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Installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix over the network (UNR netboot - PXE install)

There is actually at least one very straightforward way to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix without a USB key, without even downloading the image, over the network.

Just follow the instructions in my previous article to get a working Ubuntu Installer over PXE. By default this installer will only setup a very minimal Ubuntu system, without any server or desktop packages.

At some point during the installation, you are offered the possibility to install additional software packages. At this stage you can just tick the box in front of "Ubuntu Network Remix" and that's it! You don't need to select any other package (eg Ubuntu Desktop) for a fully working UNR install. Personally I added "OpenSSH Server" because I want to be able to login remotely. Of course you could also add those packages later on.
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Install Ubuntu without cd-rom over the network (Ubuntu netboot install, works for CF or USB too)

It's quite easy actually, once you know where to look.

Just browse to http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/[version]/main/installer-[arch]/current/images/netboot/ubuntu-installer/[arch]/ - eg http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/intrepid/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/ubuntu-installer/i386/.

The two files "linux" and "initrd.gz" can be used with pxegrub to boot a PC with a fully-working Ubuntu-installer (text-mode). See my other posts about my diskless / network boot setup for details on how I configured the network booting part, based on dhcp, tftp and pxegrub.

Alternatively, if you have a CF card USB stick etc. with a working GRUB install, you can just copy the two files over there.

What I still haven't found is how to do an Ubuntu NFS install directly. For now I'm stuck with my diskless Ubuntu install procedure where I first do a hard disk install and then make it diskless.

Credits: the whole thing was inspired by this article.
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Diskless Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn NFS install)

Tonight I installed my first diskless Ubuntu system. The version I used is the latest available as of today, 7.04 "FeistyFawn". This article covers the client part.

My other diskless machines all run Gentoo (for the time being). I've described previously how I set up my SB 100, the rest of the setup was based on this article.

The following two articles were helpful:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/OnNFSDrive
http://developer.novell.com/wiki/index.php/Feisty/HOWTO:_Convert_Ubuntu_to_Diskless

However I found some of the info to be uncomplete or outdated.

From what I have read, unlike with Gentoo, it seems that there is no easy way to get a working diskless Ubuntu system directly. Instead, you have to install to a disk first, and then make your setup diskless. I did not really want to open the box, so I tried first to install on a 2 GB CF card, which didn't work because the card was full before the install completed (du now reports that the system is 2.1 GB big). So I ended up putting a disk in the box, and I ran a regular install.

Note: As in the SB100 article, 10.0.0.10 will be my dhcp/nfs/tftp server ('fileserver'). 10.0.0.30 will be the Ubuntu desktop.

Once that was completed, instead of rebooting as suggested by the installer, I opened a shell (gnome-terminal), and ran:
sudo su -
mkdir /mnt/tmp
mkdir /mnt/nfs
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/tmp
mount 10.0.0.10:/diskless/ubuntu /mnt/nfs
cp -a /mnt/tmp/* /mnt/nfs/

After that, there are just a couple of things that need to be changed:
chroot /mnt/nfs
mount -t proc proc proc
vi etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf

and make sure you have:
BOOT=nfs

then run:
update-initramfs -u

Now check what you have in /boot, and update your network boot config files accordingly. I use pxegrub, and here is how /boot/grub.lst looks like:
default 0
timeout 10
title=Diskless Ubuntu
root (nd)
kernel /diskless/tv/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.20-15-generic ip=dhcp root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=10.0.0.10:/diskless/tv ro quiet splash
initrd /diskless/tv/boot/initrd.img-2.6.20-15-generic

Finally, don't forget to update etc/fstab and etc/network/interfaces. I've read several theories, here is what worked for me:

fstab:
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
#
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/nfs / nfs defaults 0 0
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0

network/interfaces:
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
address 10.0.0.30
netmask 255.255.255.0
network 10.0.0.0
broadcast 10.0.0.255
gateway 10.0.0.1

(note: commenting out eth0 as suggested in some places made the system hang during the boot process.)
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"SSL plugin" for Psi jabber client on Ubuntu et al.

If you get a "plugin not found" error when trying to enable SSL in Psi, you'll need to install a package called qca-tls.

eg (Ubuntu):
sudo apt-get install qca-tls



UPDATE, 2008-05-12

After switching to Ubuntu 8.04, I had to:
sudo apt-get install libqca2-plugin-ossl
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