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bytemine openbsd appliance rescue system revisited

Posted by David Zurborg on Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our latest addition to the BOA (bytemine openbsd appliance) rescue system ensures even more convienence in case of troubleshooting the BOA. In short: It allows you, in a small number of steps, to configure network access to the BOA in case rescue operations are necessary.

This feature stems from our standard firstboot mechanism where we first added the option of configuring network access very early in the setup in order to be able to do the firstboot configuration via network instead of using a serial connection.

Now, if you do not have a serial connection, how do you configure the network? Using the LCD plus the buttons on the BOA’s frontpanel, that’s how!
The first time the bytemine openbsd appliance gets powered on, a configuration routine will be run. This step can be interrupted, even if no serial console is attached. Then, by using the LCD and buttons, a simple network configuration will be conducted. Furthermore, a random password is generated and shown on the display. After that, you can login via ssh, using the configured address and the displayed password, and continue the configuration routine remotely.

The same feature is now available in our new rescue system. After the network configuration described above has been performed, again a random password will be generated and put on the display. This will be useful for admins who need a quick way to enable a rescue console without attaching a serial cable to our appliance. Access using that password is granted only once, and only for 15 minutes.

Some impressions to illustrate this process:

Start the rescue system:

Select rescue system

Select either DHCP, or configure the network manually:

Use DHCP

Start the ssh server:

Choose startup of ssh server

Generated password for ssh login:

Password for ssh login

A short video, showing the complete configuration process, can be downloaded from here: Download video