[PLUG] Ltsp etherboot/pxe question

Eric Harrison eharrison at mail.mesd.k12.or.us
Sun Sep 19 11:29:02 PDT 2004


Hey Tim,

First things first, there is a list dedicated specifically to 
LTSP in schools:

   https://listman.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn

On Sun, 19 Sep 2004, Tim Smith wrote:

>Have been working with a sibling recently on a LTSP deployment (Portland
>school district), trying to lend a hand where I could in support of his
>effort.  I have a small bit of knowledge with Linux and wanted to help
>but I have become painfully aware that I need to fine tune my knowledge
>on several points; etherboot and PXE.  My questions are:

This must have been the school at yesterday's clinic that had the
funky etherboot images that retrieved the kernel via NFS rather than
the standard TFTP.

>If  a PC's bios does not contain the option of network booting, can it
>still netboot from either an etherboot or PXE enabed nic?

Yes.

>Can either the etherboot or the PXE card have an imaged flashed to it in
>the same fashion as updating the bios rev of a PC, I.E. and executible
>file that runs from a floppy disk when the PC is set to boot from the
>floppy drive.
>
>Thanks for taking the time.

If the nic has PXE (at least if it is version 2 or later), you should
not need to change it. Just use the stock PXE.

If it has a BOOTP bootrom (such as etherboot), you can flash a new 
image. I'm not sure if you need a new chip, the few times I've seen
this done it a special rom burner was used. I'm sure others can give
you a more definitive answer.

It is easy to make a floppy image with a boot rom. There is even a
"Universal" boot floppy image that works with most network cards.
I have a local copy at:

   ftp://k12linux.mesd.k12.or.us/pub/K12LTSP/Universal_boot_floppy/

You can make your own custom etherboot images using rom-o-matic:

	http://rom-o-matic.net

Rom-o-matic lets you build all sorts of boot rom images, from floppy,
dos executable, lilo/grub formats, etc, etc. 

-Eric





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