Someone mentioned net boo... (16 Mar 2002)

Someone mentioned net booting some of the poor bloated Windoze boxes at school just before I left Friday afternoon. I'm not quite sure what they had in mind, but it sounded like fun.

Google turned up the Diskless Nodes HOW-TO which talks about Etherboot and Netboot. I downloaded the srcs and they didn't look like what I had in mind so I did an `info grub` (as I always do for all my boot loading problems) and sure enough, GRUB does it! :).

You just need to pass a driver name at configure time and GRUB builds with all the netbooting commands. I setup zen with tftp (for the kernel) and nfs, and built a stripped down kernel for to test with a little 486 I have sitting around. This is all the GRUB you need to netboot:

root (nd)
kernel /usr/share/tftp/bzImage root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=
ip=: init=/bin/sh

The only difficult bit is the kernel options which are described in Documentation/nfsroot.txt

Now I've got to decide what I'm going to do. They are only 16MB boxes that's a bit small for X and Netscape (I just did that with a minimal Slackware today in 16MB). I'm going to try DirectFB/GTK+ when I have more bandwidth to download it and I may have the boxes swapping across the LAN

(it would also be cool if I could get them to SMB mount the user's home dir from the NT boxes)

Will keep posted on hos this pans out

oierw: (I would rather see work done on) whiterose (rather than a compiler) with a
varient achord
agl: I guess - I'm just bored with wrose
agl: I consider something done when I figured out all the interresting bits
agl: wrose has been `done' for ages now