OpenBSD installer for the lazy

Cor­po­rate server rooms are not nice places to hang out. They’re very noisy and cold (at least in front of the racks) and they gen­er­ally lack the com­fort of the ergonomic office chair at my desk. Nor­mally any kind of food or bev­er­ages are strictly for­bid­den in server rooms so I have to leave my pre­cious cof­fee behind before enter­ing the holy grail which makes me a bit cranky, espe­cially in the early hours.

But now there is light at the end of the tun­nel and it’s name is Yaifo.

In short, Yaifo is a mod­i­fied bsd.rd ker­nel which sup­ports sshd. That means that you can install or upgrade an OpenBSD server using SSH.

I use Yaifo for 2 things :

  1. Upgrade an exist­ing server with­out being phys­i­cally present or using a ser­ial connection.
  2. Install OpenBSD with­out being phys­i­cally present or using a ser­ial connection.


You build and con­fig­ure Yaifo and then you scp it to the server you want to upgrade as /bsd. Once the server has rebooted and comes back online you can ssh to it as root and are pre­sented with the famil­iar “(I)nstall, (U)pgrade or (S)hell” prompt.


If you have a work­ing PXE boot envi­ron­ment you could sim­ply boot Yaifo off the net­work. You could also build your own OpenBSD install cd using release(8) and include Yaifo in it. Either way, it works great.

Now I have one less rea­son to leave the com­fort of my office :)

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