boot a system from PXE - Redhat

This is a discussion on boot a system from PXE - Redhat ; Ok. I have PXE working after I updated the BIOS. I am able to pull a DHCP address. I can get the file vmlinuz to transfer to the client and start booting. Resolved an issue with my RAM Drive. Now ...

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Thread: boot a system from PXE

  1. boot a system from PXE

    Ok.

    I have PXE working after I updated the BIOS. I am able to pull a DHCP
    address. I can get the file vmlinuz to transfer to the client and
    start booting. Resolved an issue with my RAM Drive. Now I am getting
    a kernel panic.

    I am trying to boot RHEL 4 on a client without a disk. Does anyone
    have a canned step by step to do this. I have found a lot of
    references but nothing specific to Red Hat and nothing that is totally
    complete.

    I am at the point where docs say build a rootfs.gz or initrd.img file
    which required modification of the rc.sysinit, etc.

    Been beating my head on this for a bit. Any help appreciated.


  2. Re: boot a system from PXE

    On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 06:48:01 -0800, shinobi wrote:

    > I am trying to boot RHEL 4 on a client without a disk. Does anyone
    > have a canned step by step to do this. I have found a lot of
    > references but nothing specific to Red Hat and nothing that is totally
    > complete.
    >


    Try Linux Terminal Server Project (ltsp.org)

    --
    Dave Abbott, UNIX SysAdmin |
    Department of Computer Science | http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/
    The University of Sheffield |


  3. Re: boot a system from PXE

    On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 13:41:36 +0000, Dave Abbott wrote:

    > On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 06:48:01 -0800, shinobi wrote:
    >
    >> I am trying to boot RHEL 4 on a client without a disk. Does anyone have
    >> a canned step by step to do this. I have found a lot of references but
    >> nothing specific to Red Hat and nothing that is totally complete.
    >>
    >>

    > Try Linux Terminal Server Project (ltsp.org)


    Diskless client overview:

    1) tftp server on the server
    2) syslinux on the server with pxe boot files in /tftpboot
    3) nfsd running on the server
    4) compile a kernel with ip/dhcp/networking/nic driver/ and nfs-root
    capability - put the kernel in the /tftpboot location used by pxe client
    5) dhcpd running on the server with a section for the client to get it's
    hostname a kernel location
    6) build an os installation that can be mounted via nfs by the client.

    simple right?

    boot procedure goes something like this:

    1 client with PXE starts - broadcasts for dhcp info

    2 dhcp server responds with IP address, hostname, and tftpboot/pxe file
    location

    3 pxe config file (something like grub) points to the kernel and nfs root
    location

    4 client loads the kernel via tftp

    5 client mounts the nfsroot and system image

    7 client boots

    I currently do this and worked through each step using bits and pieces
    found on the net. Only took about a week



  4. Re: boot a system from PXE

    Dave Abbott - I will investigate ltsp.

    MrSpiffy. Thanks for you input, however, I cannot use NFS, though I am
    going to use it on a temporary basis to get me going in the short term.

    In the long term view, I have to build a root image .img or rootfs.gz
    file without any disk stuff (e.g no swap turned on and mount this in
    memory in a ram disk. Sort of an embedded system with the Kernel and
    the rootfs.gz (initrd.img) coming from the tftp server also.

    The kernel does not know anything about PXE. PXE loads it's address
    into a particular memory space, however, once it hands control over to
    the kernel the kernel does not know where this IP Address is stored and
    has to perform a 2nd DHCP.

    All references to any disk related stuff has to come out of the
    rc.sysinit file.

    More input appreciated. Thanks again.


  5. Re: boot a system from PXE

    Dave,

    Looked at LTSP. It's terminals connecting to a LINUX server. I don't
    believe this is quite what I am looking for. Thanks.


  6. Re: boot a system from PXE

    Ok,

    I want to do this as an intermediate step.

    So I understand everything up to step 5. Currently whenever I run my
    setup I get the kernel (vmlinuz) and the root image (initrd.img) to
    transfer from the tftp server.

    So how do I get this to transfer the kernel and then mount file systems
    nfs?

    Thank you,

    Shinobi


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