Re: Creating PXE boot image
Johann Klammer wrote:
> lrhorer wrote:
>> I have PXE booting working from my Debian "Squeeze" server, and I can
> What software package are you using? pxelinux?
>> launch the Debian Network installer on a machine supporting PXE. I
>> can;t quite figure out how to create a boot image from a connfigured
>> Linux workstation, though. IOW, I have a workstation with a hard
>> disk installed that has Debian configured and working the way I want,
>> all the right utilities and device drivers. How can I take that
>> system and create an image that will boot on diskless workstations
>> running PXE? If it matters, the workstation is using GRUB to boot
>> Linux. I don;t require this to be the case for the diskless clients,
>> but I don't mind, either, as long as everything loads properly.
> If you mean that you want to transfer _the_whole_ file system when
Yeah, that was the idea. I got the system to be under 100M,
uncompressed, and under 40M, compressed.
> You could try to use the initial ram file system for doing this,
> but you will need a _lot_ of ram for this and it may take a while for
> large images.
> A slightly saner approach would be mounting the root filesystem via
The issue there is the system will fail if the link to the NFS server
fails. It's going to be a wireless link, and prone to failure. The
advantage of a network image boot is once the initrd is loaded, the PXE
system won't need the tftp server any longer.
> Setting this up requires on the server:
> A kernel, an initial ramdisk image(+NFS client), a pxe boot
> image(syslinux's pxelinux works alright) which loads the kernel, a
> tftp server for transferring the kernel image, a dhcp server for
> setting up IP addresses, an NFS server to export the client's file
> system... possibly more?
Yeah, I looked at this solution, but abandoned it because of the
> On the client(workstation):
> A pxe compliant network card that is not too old,
There's no network card. This is an IOMEGA file server. It has two
built-in 1000M interfaces.
> There are HOWTOs around which advise you to flash your card's BIOS
> using a custom variant. This is not necessary for pxelinux.
> Read the documentation for initramfs-tools and syslinux.
I got the system put together, and partially booting, but at some point
it would lock up. I'm not sure why. I finally gave up on the network
boot idea. Instead, I simply did a netboot of the Debian installer -
which is trivial - and loaded the OS on a USB Thumb Drive. The USB
drive will just have to remain attached to the system full time. I
implemented a number of procedures to limit the number of writes to the
flash drive, so hopefully the flash drive won't have to be replaced any