Linux netbooting

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Instructions follow on how to netboot using Ubuntu Linux.

Server Setup

Setup DHCP


Setup PXE

Setup Filesystem

Useful information: Building PXE Imager from scratch

1) Use debian debootstrap tool to create basic filesystem.

sudo debootstrap breezy /home/yusuf/ubuntu

2) chroot into new filesystem

sudo chroot /home/yusuf/ubuntu/

3) create apt source list

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

4) Add packages

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ssh olsrd

5) Tar the filesystem

 sudo tar -cvjf ubuntu.tar.gz ./ubuntu/

6) Copy the filesystem to the server and un-tar

 scp ubuntu.tar.gz user@server:

Client Setup

Create Linux Kernel

There are two types of Kernel images you can build. The first is an image which contains all the necessary file system drivers, or even network drivers in the case of NFS, to allow the file systems to mount and let the operating system boot normally. The second type of kernel image puts all the drivers in a file which is mounted in RAM as a RAM disk. This is known as an initrd file. initrd stands for "initial ramdisk"

Create kernel image with module drivers built in

1) Start the kernel configuration program

sudo make menuconfig

2) Set the following options on the kernel configuration menus

Processor type and features  --->  
 Processor family: Pentium-Classic
Device Drivers  --->
 Networking support  ---> 
  Networking options  --->
    [*]IP: kernel level autoconfiguration                             
     [*]     IP: DHCP support
     [*]     IP: BOOTP support
     [*]     IP: RARP support               
File systems  ---> 
 Network File Systems  ---> 
  <*> NFS file system support 
   [*] Root file system on NFS
Loadable module support  --->
 [] Enable loadable module support

3) Make the kernel

sudo make

4) Make the kernel image

sudo make bzImage

This will give you your linix kernel image (bzImage) in /usr/src/linux-source-2.6.12/arch/i386/boot/

5) Copy the kernel image to

sudo make modules
sudo make modules_install
sudo mkinitrd -o initrd.img-2.6.12 2.6.12