SUMMARY: 3/60's and 3.5

From: Susan Thielen (
Date: Fri Dec 20 1991 - 14:57:50 CST

Thanks for the many replies...

The initial posting was
I need to boot a 3/60 running 3.5 diskless from a Sun4 running 4.1.1.
and I have a couple questions... Can it be done? I have all the root
and swap partitions set up, I have the executables residing on the
server.... the /etc/ethers file is correct, rpc.bootparamd is
updated as /etc/bootparams is correct..... Yet the machine still
hangs on bootup requesting its ethernet address......

Any Ideas???

The underlying response was... It can't be done....
and here are the answers why... It may still be doable... but
only with serious amounts of kernel hacking...... so.. I have
gone on to put 4.1 on the sun 3/60 and see if that will compile
and produce the software that I need for a GE MRI machine....
Or get some disk......

Diskless clients were supported by the "ND" protocol under SunOS3.x.
"ND" means Network Disk.

This protocol was discontinued at SunOS 4.0. NFS is used to support
diskless clients and tftp boots them.

I don't see how you can provide OS 3.5 to a diskless client from an
OS 4.1.1 server.
>Can it be done?

No. Diskless machines before 4.0 used nd to get / and swap. The >4.0
server can't do nd.

>rpc.bootparamd is updated as /etc/bootparams is correct..

Neither of which will be used by a <4.0 machine.
No, I don't. I've never tried to run a diskless 3.5 client on a 4.x machine;
I don't think it's possible without serious kernel hacking. You see, nd
isn't supported in 4.x, and it's a kernel-level thing, so you can't just
grab the daemon from 3.2 and install it.

I am not sure it can be done. As of 4.x, diskless booting has changed
significantly. In general, 4.x no longer uses ND, but root/swap are NFS.

I may be wrong, if so let me know.
Can't do it ... the SunOS 3.5 kernel doesn't know how to get at
it's root over NFS. It was #ifdef-ed out of the source code, but
I don't even know if it would work if you applied the #define and
re-compiled the source code.

>From mikulska@ece.UCSD.EDU
Under 3.5, handling of diskless nodes was completely different from that
under 4.x. To the best of my knowledge, those two methods are completely
incompatible. The didn't use /export/{root,swap,exec} previously, they
used /private.arch_name and /public.arch_name. Even on a deeper level,
there was something called 'nd' - network disk - to support diskless nodes.
I would say, you just can't do it; the 3.x way of handling diskless nodes
is not supported anymore.
I don't think it is possible. Sunos 3.x runs something call net disk (nd)
as opposed to NFS/bootparam stuff. You may be able to get Sunos 4.x to
work, but I have not tried it myself.

I hate to bear bad news, but I don't think it can be done. SunOS3.5 mounts
two partitions (/ and /pub) using the ND protocol, which is not supported
in SunOS 4.1.1.

If you loaded the Sun4 from CD, you should have 4.1.1 for Sun3s on the same
media, could you just run the 3/60 under 4.1.1?
>From johnb@edge.CIS.McMaster.CA
Hmmm. Under 3.5 you needed the nd partitions, which 4.x doesn't have
anymore. I'm not sure how to get around that problem. But, to your
first problem, are you sure you have rarpd running on that interface?
Are you running NIS on the server? If so you have to run make to
update the NIS ether maps. Are the server and client on the same
network? (ie. if there is a gateway between the two, you will not be
able to get this working as far as I know).

Hmmm, I think you can bag it under 4.1.1. Now, if you were running 4.0.3,
you could conceivably use 'nd', which was supported for Sun-2's (Sun-2's
were unable to boot from an NFS partition).

Basically, what you want to do *might* be possible (for instance, by
copying the 'nd' version from a 4.0.3 system) but would require a lot
of tweaking. Actually, I'd love to try that configuration, just for

Susan KJ Thielen Application Programmer, System/Network Manager
Advanced Imaging Lab
Robarts Research Institute Phone: (519) 663-3833
PO Box 5015, 100 Perth Drive Fax: (519) 663-3789
London, ON N6A 5K8 E-mail:

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