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Diskless Linux on a Sunblade 100

Initially written on 2006-05-17

On my other (x86/amd64) diskless machines, I use PXE with pxegrub. My setup is quite similar to (and inspired by) this one.

Now, on sparc machines, there is no BIOS nor PXE. But you don't need all that, since you have the Open Boot... This is how I managed to make my Sunblade 100 totally diskless (using a "vanilla" kernel, the latest version being currently 2.6.16.16).

Note: In this example, 10.0.0.10 will be my dhcp/nfs/tftp server which I will refer to as 'fileserver'. 10.0.0.30 is the sunblade.

- when configuring the kernel:
[*] Default bootloader kernel arguments (ip=dhcp root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=10.0.0.10:/diskless/sunblade)

(in "Networking" -> "Networking support" -> "Networking options")
[*]   IP: kernel level autoconfiguration
[*] IP: DHCP support
[*] IP: BOOTP support
[*] IP: RARP support

(in "File systems" -> "Network File Systems")
<*> NFS file system support
[*] Provide NFSv3 client support
[*] Root file system on NFS

Configure all other settings as you would do for a disk install, but make sure you compile your NIC driver in the kernel (not as module)

Then:
make
make modules_install
make tftpboot.img ROOT_IMG=/dev/null
(the resulting tftpboot.img will be in arch/sparc64/boot/tftpboot.img)

I copied tftpboot.img to fileserver as tftpimage-2.6.16.16, and added the following entry in my dhcpd.conf:
host sunblade {
hardware ethernet 00:03:BA:08:12:34;
fixed-address 10.0.0.30;
always-reply-rfc1048 on;
filename "sunblade/boot/tftpimage-2.6.16.16";
}


Finally, to net-boot your diskless Sunblade you'll need to enter
boot net:dhcp
in the Open Boot prompt. When you are happy with it, you can set it as default:
setenv boot-device net:dhcp cdrom disk net



Notes:

- apparently, instead of using make tftpboot.img you can just "elftoaout" vmlinux

- another alternative would be to use tilo, which comes with silo, to build the image
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blog.crox.net on : Diskless Ubuntu

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Tonight I installed my first diskless Ubuntu system. The version I used is the latest available as of today, 7.04 &quot;FeistyFawn&quot;. My other diskless machines all run Gentoo (for the time being). I've described previously how I set up my SB 100, the rest o

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