Installing OpenSUSE on a unique architecture

I have a system which has 3 singleboard computer with no hard drive and no CD-ROM, 2 onboard switch/router, and 2 onboard hard drives (backup of each other) all in one large chasis. The system connects through a backplane via IPs. The PXE boot is also configured. I am sure you might need more information as we move along, but for now, how can I load OpenSUSE 11.0 via PXE, remember there is no CD-ROM and the USB Pen connected to single board computer load, wants to partition de actual Pen Drive and it is not detecting the hard drive. I would like to mount all the files directly to the hard drive, so when it boots, it grabs the vmlinuz, initrd, and the user interface, or some combination of that fashion. The HDD has 400Gigs of space and the SBC had 2 Gigs. I tried the Netboot, but again, it wants to load everything on the 2 Gig memory.

Have at it :slight_smile:


You might want to describe the system better, it’s rather confusing first you say there is no HD, then you say you have 400GB of HD. Maybe use paragraphs or a list of points.

Anyway, it not a problem to boot the kernel and initrd via PXE, you just have to put the kernel and the initrd in the tftpboot directories and create a PXE config file for pxelinux.0 that loads those two. Sorry I did this a while ago and don’t have the details handy now, but see the H. Peter Anvin’s pxelinux documentation on how to write pxelinux.cfg files. You have to set up the tftp and DHCP servers. It has a lot of similarity with booting a diskless client so documentation from something like LTSP will help.

But since as it is a strange computer with no conventional HD (if I understand your description of the SBC correctly) and who knows what peripherals, I’m not sure what you would do after it boots up. Shouldn’t you decide what you want to do with the SBC before you decide what distro is suitable for it?

Yes, I thought some more info would be of more help. The unit I am describing is similar to the one on this website:

AMP5095 7U PICMG 2.16 Advanced Managed Platform

The single board computer does not have its own hard drive, it boots from external HDD via PXE where the entire software suit should reside i.e OpenSUSE and applications. It boots with vmlinuz and the initrd, up to command line interface, but when it comes to the GUI OS, I am having problems on how the default file should be configured, and how the folder structure should go.


Well it looks like it’s designed for high availability applications like network switches, maybe telephony, and probably runs the software out of RAM and perhaps the onboard flash memory once booted. It’s certainly not a normal desktop or even server computer. Software like that tends to be tailored to the peripherals available and would need to be custom assembled. Certainly Linux can be used on such hardware, but it’s not clear what you would gain by booting OpenSUSE on it. It’s not even clear it has the standard keyboard, video, etc peripherals.

Thank you before hand for bearing with this. Indeed, it will be used for a very specific work. There are a couple applications that this system will need to run, and yes it uses standard keyboard, monitor, and it is able to read USB devices such as a Pen drive. I got as far as booting the SUSE kernel, then configured the eth0 to download the GUI interface, but once it recieved all the files, it kept it on the SBC, instead of sending them to the HDD; the SBC only has a 2Gig max memory slot as DDR. I placed the opensuse.iso image at /mnt/raid/tftpboot/pxe folder along with vmlinuz and initrd files, but during boot, the unit does not see the .iso image. Maybe there is a configuration missing that I am overlooking.