[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Debian Live Web Boot

Hi all,

thanks to a patch from Mathieu Geli, live-initramfs as of version
1.99.1-1 supports a boot parameter called fetch.

That means, that it is enough to have a bootloader (syslinux, grub,
whatever) and a kernel with initrd image on a medium (cdrom, usb-stick,
whatever) to boot a Debian Live system directly from the internet or the
local network without needing to setup netboot (as in PXE) environment.
Just type:

	live fetch=http://example.com/my_squashfs.img

at the boot prompt. Whithin the boot process of the live system, the
squashfs image will be once downloaded into RAM. After that point, no
network access is required anymore. This is also the reason why it was
invented initially, it is an alternative to the conventional netboot
(PXE with tftp for boot and shared root over a network filesystem such
as cifs, nfs or smb) where permanent network access is required, not a

Temporary limitations

    * At the moment, the amount of RAM required to run a web booted live
      session is equal to the size of the squashfs image. Because
      squashfs compression is quite good, this is not so much of a
      problem on reasonably modern machines (512MB for a complete Xfce
      Debian desktop, 758MB for a complete GNOME or KDE Debian desktop
      system). Nevertheless, improvements to use a local swap partition
      to store the image are on the way (including caching and

    * Due to a still pending upgrade of the machine where
      live.debian.net is hosted, there are not yet autobuild squashfs
      images available. Later, you can just boot with something similar
      as: live fetch=http://live.debian.net/webboot/etch.


Address:        Daniel Baumann, Burgunderstrasse 3, CH-4562 Biberist
Email:          daniel.baumann at panthera-systems.net
Internet:       http://people.panthera-systems.net/~daniel-baumann/

Reply to: