BOOTPARAMS(5) Standards, Environments, and Macros BOOTPARAMS(5)


bootparams - boot parameter data base




The bootparams file contains a list of client entries that diskless
clients use for booting. Diskless booting clients retrieve this
information by issuing requests to a server running the rpc.bootparamd(8)
program. The bootparams file may be used in conjunction with or in place
of other sources for the bootparams information. See nsswitch.conf(5).

For each client the file contains an entry with the client's name and a
list of boot parameter values for that client. Each entry has the form:

clientname keyword=value...

The first item of each entry is the host name of the diskless client. You
can use the asterisk ('*') character as a "wildcard" in place of the
client name in a single entry. A wildcard entry applies to all clients
for which there is not an entry that specifically names them.

In a given entry, the host name or asterisk is followed by one or more
whitespace characters and a series of keyword--value pairs separated by
whitespace characters. There must not be any whitespace within a
keyword--value pair.

Each keyword--value pair has the syntax:


The preceding form breaks out further as:


Where server can be null and value can be a pathname.

An example that includes a server is:

client1 root=server1:/export/client1/root

An example where server is null is:

client1 rootopts=:vers2

A minor variation of the keyword=value syntax is used for the domain
keyword. Unlike the forms shown above, this syntax does not use a colon.
For example:


Entries can span multiple lines. Use the backslash ('\') character as the
last character of a line to continue the entry to the following line. For
multiple-line entries, you can split a line only in places where
whitespace is allowed. For example, you can use a backslash to split the
following entry between the end of the path (root) and the keyword

client1 root=server1:/export/client1/root

In entries that specify a server, server is the name of the server that
will provide the file or filesystem to the diskless client and value is
the pathname of the exported file or filesystem on that server.

In entries that use the domain keyword, the domain name specified must be
the client's domain name. The algorithm for determining a client's domain
name is to first check for a domain keyword in the client-specific entry
and then in "wildcard" entry. If none is found, the server's domain name
is used.

For the JumpStart installation of machines that do not have video
displays, use the term keyword to identify the terminal type of the boot
server. Terminal types are listed in /usr/share/lib/terminfo (see

An entry with the ns keyword associates a server (a name server) with,
instead of a pathname, a specific name service (NIS+, NIS, LDAP, or none)
and, if that server is not on a local subnet, the netmask needed to reach
it. For example:


An ns entry forces sysidtool to use the specified name service. By
default, sysidtool uses NIS+ in preference to NIS or LDAP if it can find
an NIS+ server for the system's domain on the subnet. An ns entry might
be necessary if you are trying to set up a hands-off installation, or if
the name server is on a different subnet, which is common with NIS+.

If an ns keyword is not used, sysidtool uses broadcast to attempt to bind
to either a NIS+, NIS, or LDAP server. If a name server is not on the
local subnet, which is possible for NIS+ or LDAP, the bind will fail,
automatic configuration of the name service will fail, and an interactive
screen is displayed, prompting the user to specify the name service.

The ns keyword can be set in add_install_client or by Host Manager.


Example 1: Sample bootparams Entry

Here is an example of an entry in the bootparams file:

client1 root=server1:/export/client1/root rootopts=:vers=2 \
client2 root=server2:/export/client2/root ns=:nis
client3 root=server2:/export/client3/root ns=watson:
client4 root=server2:/export/client4/root \

Example 2: Sample Entry for JumpStart

The following is an example of an entry that might be used for the
JumpStart installation of diskless clients that do not have displays.

mozart root=haydn:/export/install/sparc/os/latest/Solaris_9/boot \
install=haydn:/export/install/sparc/os/8.1/latest boottype=:in \
install_config=haydn:/usr/local/share/lib/jump-net \
ns=otis:nisplus( term=:xterms




nsswitch.conf(5), rpc.bootparamd(8)


The NIS+, sysidtool, and jumpstart facilities are not present in illumos.
They are documented here solely for users who wish to use illumos as a
jumpstart server for older Solaris releases.

Solaris diskless clients use the keywords root and rootopts to look up
the pathname for the root filesystem and the mount options for the root
filesystem, respectively. These are the only keywords meaningful for
diskless booting clients. See mount_ufs(8).

November 22, 2021 BOOTPARAMS(5)