Install OpenBSD from USB stick

       304 words, 2 minutes

Today, I feel like testing OpenBSD again. I want to see how it works as a workstation. So I’m gonna run a 4.9 (snapshot) on a Asus EeePC 901.

AFAIK, OpenBSD doesn’t provide official bootable USB stuff. I tried burning the various iso files on the USB stick but it wouldn’t boot… surprise! Then I tried using unetbootin which, of course, doesn’t support OpenBSD… Success came using a virtualisation software to install a minimal OpenBSD system on the USB stick and (re)run the install from there.

I used VMware Fusion but it would probably work with any other virtualisation software that can grab an external USB device. So I created a disk-less virtual machine and used cd49.iso as a virtual CD. While the bootloader was waiting for orders, I attached the USB stick to the virtual machine and waited for the OpenBSD installation to proceed. Nothing special here ; run the install, format the USB stick and install the files. I only installed the bsd and bsd.rd files on the stick. Hence, the OpenBSD installation tool asked me “Are you *SURE* your install is complete without ‘base49.tgz’?”. Which I was. At the end of the installation, shut the VM down and stick the USB key in the machine to be installed.

Power the machine on and, when the OpenBSD boot loader appear, enter “bsd.rd”. This will launch the installation process from the USB installation. Run the OpenBSD installation as usual. Nothing special here ; just follow the white rabbit .

The installation went smoothly and OpenBSD seem to run quite well on this machine. Lately, I’ll write a bit of review on using OpenBSD as a workstation on this little box.

[UPDATE 23/04/2011]: woops, there seem to be a problem with the ath0 card… I can’t connect to any wireless network…

That’s All Folks!