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Re: Diskless Debian, Shared /usr, etc...

On Sun, May 03, 1998 at 12:56:06AM -0700, Joey Hess wrote:
> Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> > I suggest the NFS-Root and NFS-Root-Client mini-howtos. What I have
> > ended up doing is creating a tree with just enough of /bin, /sbin/,
> > /etc, /var and /tmp to boot up in it, then the client will mount
> > the server's /bin, /sbin, /home and /usr over the top. I have about 3.5mb
> > per client and I am hoping to thin this out some more. (Unfortunately,
> > the startup scripts require bash, and bash + libreadline + curses etc
> > are huge.) This way I have effectively got a Debian system remotely,
> > although it can't be used for package installation/deinstallation etc
> > of course because /usr is readonly, and /var and /etc are machine-specific.
> An alternative is to use the nametrans patch for the kernel (I think this
> has actually been integrated into the 2.1.x kernel). This lets you nfs mount
> server:/ on the clients at their root directory. The few files 
> (/etc/hostname, /etc/init.d/network, etc) that need to be different for each 
> computer are given special names, like /etc/init.d/network#HOST=foo#, and the 
> client named foo will see that file as /etc/init.d/network.

This sounds nice, but would it support say /etc/init.d#HOST=foo#?
My diskless clients are low end machines (386s, 486s with 8-12mb RAM)
and so I don't want to start up everything I do on the server, for example.

Also, what about /tmp and /var -- those howtos seem to suggest that
each machine should have its own. Mounting all of server:/ seems to
be all read-only or all read-write too. I would prefer /home, /tmp
and /var (the last two being machine specific) to be read-write,
but everything is readonly. Although it's only me using these things
it's better to play safe.

One problem with the way I have it now is that the root is like
server:/tftpboot/<client_IP>, and without creating a different fstab
for each machine, I can't put the root in the fstab. This seems to upset
the scripts and mount a bit, but it works anyway.

Hamish Moffatt, hamish@debian.org, hamish@rising.com.au, hmoffatt@mail.com
Latest Debian packages at ftp://ftp.rising.com.au/pub/hamish. PGP#EFA6B9D5
CCs of replies from mailing lists are welcome.   http://hamish.home.ml.org

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