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RBOOTD (8) | System administration commands and daemons | Unix Manual Pages | :man


rbootd - HP remote boot server


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rbootd [-ad] [-i interface] [config_file]


The rbootd utility services boot requests from Hewlett-Packard workstations over a local area network. All boot files must reside in the boot file directory; further, if a client supplies path information in its boot request, it will be silently stripped away before processing. By default, rbootd only responds to requests from machines listed in its configuration file.

The options are as follows:

-a Respond to boot requests from any machine. The configuration file is ignored if this option is specified.
-d Run rbootd in debug mode. Packets sent and received are displayed to the terminal.
-i interface
Service boot requests on specified interface. If unspecified, rbootd searches the system interface list for the lowest numbered, configured ‘‘up’’ interface (excluding loopback). Ties are broken by choosing the earliest match.

Specifying config_file on the command line causes rbootd to use a different configuration file from the default.

The configuration file is a text file where each line describes a particular machine. A line must start with a machine’s Ethernet address followed by an optional list of boot file names. An Ethernet address is specified in hexadecimal with each of its six octets separated by a colon. The boot file names come from the boot file directory. The ethernet address and boot file(s) must be separated by white-space and/or comma characters. A pound sign causes the remainder of a line to be ignored.

Here is a sample configuration file:

"# ethernet addr boot file(s) comments
"08:00:09:0:66:ad SYSHPBSD # snake (4.3BSD)
"08:00:09:0:59:5b # vandy (anything)
"8::9:1:C6:75 SYSHPBSD,SYSHPUX # jaguar (either)

The rbootd utility logs status and error messages via syslog(3). A startup message is always logged, and in the case of fatal errors (or deadly signals) a message is logged announcing the server’s termination. In general, a non-fatal error is handled by ignoring the event that caused it (e.g. an invalid Ethernet address in the config file causes that line to be invalidated).

The following signals have the specified effect when sent to the server process using the kill(1) command:

SIGHUP Drop all active connections and reconfigure.
Turn on debugging, do nothing if already on.
Turn off debugging, do nothing if already off.


/dev/bpf# packet-filter device
/etc/rbootd.conf configuration file
/tmp/rbootd.dbg debug output
/usr/mdec/rbootd directory containing boot files
/var/run/rbootd.pid process id


kill(1), socket(2), signal(3), syslog(3)


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