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PowerPC bootp+tftp Network Boot: "method 'load' failed 00000300, newer yaboot version, alternate kernel images

Attempting to boot a Powerbook over the network has been a frustrating
endeavor. I did it once in the past with this machine, installing
Lenny. It seems little has changed, except that now it doesn't work.
Here's a snippet of output:

Welcome to yaboot version 1.3.13
Enter "help" to get some basic usage information
boot: install
Please wait, loading kernel...

CLIENT: [mac address] [IP]
SERVER: [mac address] [IP] [Hostname]
Transfer FILE: vmlinux [it pauses here for a little bit] method 'load'
failed 00000300

Can't read Elf e_ident/e_type/e_machine info

Looking through the mailing list archives, it looks like the problem
is that the kernel image is too large, at 6.7 MB, for yaboot to
successfully load it. (does anyone test the functionality of the ppc
netboot images anymore?)

Is there any way to cut it down to 6 MB or less? Perhaps by using an
older kernel, or excluding some of the fancier features? My research
indicates that 6 MB's as large as yaboot 1.x.x will go.

Additionally, yaboot 1.1.13 is more than eight years old now. 1.1.17
is out and has been since last october, and includes, among other
things, improved netboot functionality, with IPv6 support and such. (i
suspect they'll be releasing 1.1.18 in the near future, since the
release schedule looks to be once a year or so) I think it's still
limited to 6 MB max kernel size.

Until it's been fixed, can you give me some tips? like, can I replace
the vmlinux image and initrd image, without having to assemble a
custom mini.iso? where should I look for info on the recommended
procedure? my google work hasn't been very fruitful so far, so i
though I'd ask the experts.

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