28 Feb 2014

Creating A Flexible OpenBSD USB Installer

PREAMBLE

Chris Cappuccio recently submitted to Undeadly his recipe for creating a bootable USB flash disk OpenBSD installer for the amd64 and i386 architectures. More accurately, he gave instructions for creating a bootable disk image using the install.iso file as a base. While there is utility in this, I prefer my particular method for creating a USB installer, and so I am sharing the process in this article.

My method for preparing a USB installer involves creating a small, bootable OpenBSD FFS partition large enough to hold several RAM disk kernels (bsd.rd files). The remainder of the USB disk is allocated to the lowest common denominator universal FAT32 format, which optionally houses the OpenBSD installation sets.