boot from network

Hello all,

I have a question regarding booting from network.
I have a environment with 2 computers owned by me in a bigger network. One of them is running Linux and one Windows. On the Linux PC I have low capacity HDD but I have to run on it multiple versions of Linux (like openSUSE 10.3, 11.2 etc.).

Is there a possibility to create some Linux images and store them on Windows and load them from network at boot time?

Notice that I cannot create a DHCP server since I am on the work network environment but I could set up a tftp server or something like that.


Basically you can, but the network will always be slower than your local system. I would suggest seperating the system and data (which is good in general) and storing the data on some network resource.

For more in depth advice you’ll have to provide more details about your setup though.

What kind of details? Can you suggest me some software for setting up this king of configuration?

This may be more difficult than joostvanrooij leads you to believe. Unless you Linux PC has lots of RAM or you want to run a very customized distribution, you will need an NFS server on which to run the “diskless” Linux machine. Do you have an NFS server on your Windows machine? Or can you run a Linux virtual machine on your Windows machine?

NFS is a possibility, but a virtual machine should be able to mount resources from the windows machine by using Samba, another possibility would be to set up the Windows machine as a iScsi target and access it’s disks that way.

You can and will need a DHCP server. It needs to dish out a client IP address, next server IP address, and a boot file. It is straightforward to configure a DHCP server to only respond to the Linux client.

I can run Linux on a virtual machine in order to create a NFS.

So, if I understand correctly I have to create a NFS and a DHCP server on the virtual machine and configure the dhcp server to respond to the MAC address of my Linux box.

Thanks a lot!