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Old 28th January 2012, 03:30 PM
myxal Offline
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Question LiveCD netboot? (kernel image or cmdline needed)

Hi there.

Summary: Does anyone know what options I need to pass to the kernel so thet I get Live session booted from PXE? I can make the iso contents available on NFS (preferred) or FTP.

As a long-time 'buntu user currently on a (very) bumpy road to 12.04, I thought I should take Fedora for a spin. But I have a bit of a, ehm, 'convenience' problem .
About a year ago I got fed up with the tedious procedure of preparing a liveUSB flash drive due to various reasons. After a little bit of research, I found about Ubuntu's Live netboot method. The goal, basically, is to boot the Live session without using any removable media whatsoever. In 'buntu's case, the magic occurs purely in the kernel commandline (ie. no special kernel image is needed):
Code:
append boot=casper netboot=nfs nfsroot=192.168.2.200:/srv/tftpboot/intrepid-i386/mnt initrd=intrepid-i386/initrd.gz --
I've searched for a similar trick for Fedora, but all guides I've come up with reference a special kernel image under pxeboot/ directory that just isn't on the current iso. This old thread lists some options that look relevant but it's from 2004.
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  #2  
Old 11th June 2012, 04:26 PM
ddreggors Offline
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Re: LiveCD netboot? (kernel image or cmdline needed)

Sorry for the late reply, I was just looking for this answer as well.

I posted my finding in another thread which may help you and others that stumble onto this thread...

Please see my post in this thread.
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  #3  
Old 11th June 2012, 05:27 PM
myxal Offline
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Unhappy Re: LiveCD netboot? (kernel image or cmdline needed)

Hi,
thanks for the reply. It seems to only confirm my fears - Fedora just doesn't (knowingly) support a PXE setup that isn't an ugly hack.


If I understand it correctly, the whole .iso is stuffed into the initrd image and transferred to the machine as part of the "append" command in pxelinux.cfg. pxelinux only works with TFTP AFAIK, so for a 700MB file, this alone would take ~3 minutes Couple that with the huge memory requirement, and this a "yeah, kinda works but no one would want to use this".


It would be a huge boost for Fedora to support at least Clonezlla-style PXE booting, where the initrd contains a wget binary and the .iso (actually, Clonezilla downloads just the filesystem.squashfs) file is downloaded using either FTP or HTTP. Those are orders of magnitude faster than TFTP, even on only FastEthernet.


Since you've brought up CentOS, they do mention fetching some files over http here: http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/PXE/PXE_Setup/Menus Maybe there is something like wget in the initrd image already?
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Old 13th June 2012, 08:16 PM
ddreggors Offline
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Re: LiveCD netboot? (kernel image or cmdline needed)

I am not real clear yet on PXE in Fedora, but I have been PXE booting RHEL and CentOS that way for years. The difference is that is for a kickstart install that typically allows you to do an unattended install.

If you are not doing the kickstart method to install but wish to only run the LiveCD, then I assume using ksdevice= or ip= or url is invalid.

Honestly, if you were doing a full install using kickstart in that manor it would probably work just fine.
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