet Protocol (IP) address in
       hex, and arch is a suffix representing its kernel  architecture.   Only
       Sun-3 systems may omit the arch suffix.  These filenames are restricted
       to 14 characters for compatibility with UNIX System V and other operat-
       ing  systems.  Therefore, the architecture suffix is limited to 5 char-
       acters; it must be in upper case.  At present, the  following  suffixes
       are  recognized: SUN3 for Sun-3 systems, SUN3X for Sun-3x systems, SUN4
       for Sun-4 systems, S386 for Sun386i  systems,  and  PCNFS  for  PC-NFS.
       arch(1) may be used to determine the kernel architecture of a machine.

   System Startup
       Once  the system is loaded and running, the kernel performs some inter-
       nal housekeeping, configures its  device  drivers,  and  allocates  its
       internal  tables  and buffers.  The kernel then starts process number 1
       to run init(8), which performs file system housekeeping, starts  system
       daemons,  initializes  the  system console, and begins multiuser opera-
       tion.  Some of these activities are omitted when init is  invoked  with
       certain  boot-flags.   These  are typically entered as arguments to the
       boot command and passed along by the kernel to init.

       device      One of:

                   le     Lance Ethernet
                   ie     Intel Ethernet (Sun-3, Sun-4 systems only)
                   sd     SCSI disk, CDROM
                   st     SCSI 1/4" or 1/2" tape
                   fd     Diskette  (Sun386i,  Sun-3/80  systems  and  Desktop
                          SPARCsystems only)
                   id     IPI disk (Sun-4 systems and SPARCsystem 600MP series
                   mt     Tape Master 9-track 1/2" tape (Sun-3, Sun-4  systems
                   xd     Xylogics 7053 disk (Sun-3, Sun-4 systems only)
                   xt     Xylogics 1/2" tape (Sun-3, Sun-4 systems only)
                   xy     Xylogics 440/450 disk (Sun-3, Sun-4 systems only)

       diskdev     Disk or CDROM; one of sd, id, xy from the above device set.

       tapedev     Tape; one of st, xt, mt from the above device set.

       c           Controller  number,  0  if there is only one controller for
                   the indicated type of device.

       u           Unit number, 0 if there is only one driver.

       p           Partition number when booting off a disk, or tape file num-
                   ber when booting from a tape.  Defaults to 0.

       filename    Name  of  a  standalone  program in the selected partition,
                   such as stand/diag or vmunix.  Note: filename  is  relative
                   to the root of the selected device and partition.  It never
                   begins with a `/' (slash).  If filename is not  given,  the
                   boot  program uses a default value (normally vmunix).  This
                   is stored in the vmunix variable  in  the  boot  executable
                   file  supplied  by  Sun,  but  can  be  patched to indicate
                   another standalone program loaded using adb(1).

       filenum     Filenumber to load from tapedev to diskdev.  Defaults to 3,
                   which is the location of the miniroot on current SunOS dis-
                   tribution tapes.

       -a          Prompt interactively for the device and name of the file to
                   boot.   For more information on how to boot from a specific
                   device, refer to

       -v          Verbose.  Print more  detailed  information  to  assist  in
                   diagnosing diskless booting problems.

       boot-flags  The  boot  program  passes  all boot-flags to the kernel or
                   standalone program.  They are typically  arguments to  that
                   program  or,  as with those listed below, arguments to pro-
                   grams that it invokes.

                   -b     Pass the -b flag through the kernel  to  init(8)  to
                          skip execution of the /etc/rc.local script.

                   -h     Halt after loading the system.

                   -s     Pass  the  -s flag through the kernel to init(8) for
                          single-user operation.

                   -i initname
                          Pass the -i initname to the kernel to tell it to run
                          initname  as  the  first  program  rather  than  the
                          default /sbin/init.

       /boot               standalone boot program
       /tftpboot/address   symbolic link to the boot program  for  the  client
                           whose  Internet  address, in uppercase hexadecimal,
                           is address
       /tftpboot/boot.sun3 Sun-3 first stage boot program
       /tftpboot/boot.sun4 Sun-4 first stage boot program
       /usr/etc/in.tftpd   TFTP server
                           program to install boot blocks from a remote host
       /vmunix             kernel file that is booted by default
       /etc/bootparams     file defining root and swap paths for clients

       adb(1), arch(1),  tftp(1C),  bootparamd(8),  init(8),  kadb(8S),  moni-
       tor(8S),   mount(8),   ndbootd(8C),   openboot(8S),  rc(8),  reboot(8),

       NIS was formerly known as Sun Yellow Pages (YP).  The functionality  of
       the two remains the same; only the name has changed.

                                 29 April 1992                        BOOT(8S)