GRUB Network Boot


i was wondering if anyone knew how to make a Grub network boot cd. I would like to run openSUSE off of my server and not on my hard drive because i don’t have a lot of space for the linux partitions.


I was not aware that GRUB could activate network services and works at a very low level of operation before the OS is loaded. Besides the obvious of using a Live CD, have you considered loading openSUSE onto and then running from an external hard drive? Even 40 GB HD size would be large enough to do the trick. I use this method both at home and at work and it works like a champ. Just something to think about and I hope you find the solution you are looking for.

Thank You,

Thanks for the reply. I’ll probably just use a live usb drive so i can save some files on it without having to mount my windows. I read online where GRUB can act as a network booter, but i wasn’t sure myself.


Well I am sure if someone knows how to do it (network booting using GRUB), they will make a post here to your question. I wish I could convince you to try an external hard drive setup for loading SuSE. If you ever should change your mind, just let me know.

Thank You,

Generally if you have a CD or USB drive you might as well load the OS off it since you are not short of space on the drive. After that you would login to the server with a remote X session and then you would be effectively running on the server. You can do this even on a normal installed openSUSE, at the display manager login there’s an option to choose a remote X session.

If you wanted to run locally but mount a remote home then you have to set up NFS for /home.

If you don’t want even a CD or USB drive, there’s network booting where you use the PXE ROM on your BIOS to fetch the OS over the network. LTSP enables this sort of thin client to be set up, but you need to set up DHCP and TFTP services on the server in addition to NFS.

@ jdmcdaniel3,

Thanks for the offer, i have installed it on a couple of machines internal drives, so i figure external would be the same.

@ken_yap, I have heard this before and the link that i found said that grub could act as the PXE.
GRUB PXE network boot - LinuxMCE wiki

Yes, but for a limited number of types of NICs. You’ll have to check the compatibility. Search for nbgrub. You probably have to build your own GRUB for this, I don’t think it’s incorporated in the standard build.

As I said, if you are booting off a CD, then you might as well put the OS on the CD and not bother with setting up PXE/TFTP. Drawback of course is that the kernel cannot be updated at the central server’s TFTP directory.

I appriciate your input, i think i’ll just keep the live USB. I’ll probably start that after the mainstream release of 11.3.

Thank you,