Switch to SpeakEasy.net DSL

The Modular Manual Browser

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

OPENBOOT(8S)                                                      OPENBOOT(8S)

       openboot - start the system kernel or a standalone program

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

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


       ok boot [ device-specifier ] [ filename ] boot-flags

       Desktop SPARCsystems, SPARCsystem 600MP series only.

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

   Booting Standalone
       When booting standalone, the boot program (/boot) is brought in by  the
       PROM  from the file system.  The PROM contains drivers for all devices.
       The boot program simply accesses the PROM device drivers via the ROMVEC

   Booting a System Over the Network
       When booting over the network, the system PROM obtains a version of the
       boot program from a server using the  Trivial  File  Transfer  Protocol
       (TFTP).   The  client broadcasts a RARP request containing its Ethernet
       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
       from  a server must have a suffix that reflects the kernel architecture
       of the machine being booted.  For these systems, 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.   These
       filenames  are  restricted to 14 characters for compatibility with UNIX
       System V and other operating systems.  Therefore, the architecture suf-
       fix  is limited to 5 characters; 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, SUN4C for Sun-4c systems,
       SUN4M for Sun-4m systems, S386 for Sun386i systems, and PCNFS  for  PC-
       NFS.   arch(1)  may  be  used to determine the kernel architecture of a

       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.arch 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.

   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
                   sd     SCSI disk, CDROM
                   st     SCSI 1/4" or 1/2" tape
                   fd     Diskette (Desktop SPARCsystems only)
                   id     IPI disk (SPARCsystem 600MP series only)

       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.

                   The device-specifier is a device name or a device alias.  A
                   default  boot device is used if the device-specifier is not
                   given. If a device-specifier is  given  and  it  is  not  a
                   device  alias,  it  is checked to see whether it is a valid
                   device name.  If it is not a valid device  name  (indicated
                   by  a  leading  "/"), then the default boot device is used,
                   and the word is considered to be the  filename.   Refer  to
                   the Open Boot PROM 2.0 Toolkit User's Guide.  The Open Boot
                   Prom(OBP) command show-devs can be used to retrieve all  of
                   the  devices known to the system.  A valid device name of a
                   SCSI disk on a SPARCsystem 600MP, for example, is shown  as


                   The  OBP command devalias displays all of the system built-
                   in and user-defined device aliases.  For example, the alias
                   disk may represent the device-path


       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).

       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.

                   -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 booting problems.

                   -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.

                   -d     Pass the -d debug flag through the  debugger  (e.g.,
                          kadb) to a standalone program being debugged.

                   -w     Pass  the -w flag to the kernel to mount a root file
                          system read-write.

                   -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
                           Sun-4c first stage boot program
                           Sun-4m 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), boot(8S), bootparamd(8), init(8),  kadb(8S),
       monitor(8S), mount(8), ndbootd(8C), rc(8), reboot(8), tftpd(8C)

       Open Boot PROM 2.0 Toolkit User's Guide
       Open Boot PROM Toolkit User's Guide

       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                    OPENBOOT(8S)