FreeBSD Software Update Server

July 30, 2010

One of the cool things about starting a business is that you don’t have any money. This forces you to find creative solutions to problems you might otherwise just throw money at. For instance, we needed a server to host all our ASR images, to do NetBoot and Software Update and perhaps one day to run somekind of preinstallation system. The one server we already had, a Mac mini was set to to email, calendaring and collaboration services so we didn’t want to overburden it. So I ended up building a ~ 300 EUR PC, running FreeBSD 8.

  • For file services, we first tried running NFS, but that just didn’t work very well. It seems Finder just starts behaving really strangely at some point. So we switched to netatalk and afpd and things are working much better now.
  • For NetBoot, I referred to Jeff McCune’s excellent article on the subject. The instructions for FreeBSD are pretty much the same.
  • For Software Update, I set our little mini to mirror the updates from Apple. Then I installed lighttpd on the BSD server // insert script here