Finally… control over DHCP, and network boot of computers

After having finally moved to the Linksys box running OpenWRT, and thus having gotten control over my DHCP server, I’ve set up a TFTP server on my file server. Initial purpose was to do a network install of openSUSE. I had been doing that with a hardware boot of the install image, but using PXE boot is even easier. Just copy the install images from the mini-CDROM to the TFTP server, and configure it right (after the fact, I found this page).

Now that I have that, the obvious next step is have a complete Linux image on the TFTP server – boot any machine into Linux. Might come in handy. I did not want to mess with the usual thin client NFS setup, and simply wanted to load the entire system off of the TFTP server and into RAM. The simplest method was packing a DSL KNOPPIX image into the initrd. I am using the DSL-n version, so I need a 110MB initrd image, and probably on the booting machine twice that (once to load the initrd, then to house the KNOPPIX image, which is COPIED to ramdisk – that should probably be modified). I simply followed the instructions on the link above, but commented out a couple of more lines in linuxrc so that the script doesn’t even search for any other location – it just ‘finds’ it on the initrd.

Works just fine.

The next (logical) step is to set up a dedicated (or mobile?) MiniMyth system, maybe using a VIA EPIA CN10000EG Mini-ITX board in a Serener GS-L02 fanless case or (even cheaper) the Morex T-3300 case, both running fanless without a disk – thus silent.

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