Changes between Version 2 and Version 3 of netboot


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Timestamp:
Jan 25, 2008, 4:36:13 PM (11 years ago)
Author:
Daniel Kahn Gillmor
Comment:

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  • netboot

    v2 v3  
     1[[PageOutline]]
    12= netboot =
    23
    3 ''netbooting'', or ''PXE booting'' is the process of booting a computer by having the computer pull it's bootloader and operating system from over the network, as opposed to getting it from the local disk.  netbooting can be very useful in many circumstances, as the netboot images can be easily updated and maintained on the netboot server.
     4''netbooting'', or ''PXE booting'' is the process of booting a computer by having the computer pull it's bootloader and operating system from over the network, as opposed to getting it from a local disk. 
    45
    5 there are many how-tos for setting up netboot servers on the net, but here's a short cmrg how-to anyway.
     6== What is it good for? ==
    67
    7 == network booting a computer ==
     8Netbooting is useful for:
     9 * computer forensics
     10 * diskless machines
     11 * massive deployments
     12 * computer re-imaging
    813
    9 Most relatively new computers support netbooting.  What is needed is a network card that supports PXE booting, and a BIOS able to recognize the PXE-booting capabilities of the network card.  If you computer supports it, start the computer and go into the BIOS and tell it to use the network card to boot.  The computer will use bootp to obtain an IP address from a bootp (dhcp) server.  The bootp server will also instruct the machine where it's "next server" is, and a location on that server to pull the next boot image, usually a bootloader.
    1014
    11 == setting up a netboot environment ==
     15== Advantages ==
    1216
    13 Setting up a netboot environment on a lan is not that difficult, but it does require access one service that one may not always have access to: the dhcp server.  Assuming you are in control of the dhcp server on your network, here's what you need to get a netboot environment setup:
     17Advantages of netbooting over booting from local media include:
     18 * central location of images makes maintenance (backups, updates, etc) easier
     19 * no optical media is needed to try a new image
     20 * no moving parts involved on client machines
    1421
    15  * a dhcp server: there are various flavors available, but dhcp3 is the standard
    16  * a tftp server: tftpd-hpa, atftpd, etc.
     22== Disadvantages ==
     23
     24Disadvantages of netbooting over booting from local media:
     25 * security -- the booting computer must trust the network, at least for current protocols.
     26
     27
     28== How does it work? ==
     29
     30Most relatively new computers support netbooting.  What you need is:
     31 * a network card that supports PXE booting, and
     32 * a BIOS able to recognize the PXE-booting capabilities of the network card.
     33
     34Most recent computers which have built-in ethernet ports support netbooting, though they might not call it that explicitly in the BIOS.
     35
     36If you computer supports it, you just need to start the computer, go into the BIOS and tell it to use the network card to boot.
     37
     38The client will use BOOTP or DHCP to obtain an IP address from the network.  The BOOTP or DHCP server will also instruct the client where its "next server" is, and a location on that server to pull the next boot image, usually a bootloader.  The client's BIOS then pulls in this second image via [WikiPedia:TFTP].
     39
     40== Setting up a netboot environment ==
     41
     42Setting up a netboot environment on a LAN is not difficult, but it does require control over one service you might not have access to: the dhcp server.  Assuming you are in control of the DHCP server on your network (or no DHCP server already exists), here's what you need to get a netboot environment setup:
     43
     44 * a DHCP server: there are various flavors available, but [DebianPackage:dhcp3-server] is the standard
     45 * a TFTP server: tftpd-hpa, atftpd, etc.
    1746 * a network bootloader: pxelinux, pxegrub, etc.
    1847 * a network bootable OS image: