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pxelinux fron Floppy disk?

 

 

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sven at geggus

Apr 3, 2002, 3:06 PM

Post #1 of 8 (914 views)
Permalink
pxelinux fron Floppy disk?

Hi there,

we are using a couple of Diskless Linux Workstations in conjunction with PXE
capabable Network cards to boot the system. This works fine using pxelinux.
However, there are a few workstations left, which are not able to boot via
PXE and thus this workstations need a Kernel on a floppy disk and an
additional initrd image.

The Problem with is, that both of them don't fit on a floppy disk.

We used to use netboot for this purpose, but there seems to be no way to
set up netboot in a way that one can use a somewhat big initrd file.

Thanks for hints

Sven

--
/* Fuck me gently with a chainsaw... */
(David S. Miller in /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/kernel/ptrace.c)

/me is giggls [at] ircne, http://geggus.net/sven/ on the Web


hpa at zytor

Apr 3, 2002, 3:59 PM

Post #2 of 8 (882 views)
Permalink
pxelinux fron Floppy disk? [In reply to]

Sven Geggus wrote:
> Hi there,
>
> we are using a couple of Diskless Linux Workstations in conjunction with PXE
> capabable Network cards to boot the system. This works fine using pxelinux.
> However, there are a few workstations left, which are not able to boot via
> PXE and thus this workstations need a Kernel on a floppy disk and an
> additional initrd image.
>
> The Problem with is, that both of them don't fit on a floppy disk.
>
> We used to use netboot for this purpose, but there seems to be no way to
> set up netboot in a way that one can use a somewhat big initrd file.
>

PXELINUX requires PXE. It can't function without it. I would really
love to see an open source *PXE* stack that could be burned into ROM or
booted from a floppy, and although there has been some work on it
(http://www.nilo.org/) I don't think it's practically usable.

-hpa


P.Lister at sychron

Apr 4, 2002, 1:35 AM

Post #3 of 8 (880 views)
Permalink
pxelinux fron Floppy disk? [In reply to]

> we are using a couple of Diskless Linux Workstations in conjunction with PXE
> capabable Network cards to boot the system. This works fine using pxelinux.
> However, there are a few workstations left, which are not able to boot via
> PXE and thus this workstations need a Kernel on a floppy disk and an
> additional initrd image.

Etherboot can be booted from floppy (or rom if you hardware/BIOS permit)
or chained from PXE. See www.rom-o-matic.com for details. Have you
looked at www.ltsp.com?


hpa at zytor

Apr 4, 2002, 10:37 AM

Post #4 of 8 (883 views)
Permalink
pxelinux fron Floppy disk? [In reply to]

Peter Lister wrote:
>>we are using a couple of Diskless Linux Workstations in conjunction with PXE
>>capabable Network cards to boot the system. This works fine using pxelinux.
>>However, there are a few workstations left, which are not able to boot via
>>PXE and thus this workstations need a Kernel on a floppy disk and an
>>additional initrd image.
>
> Etherboot can be booted from floppy (or rom if you hardware/BIOS permit)
> or chained from PXE. See www.rom-o-matic.com for details. Have you
> looked at www.ltsp.com?
>

This is, however, a different and incompatible solution.

-hpa


P.Lister at sychron

Apr 8, 2002, 2:24 AM

Post #5 of 8 (880 views)
Permalink
pxelinux fron Floppy disk? [In reply to]

> This is, however, a different and incompatible solution.

Different, certainly. As you note, pxelinux requires PXE; so when PXE
isn't available, something else is needed for net booting. The config,
kernel and initrd must be represented twice on the server.

But please would you explain "incompatible"? DHCP allows one to use VCIs
to have multiple configurations for different clients, and ISC DHCP v3
has a tolerable implementation which allows Etherboot and pxelinux can
coexist on a network, whether on the same or seprate servers. Of course,
one should use hpa-tftp to cope with the broken PXE code we are all
forced to use until a decent open-source PXE comes along.

Of course, if Mr Geggus finds that Etherboot works nicely on his non-PXE
nics, he *can* achieve identical configuration for all his workstations
by chaining Etherboot on his PXE systems (Marty Connor's howto at
www.ltsp.org has the details).


giulioo at pobox

Apr 8, 2002, 2:36 AM

Post #6 of 8 (883 views)
Permalink
pxelinux fron Floppy disk? [In reply to]

On Mon, 08 Apr 2002 11:24:34 +0100, Peter Lister <P.Lister [at] sychron>
wrote:

>> This is, however, a different and incompatible solution.
>
>Different, certainly. As you note, pxelinux requires PXE; so when PXE
>isn't available, something else is needed for net booting. The config,
>kernel and initrd must be represented twice on the server.

Recent etherboot version added "some sort" of pxe stack for "some sort" of
FreeBSD pxe booting scheme.

Do you know if this is a first pass to a complete pxe client support in
etherboot?

--
giulioo [at] pobox


P.Lister at sychron

Apr 8, 2002, 3:20 AM

Post #7 of 8 (883 views)
Permalink
pxelinux fron Floppy disk? [In reply to]

> Recent etherboot version added "some sort" of pxe stack for "some sort" of
> FreeBSD pxe booting scheme.

Yes - I'm sure I've got the email somewhere...

> Do you know if this is a first pass to a complete pxe client support in
> etherboot?

I've not heard anything on etherboot-developers, but since Ken Yap
started NILO and maintains Etherboot, he'd the the guy to ask; I am
indeed about to ask him. NILO uses OSkit and presumably the OSkit nic
drivers. Etherboot has its own nic library and dhcp and tftp, so it
seems reasonable to see what's involved in bolting the PXE specific bits
of NILO onto Etherboot.

I'd *really* like a multiheaded beast with Etherboot, GRUB and
"pxelinux" personalities as well as a PXE environment. I'd like to
encourage the various firmware projects to play nicely togther and work
towards support for e.g. RFC MTFTP and Vaccine.


seth at cql

Apr 8, 2002, 8:03 AM

Post #8 of 8 (879 views)
Permalink
pxelinux fron Floppy disk? [In reply to]

This is quite true. I made something very similar work recently. It was
with PowerPC hardware, so the boot ROM code was different, but the principle
is exactly the same. This particular boot PROM, in fact, was worse than
anything you should need to deal with in a "normal" situation, because it was
homegrown (not by me) and its DHCP compliance was worse than the broken DHCP
implementations I've dealt with in more mainline hardware.

If anyone wants to get into even more gory details, contact me off list.
Peter's summary is excellent. I hadn't thought of using the chaining
solution; I'm going to give that a try.

On Monday 08 April 2002 03:24 am, you wrote:
> > This is, however, a different and incompatible solution.
>
> Different, certainly. As you note, pxelinux requires PXE; so when PXE
> isn't available, something else is needed for net booting. The config,
> kernel and initrd must be represented twice on the server.
>
> But please would you explain "incompatible"? DHCP allows one to use VCIs
> to have multiple configurations for different clients, and ISC DHCP v3
> has a tolerable implementation which allows Etherboot and pxelinux can
> coexist on a network, whether on the same or seprate servers. Of course,
> one should use hpa-tftp to cope with the broken PXE code we are all
> forced to use until a decent open-source PXE comes along.
>
> Of course, if Mr Geggus finds that Etherboot works nicely on his non-PXE
> nics, he *can* achieve identical configuration for all his workstations
> by chaining Etherboot on his PXE systems (Marty Connor's howto at
> www.ltsp.org has the details).
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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--
Seth Kurtzberg
MIS Corp.
Office: (480) 661-1849
Fax: (480) 614-8909
email: seth [at] cql
pager: 888-605-9296 or email 6059296 [at] skytel

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