OpenBSD on Alix Board

a howto for installing OpenBSD on the PC Engines Alix Board

if you wouldnt spend your time with hours of waiting after exec some command please use at least more than 250M of swap cause kernel relinking only need at least about 180M of swap

files we need:

  • bsd.rd (i386)
  • pxeboot
  • install.conf
  • dnsmasq
  • nullmodem
  • USB NIC optional
## setup "/etc/dnsmasq.conf"
interface=enp0s20u1 # change me

## add ip to USB NIC
> ip addr add dev enp0s20u1

## cp files to tftpboot
> cp {install.conf,bsd.rd,pxeboot} /tftpboot/

## make tftp dir
> mkdir /tftpboot/etc

## edit /tftpboot/etc/boot.conf
stty com0 9600
set tty com0
boot tftp:/bsd.rd

## setup /tftpboot/install.conf
System hostname = server1
Password for root = $2b$14$Z4xRMg8vDpgYH...GVot3ySoj8yby
Change the default console to com0 = yes
Which speed should com0 use = 9600
Setup a user = puffy
Password for user = *************
Public ssh key for user = ssh-ed25519 AAAAC3NzaC1...g3Aqre puffy@ai
What timezone are you in = Europe/Stockholm
Location of sets = http
HTTP Server =

## start dnsmasq
> systemctl start dnsmasq.service

## watch service
> journalctl -u dnsmasq.service -f

use port vr0 for tftp (usb side)

add swap per usb

## find usb disk
> sysctl hw.disknames

## edit partitions
> disklabel -E sd0 # 1087666 is about 512M

## edit /etc/fstab
999999a8942e228b.a none swap sw

## read swap from fstab and start
> swapctl  -A

For alix boards, the default setting is 38400 8N1, no flow control

see handbook

## To enter setup, type S during the memory test. You should see something like the following:
PC Engines ALIX.2 v0.98j
640 KB Base Memory
261120 KB Extended Memory
01F0 Master 848A CF 128MB
Phys C/H/S 1002/8/32 Log C/H/S 1002/8/32
BIOS setup:
(9) 9600 baud (2) 19200 baud *3* 38400 baud (5) 57600 baud (1) 115200 baud
*C* CHS mode (L) LBA mode (W) HDD wait (V) HDD slave (U) UDMA enable
(M) MFGPT workaround
(P) late PCI init
*R* Serial console enable
(E) PXE boot enable
(X) Xmodem upload
(Q) Quit