Version 117 (modified by huub, 9 years ago) ( diff )


Nodefactory based on FreeBSD-10


We intend to implement a number of changes/improvements.


  • implement new package management (pkgng)
  • cleanup packages that are no longer required: nrpe, vim, bash-static, pftop, nmap, python-Jinja2, sixxs-aiccu, openvpn
  • implement latest version of lvrouted (auto update default route)
  • add net/ladvd
  • add inet check in snmpd.conf
  • update scripts to use 'drill' instead of 'dig'
  • remove the "rcvar='set_rcvar'" statement from startup scripts in /etc/rc.d/ and /usr/local/etc/rc.d
  • based on FreeBSD-10.2-RELEASE
  • unbound replaces bind; recursive dns server on standard-node; authorative server for domain on two special servers in the network; unbound tutorial. Unbound optimizes forwarders automatically, so nameservershuffle is no longer needed. Use unbound from ports, not local_unbound.
  • replaced thttpd by apache-2.4
  • no longer soft-updates
  • merged APU specifics into generic configuration (we do not use X64, MIPS or ARM)
  • added NSD, may be used as authorative nameserver
  • correction of dhcpd.conf for aliased interfaces (no 'shared-networks')


  • use ipfw instead of pf in order to make usb-lan adapter work, see ticket #206 for problem description.
  • update captive portal to increase speed: use static html pages and/or rewrite in C
  • add 'welcome back' page to captive portal (activated when connection interrupted)
  • bsnmp may replace net-snmp (low priority)
  • wl-web page redesign for local users / maintainance
  • add ssh-guard or no password-login, only keys
  • watchdog for critical daemons?
  • evaluate use of nsd for local domain dns service
  • correct /tools/wl-config external fetch url (

Will keep

  • ucspi-tcp-0.88_2 for redirect captive portal
  • python
  • mtr, curl, screen, sudo
  • dnsmasq (for Soekris hardware and possibly dhcpd service)
  • pen
  • tinyproxy

Gradually we are implementing the various changes, starting from the present software configuration (9.0-RELEASE) on FreeBSD10.2-RELEASE with the next generation package management system (pkgng). The procedure to build this 'work-in-progress' nodefactory-host is described below.

A test-node-configuration is available in svn. This wleiden.yaml file can be used to test the image by installing on an Alix-board with connection to the local network. We are also evaluating the new APU-board, see the wiki-page.

A. Setup a FreeBSD host

Warning: 1) Make sure /usr is at least 12 GB but better is 20 GB in size, as building images requires quite some space. 2) Make sure you install the 32bit i386 release of FreeBSD also when your system does support amd64, as cross compiling can give some nasty surprises.

Tip: use a separate hard disk, mounted on /usr/obj to speed up the compilation process.

Get yourself a fresh i386 freebsd host with ports and subversion installed as follows:

A.1. Run the basic CD installer

The procedure below has been tested with 10.2 (standard developer install - no ports -, e.g. with default partitioning will fit our needs). Installing FreeBSD is outside the scope of this document, take a look into the FreeBSD handbook Chapter 2 Installing FreeBSD if you do not know the details.

Please do mind that all commands below need to be executed as root, because of the many mounts and unmounts done in various phases. It maybe convenient to permit ssh root login (modify /etc/ssh/sshd_config accordingly).

Internet connection is required.

Set correct date/time, e.g: build# ntpdate

(You may also wish to add ntpd_enable="YES" to /etc/rc.conf)

A.2 Install Ports

Install a fresh ports collection, this takes some time!

build# portsnap fetch extract

A.3 set some useful variables

Alter the shell configuration file:/root/.cshrc:

Ensure ftp is set to passive mode, to avoid potential firewall issues: build# echo 'setenv FTP_PASSIVE_MODE YES' >> /root/.cshrc

Set a default password for the images that you will produce build# echo 'setenv CFG_ROOT_PASSWORD DefaultPassword12!' >> /root/.cshrc Define your nanobsd (svn) working directory: NOTE: All commands at later stages will refer to this so you better get it right! build# echo 'setenv R /root/nanobsd' >> /root/.cshrc

Next load your file (or login again): build# source /root/.cshrc

A.4. OPTIONAL, every developer has his own preferences, e.g.

build# pkg install vim-lite build# pkg install sudo build# pkg install screen

Tip: screen can be a handy tool if you are working on a remote host.

With 'screen' you can open a virtual terminal, in which you can do everything like in the normal terminal. But you can detach it if you want to do other things in the main terminal and reattach it later. It even works after you quit your main terminal.

Common screen commands:
1. Start a new terminal:
build# screen
2. Type CTRL+A and D to detach this new terminal
3. Reattach it:
build# screen -R

A.5. get latest sources

build# svn co svn:// /usr/src

B. Build environment

B.1 Download the environment from the Wireless Leiden svn repository

build# svn checkout $R build# cd $R

If svn is not found: svn is in /usr/local/bin, alternatively log out and in, or use rehash in a csh shell to make it available.

B.2. Compile all required packages using

build# $R/tools/

This will take quite some time (on remote host use <screen>), depending on your hardware of course. Packages are created in /root/nanobsd/pkg/All:

build# ls $R/pkg/All
GeoIP-1.6.6.txz			isc-dhcp43-server-4.3.3.txz	pkg-1.6.1_2.txz
apache24-2.4.17.txz		ladvd-1.0.4_2.txz		py27-setuptools27-17.0.txz
apr-		ldns-1.6.17_5.txz		py27-yaml-3.11.txz
ca_root_nss-3.20.txz		libevent2-2.0.22_1.txz		python-2.7_2,2.txz
curl-7.45.0.txz			libffi-3.2.1.txz		python2-2_3.txz
db5-5.3.28_2.txz		libidn-1.31.txz			python27-2.7.10_1.txz
dnsmasq-2.75,1.txz		lvrouted-12879.txz		screen-4.3.1_2.txz
expat-2.1.0_3.txz		mtr-0.86.txz			sudo-1.8.15.txz
gdbm-1.11_2.txz			net-snmp-5.7.3_11.txz		tinyproxy-1.8.3_1,1.txz
gettext-runtime-0.19.6.txz	nettle-2.7.1.txz		ucspi-tcp-0.88_2.txz
gmp-5.1.3_2.txz			nsd-4.1.5.txz			unbound-1.5.5.txz
iftop-1.0.p4.txz		pcre-8.37_4.txz			vim-lite-7.4.900.txz
indexinfo-0.2.4.txz		pen-0.31.1.txz
iperf-2.0.5.txz			perl5-5.20.3_8.txz

(list updated nov 6, 2015)

Tip: if you have installed packages before on this machine it may be a good idea to clean up all remains by running the /tools/ script

B.3. Set your favorite root password to be used in the image

Note: you can skip this step if you are satisfied with the default password set in step A.3 above.

build# setenv CFG_ROOT_PASSWORD dd if=/dev/random bs=10k count=10 | tr -cd '[a-zA-Z0-9]' | cut -c -15 build# echo $CFG_ROOT_PASSWORD

If you like a simple password, substitute the `dd if=/dev/random bs=10k count=10 | tr -cd '[a-zA-Z0-9]' | cut -c -15` with your password.

B.4 Build nanobsd (make sure to prepare some coffee;-) ; use screen)

build# sh /usr/src/tools/tools/nanobsd/ -c $R/cfg/nanobsd.wleiden

Note 1: Take a coffee of go for a hike, this normally takes 2 - 8 hours depending on the machine configuration. If you like to save some power use the script provided by Rick ( This script is mainly used on a home server for building FreeBSD world and kernels. As soon it is done it can shutdown if not being used anymore. The system has Wake-On-Lan support and can thus be activated again from remote.

Even this little script got flags, check the output of sh /usr/src/tools/tools/nanobsd/ -h

-b suppress builds (both kernel and world)
-k suppress buildkernel
-w suppress buildworld
-c specify config file

Tip: a safe alternative is the image-script available in $R/tools/ : build# $R/tools/image build . This script checks whether a kernel and/or world are already available and skips these steps. This may prevent lengthy, unnecessary builds.

Note 2: The geometry of the cf card is defined in the nanobsd configuration file $R/cfg/nanobsd.wleiden The 'default' values are for a Peak 1 GB card. They also work on an Alix2D3 board with a 1 GB PCEngines 'blanc' cf card and 1 or 2 GB Transcend cf cards although those geometries are different. There are issues with Soekris boards, depending on the BIOS version. The geometry of the cf-disk is as follows:

parameters extracted from in-core disklabel are: cylinders=1966 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)
Figures below won't work with BIOS for partitions not in cyl 1
parameters to be used for BIOS calculations are: cylinders=1966 heads=16 sectors/track=63 (1008 blks/cyl)
Media sector size is 512
Warning: BIOS sector numbering starts with sector 1
Information from DOS bootblock is:
The data for partition 1 is: 
    sysid 165 (0xa5),(FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
    start 63, size 820449 (400 Meg), flag 80 (active)
    beg: cyl 0/ head 1/ sector 1;
    end: cyl 406/ head 31/ sector 63
The data for partition 2 is:
    sysid 165 (0xa5),(FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
    start 820575, size 820449 (400 Meg), flag 0
    beg: cyl 407/ head 1/ sector 1;
    end: cyl 813/ head 31/ sector 63
The data for partition 3 is:
    sysid 165 (0xa5),(FreeBSD/NetBSD/386BSD)
    start 1641024, size 10080 (4 Meg), flag 0
    beg: cyl 814/ head 0/ sector 1;
    end: cyl 818/ head 31/ sector 63
The data for partition 4 is: <UNUSED>

Note 3: For PCEngines APU board use:

$ sh /usr/src/tools/tools/nanobsd/ -c $R/cfg/nanobsd.wleiden.apu 

C. Fetch node configuration onto image, write to CF disk or remotely update

C.1. Fetch node-configuration

build# $R/tools/image config for <Nodename>

The script is connecting to the Wireless Leiden 'genesis' database. First make sure that the configuration file is up to date by clicking the 'update' button on

You can inspect the image bij mounting as memory disk:

build# mdconfig -a -t vnode -f /usr/obj/nanobsd.wleiden-hybrid/_.disk.full build# mount /dev/md0s1a /mnt build# ls /mnt build# umount /mnt build# mount /dev/md0s3 /mnt build# ls /mnt build# umount /mnt build# mdconfig -d -u 0

Editing can also be done using the image script:

build# $R/tools/image edit

C.2. Write the correct image to CF (media based on SLC and not MLC flash seem to perform much better)

NOTE: _.disk.full is required for new CF cards as it contains two base system-partitions and one configuration partition.

_.disk.image can be used to update one system-partitioin on an existing CF card

  1. New image to local, fresh CF disk: Put full image on a fresh compact flash disk using a card reader/writer attached to your buildbot PC. Minimum size of the CF disk is 1 GB. Use the script if you are using a usb connected cf-disk reader/writer:

build# $R/tools/

or the command line:

build# dd bs=64k if=/usr/obj/nanobsd.wleiden-hybrid/_.disk.full of=/dev/da0

(assuming /dev/da0 is your compact flash entry; this takes about 15 minutes, check progress by typing Ctrl-T; you may wish to check afterwards with fdisk whether there are three partitions on the disk. You can also mount /dev/da0s1a and /dev/da0s3 and check the configuration)

  1. CF disk with existing image: Put partial new image on slice (slice 2) of CF disk using a card reader/writer attached to the buildbot PC with the CF disk containing the existing image.

build# dd bs=64k if=/usr/obj/nanobsd.wleiden-hybrid/_.disk.image of=/dev/da0s2

D. Check the cf card and apply last minute changes

D.1. Check cf card

While the cf card is still in your flash card reader you can check whether the image has been written correctly. Check whether you can mount the partitions, e.g.

build# mount /dev/da0s1a /mnt build# ls /mnt build# umount /mnt

and the configuration partition:

build# mount /dev/da0s3 /mnt build# ls /mnt

If you cannot mount the partitions, take a fresh cf card and start again with writing the image.

D.2 Adjust captive portal

We now use a static landing page (in previous versions of the nodefactory the landing page was generated on the fly by a python script, this caused a considerable delay). You can find this page in the /usr/local/www/wlportal directory.

(to be completed)

F. Notes

F.1 update buildbot

If you want to update the buildbot: build# freebsd-update fetch build# freebsd-update install

F.2 update lvrouted port (ONLY) if necessary

Warning: Skip the following steps unless you want to update the current lvrouted version (12879) and know what you are doing:

Checkout latest version of lvrouted (i.e. beyond 13473):

build# svn checkout /usr/local/share/lvrouted

run the script to produce the tar 'release' file (lvrouted-.......tar.gz):

build# cd /usr/local/share/lvrouted/
build# tools/

Upload the lvrouted-13473.tar.gz to the directory and

  • update PORTVERSION in $R/ports/net/lvrouted/Makefile
  • run # make makesum -C $R/ports/net/lvrouted to update hash values
  • commit $R/ports/net/lvrouted

F.3 Existing image on node, remote update (slice 2) (network connection to machine 172.x.y.z required)

For remotely updating an existing node software configuration use the image script

build# $R/tools/image deploy on <node> [and reboot]

or manually:

build# dd if=/usr/obj/nanobsd.wleiden-hybrid/_.disk.image bs=10k | ssh root@… /tools/updatep2

You may adjust the block size to make the transfer more efficient (additionally ssh -C is possible) and you can use Ctrl-T to check progress.

Note: See TracWiki for help on using the wiki.