Re: Creating PXE boot image



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, with
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 booting.

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 NFS.

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?

On the client(workstation):
A pxe compliant network card that is not too old,

WARNING:
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.


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