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iPXE, LTSP, and NBD
2015-03-10, 22:53
Post: #1
iPXE, LTSP, and NBD
Greetings!
I'm currently booting diskless clients to an LTSP client file system hosted via NFS. This works, but I'd like to see how much faster an NBD based implementation would be...LTSP is a bit more convenient to administer when utilizing NBD as well.

My problem is that every LTSP implementation reference I can find is based off of the PXE boot/tftp server implementation, and I can't find any kernel boot parameters to begin mounting an NBD image.

For various reasons, I'm unable to host an anonymous FTP server on our LAN, and our organization is large enough that having direct control over DHCP to implment PXE is simply not feasible.

iPXE is a wonderful fix for these problems...all of our kernels and initial ram disks are hosted on HTTP servers, and we can use existing dhcp services to bring systems on to the network at a low level. Indeed, I do have NFS based LTSP working well. I'd really appreciate any help getting a kernel loaded via iPXE and NBD.

Thanks in advance for your time and assistance!
-Kermit
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2015-04-13, 23:37
Post: #2
RE: iPXE, LTSP, and NBD
There is no NBD support in iPXE but that probably does not matter.

What you want to do is load a kernel over http, and an initird.
the initrd will need to contain the basic support tools to get network configured and then mounting NBD and pivot-root to continue boot.

You can still use the kernels autoconfiguration for the network if you want to.

Another possible solution is iSCSI which might be "more supported" by iPXE people.

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Are relevant ipxe.org error urls and PCIIDs included?
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