Simplify PXE boot or create a more documented tutorial?

June 16th, 2012

Home Forums GeeXboX for PC Simplify PXE boot or create a more documented tutorial?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  David75 2 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #4022

    David75
    Member

    Hi,
    I’ve been trying to PXE boot Geexbox from a windows laptop as a server and another comp as a client.

    On the server, I’ve been able to setup tftpd32 correctly and can boot the client on Geexbox PXE interface boot screen.

    Then I choose start… and then no rootfs.

    The problem comes from the fact that the only truly free nfs for server for win7 I know of is freenfs… and I’m not even sure it works properly.
    Even opening the firewall and all, seems the nfs share is not seen by geexbox in the add source for example.

    I then decided to search for other alternatives, like puting rootfs inside initrd. It’s just that I do not know the right tools to do this under windows.
    7zip can browse and extract files, but not add files inside initrd for example.

    So I wonder if there’s a way to update the process, facilitate things, directly boot the iso as is, or the extracted iso… all of this with persistence from the server of course.

    Ideally, this would work with standard dhcp servers… so that there’s no need for fixed ip for the laptop server that changes networks frequently…

    You understand I want to be able to test multiple iso without the painful and long burning/usb key step…

    Thanks for any help

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  David75.
    #4024

    tomlohave
    Moderator

    what contains your variable nfsroot ?

    #4025

    David75
    Member

    I just learnt about nfsroot like 20 seconds ago, will try it later this night… maybe. a PXE search in google with the forum as a restricted search gave me some pointers…

    For example, there’s no example for the pxelinux.cfg file indicating the use of nfsroot in the “tutorial” on the site
    http://www.geexbox.org/geexbox-for-pc-booting-from-network/

    I know documentation is a lot of work and geeks should know this… well not all of them :D

    I’m only a noob padawan (can’t write young…), even more in the linux department

    Thanks.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  David75.
    #4027

    David75
    Member

    Ok, seems like freenfs isn’t working. I not have time/expertise/will to search for a solution.

    I guess there’s no nfs server freeware for windows, except maybe SFU 3.5, but it’s a godzilla download for what I need.

    I guess that a smb alternative is not possible to load rootfs as the service probably isn’t available at this point of the system loading…

    #4028

    tomlohave
    Moderator

    I never try with windows, so i can’t help, but maybe you can do this in a v-box ? with linux inside of course ;-)
    i have some config files if you want .
    For smb, it ‘s not implemented in our init script.
    Will try to implement this

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  tomlohave.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  tomlohave.
    #4031

    David75
    Member

    Ok, I’ll try the virtual box, already used that a year ago or so. At least to validate it works well.
    Thanks ;)

    #4032

    tomlohave
    Moderator

    smbroot should be ready in the day, so you can use it with tftpd32

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  tomlohave.
    #4034

    David75
    Member

    Thanks a lot.

    #4035

    tomlohave
    Moderator

    basic steps is ready, now persistent …, need to be sure it’s cleanly umounted

    #4036

    David75
    Member

    Ok thanks.
    On my end, tried v-boxing some distros. Too slow… so it’s useless. Most linux distros are too obese and the skinnier ones seem to have lost their fanbase and are not updated anymore…
    GeexBox probably is one of the latest skinny distros to have a gui (xbmc) and still updated.

    #4037

    David75
    Member

    Tried iPxe. Would be a nice idea, simplifies the boot part quite a bit. But the iso is an old one and can’t be used for usb boot.
    I do not have the time/skills to build a proper iso from the git.

    #4038

    David75
    Member

    Progress…
    I’ve been able to get initrd and vmlinuz with iPXE by setting a local wamp server
    I don’t know if iPXE can set a webfolder as a target, at least it seems that rootfs was not mounted.

    The advantage with the iPXE image I have, is that it’s possible to update a script used for boot… meaning you never have to change anything on the usb key, only on the machine serving the images, which is very convenient… Just plug the usb key once, choose wether you boot it or not… or even use grub to freely choose anytime.

    Then have any image ready to use with the script update on the machine you use as a server.

    I do not explain it very well, but the idea is that there’s no setting on the client side, other than choosing what to start.

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