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Re: NFS-Root vs diskless

In article <8766zbch52.fsf@mrvnbook.intern.lin4net.de> you write:
>Adam Di Carlo <adam@onshore.com> writes:
>> Is anyone working on diskless installation in conjunction with
>> boot-floppies?  Most architectures do support TFTP/NFSRoot
>> installation (although, for instance, i386 support would require a
>> little boot disk with the stuff which is otherwise handled by OpenBoot
>> or else NIC EEPROMs).
>> It would be pretty sweet if we not only supported TFTP installation
>> but also provided (well, somewhere) a whole NFSRoot base image or
>> something.  But I'm confused on how that would work as I've never
>> tried it.
>> I do remember that there's a new diskless package out which is
>> replacing the old nfs-root package, correct?


1. Basically, you install diskless.deb (I will ommit version numbers here
for clarity).

2. Then you can create a new image with diskless-newimage.
You create this with either diskless-image-simple.deb or
diskless-image-secure.deb depending on your requirements
(diskless-newimage does this automatically for you). This
image is initially created from the base2_1.tgz file with the
boot disks. I haven't yet tested with with the boot
disks for potato...  (any volunteers???)

3. Boot image and install packages onto it using normal tools
(eg apt-get works - at least for me).

4. Create individual hosts that will share the same image
with diskless-newhost.

(This is condensed, there is a more detailed explanation with
the documentation).

>You can install the normal base on a diskless system (with a nfs
>capable kernel and some small tricks on the second console) and then
>boot the diskless with a hand modified bootdisk.
>The other way would be the diskless package, which you can use if the
>server is a debian system.

There is only one step in the debian *server*
package that currently requires debian: extracting the
diskless-image-*.deb file into the root filesystem image.

With a bit of work, I imagine this limitation could be removed. eg
boot the image, and *then* let the user install this *.deb file.
Only problem I can think of is that the boot-disk is a bit broken in
its supplied form (eg permissions on devices are wrong, timezones not
configured, and most importantly /sbin/unconfigured.sh exists and IRC
will reboot the computer). Installation of diskless-image-*.deb
fixes most of these problems.

Debian is required for the NFS-Root image though (I need some
common ground to work on here).
Brian May <bam@snoopy.apana.org.au>

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