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slackware:pxe [2006/09/13 21:40]
alien Newbie friendlier.
slackware:pxe [2009/05/19 14:22] (current)
alien Update the tutorial for Slackware 12.2 (way way easier)...
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-When the time comes to install Slackware on your computer, you have a limited number of options regarding the location of your Slackware packages. Either youinstall them from the (un)official Slackware CDROM or DVD, or you copy them to a pre-existing hard disk partition before starting the installation procedure, or you fetch the packages from a [[slackware:samba#setting_up_nfs_on_slackware|NFS server]].+When the time comes to install Slackware on your computer, you have a limited number of options regarding the location of your Slackware packages. Either you install them from the (un)official Slackware CDROM or DVD, or you copy them to a pre-existing hard disk partition before starting the installation procedure, or else you fetch the packages from a [[slackware:samba#setting_up_nfs_on_slackware|NFS server]], FTP or HTTP server.
  
-The number of possible options for booting your Slackware installer is similarly limited: either you boot your computer from the bootable first CDROM of the Slackware CD set, or from the DVD, or (in those cases where the computer BIOS refuses to recognize the CD as bootable) create boot/root floppies and boot from those. There is even loadlin, the DOS based Linux starter, but let's not concern ourselves with the past today.+The number of available options for booting your Slackware installer is similarly limited: either you boot your computer from the bootable first CDROM of the Slackware CD set, or from the DVD, or using a USB stick.\\ There is even loadlin, the DOS based Linux starter, but lets not concern ourselves with the past today. Slackware 12.0 abandoned the floppy boot altogether.
  
-But what if your PC is lacking a floppy drive - or even a CDROM drive? Brands of PC's are on the market today (ultra-portable laptops for instance) that are unable to install Slackware the traditional way. However, these machines are commonly equipped with network peripherals, like bluetooth, wireless and wired network cards. How to solve this dilemma? Buy an external CD drive?+But what if your PC is lacking a CDROM drive? Brands of PC's are on the market today (ultra-portable laptops for instance) that are unable to install Slackware the traditional way. However, these machines are commonly equipped with network peripherals, like bluetooth, wireless and wired network cards. How to solve this dilemma? Buy an external CD drive?
  
-Well, there is one way of booting your computer that the Slackware installer does not __yet__ support. That is the //network boot//. Network boot, or "PXE boot", requires support from your computer's network card and BIOS. Also, instead of installing packages from a Slackware CDROM set, you will need a network server that can instruct your computer how to fetch those packages from the network.+Well, there is another way of booting your computer that the Slackware installer supports. That is the //network boot//. Network boot, or "PXE boot", requires support from your computer's network card and BIOS. Also, instead of installing packages from a Slackware CDROM set, you will need a network server that can instruct your computer how to fetch those packages from the network.
  
-In this article, I want to present a way of installation that uses the network as the carrier medium, with a server on the local network that holds the boot kernel and the root filesystem (which contains the setup program), and also has all the Slackware packages. This means, there is __no need__ for a floppy or CDROM drive.\\ Be warned: setting it all up is not trivial, and you need more than a beginner's level of Linux knowledge, but this text and the accompanying example scripts in the [[#example_configuration_scripts|last section]] should get you up and running even if you do not completely understand what is going on :-)+In this README, I will show you how to perform an installation that uses the network as the carrier medium, with a server on the local network that holds the boot kernel and the root filesystem (which contains the setup program), and also has all the Slackware packages.  This means, there is no need for a floppy or CDROM drive.\\ Be warned: setting it all up is not trivial, and you need more than a beginner's level of Linux knowledge, but this text and the accompanying example scripts in the [[#example_configuration_scripts|last section]] should get you up and running even if you do not completely understand what is going on :-) 
 + 
 +I will describe how to setup a server with the proper software, and how to use some of the files on the Slackware CDROM so that PXE-boot becomes a supported installation method for Slackware Linux. Alternatively, read the [[ftp://slackware.osuosl.org/pub/slackware/slackware-current/usb-and-pxe-installers/README_PXE.TXT | README_PXE.TXT]] file on your Slackware CDROM.
  
-I will describe how to setup a server with the proper software, and how to modify some of the files on the Slackware CDROM so that PXE-boot becomes a supported installation method for Slackware Linux. 
  
 ===== PXE ===== ===== PXE =====
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 The commonly used method of booting a computer over the network is called [[wp>Preboot_Execution_Environment|PXE]] or **P**reboot E**x**ecution **E**nvironment. If you want your computer to boot using PXE, it needs a network card with PXE-capable firmware, and a BIOS that supports network boot. Most modern network cards (and computers) sold on the market today support this. When a computer boots from the network , it is the network card that downloads the bootloader, kernel and a filesystem - any Operating System that might already be installed on the computer will be untouched.\\ You can just as well boot a diskless computer using PXE - in fact this is how [[wp>Thin_client|Thin Clients]] and the [[http://ltsp.org/|Linux Terminal Server Project]] work. The commonly used method of booting a computer over the network is called [[wp>Preboot_Execution_Environment|PXE]] or **P**reboot E**x**ecution **E**nvironment. If you want your computer to boot using PXE, it needs a network card with PXE-capable firmware, and a BIOS that supports network boot. Most modern network cards (and computers) sold on the market today support this. When a computer boots from the network , it is the network card that downloads the bootloader, kernel and a filesystem - any Operating System that might already be installed on the computer will be untouched.\\ You can just as well boot a diskless computer using PXE - in fact this is how [[wp>Thin_client|Thin Clients]] and the [[http://ltsp.org/|Linux Terminal Server Project]] work.
  
-Of course, the other end of the network needs our attention, too. A //PXE server// needs to be available on the local network. The PXE firmware in your computer's network card will contact this server in order to fetch some kind of bootable program code and bootstrap itself. What happens //after// the computer boots has no longer anything to do with the PXE boot stage, it is the bootstrapping process we're insterested in.+Of course, the other end of the network needs our attention, too. A //PXE server// needs to be available on the local network. The PXE firmware in your computer's network card will contact this server in order to fetch some kind of bootable program code and bootstrap itself. What happens //after// the computer boots has no longer anything to do with the PXE boot stage, it is the bootstrapping process we're interested in.
  
 We will cover the requirements for such a server in one of the [[#server_requirements|next paragraphs]]. We will cover the requirements for such a server in one of the [[#server_requirements|next paragraphs]].
  
-The Slackware network installation process will be roughly as follows:+The Slackware network installation process will roughly be as follows:
   * You start the computer that is going to receive Slackware;   * You start the computer that is going to receive Slackware;
   * On startup, you make sure you select //network boot// in the BIOS startup - either by activating a ''custom startup sequence'', by entering a ''boot menu'' by pressing a function key like <key>F12</key>, or else by preselecting ''network boot'' as first option in the BIOS.   * On startup, you make sure you select //network boot// in the BIOS startup - either by activating a ''custom startup sequence'', by entering a ''boot menu'' by pressing a function key like <key>F12</key>, or else by preselecting ''network boot'' as first option in the BIOS.
-  * When the computer boots, the network card activates it's PXE code and tries to contact a PXE server. When such a server exists on the LAN, it will tell the card where to download a piece of bootable code, an Operating System kernel (the Slackware Linux kernel) and an initial ramdisk (aka initrd - the compressed root-filesystem image where the setup program, libraries and kernel modules are stored). You will see a page full of mumbo-jumbo as the card broadcasts on the LAN, and probes for possible candidate configurations to download;+  * When the computer boots, the network card activates its PXE code and tries to contact a PXE server. When such a server exists on the LAN, it will tell the card where to download a piece of bootable code, an Operating System kernel (the Slackware Linux kernel) and an initial ramdisk (aka initrd - the compressed root-filesystem image where the setup program, libraries and kernel modules are stored). You will see a page full of mumbo-jumbo as the card broadcasts on the LAN, and probes for possible candidate configurations to download;
   * If a willing PXE server was found, your computer's network card will then download a kernel and initrd, boot the Linux kernel, unpack the initrd into a ramdisk and start the Slackware installer's initialization sequence. This is where you'll be in familiar territory again, since this is exactly what happens if you had booted from a CDROM or a floppy. But the fun is not over...   * If a willing PXE server was found, your computer's network card will then download a kernel and initrd, boot the Linux kernel, unpack the initrd into a ramdisk and start the Slackware installer's initialization sequence. This is where you'll be in familiar territory again, since this is exactly what happens if you had booted from a CDROM or a floppy. But the fun is not over...
   * Since we booted the computer using code that did not originate from our computer, we will have to fetch the remainder of the data - the Slackware  packages - from the network as well. It's just that the freshly booted Linux kernel has no idea how it came to be running on the computer: you will have to initialize the network all over again. The network card's PXE firmware has done it's job and is no longer in the picture. So:   * Since we booted the computer using code that did not originate from our computer, we will have to fetch the remainder of the data - the Slackware  packages - from the network as well. It's just that the freshly booted Linux kernel has no idea how it came to be running on the computer: you will have to initialize the network all over again. The network card's PXE firmware has done it's job and is no longer in the picture. So:
-  * We need to load a kernel driver for our network card and locate a NFS server that holds the Slackware package tree. Currently, NFS is our only means of getting to network data at allBefore starting ''cfdisk'' and ''setup'', we need to run the (''pcmcia'' and/or) ''network'' command to probe the network card and load a suitable driver. If your network card is not supported by any of the available drivers, you're out of luck and will have to rethink your options. +  * We need to load a kernel driver for our network card and locate a network server that holds the Slackware package tree. Currently, NFS, FTP or HTTP installs are supported means of getting to your network data. The Slackware installer will use udev to configure your network card. If your network card is not supported by any of the available drivers, you're out of luck and will have to re-evaluate your options. 
-  * From here on, installation proceeds as usual, under the condition that you select //NFS server// as the source of the Slackware packages.+  * From here on, installation proceeds as usual, under the condition that you select //Install from NFS (Network File System)// or //Install from FTP/HTTP server// as the source of the Slackware packages. 
  
 ===== Workstation requirements ===== ===== Workstation requirements =====
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   * PC BIOS allowing to select //network boot//   * PC BIOS allowing to select //network boot//
 No other requirements have to be met for a network install, other than those you'd already have to meet in order to be able to install and run Slackware. No other requirements have to be met for a network install, other than those you'd already have to meet in order to be able to install and run Slackware.
 +
  
 ===== Server requirements ===== ===== Server requirements =====
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 This is the interesting part (well in my opinion at least - many people consider this as a dark art).\\ This is the interesting part (well in my opinion at least - many people consider this as a dark art).\\
 A PXE Server is really a mix of several components. We need A PXE Server is really a mix of several components. We need
-  * A service that understands the //BOOTP// protocol. BOOTP is a network protocol somewhat like DHCP, and it is used by the PXE firmware to broadcast on the network it's desire to find a suitable server to download the bootstrap code from. The DHCP Server that is part of Slackware fulfills this requirement, since it talks BOOTP as well as DHCP.+  * A service that understands the //BOOTP// protocol. BOOTP is a network protocol somewhat like DHCP, and it is used by the PXE firmware to broadcast on the network its desire to find a suitable server to download the bootstrap code from. The ISC DHCP Server which comes as part of Slackware fulfills this requirement, since it supports BOOTP as well as DHCP.
   * A download service for the bootstrap code. A //TFTP// (trivial file transfer protocol) server is needed for this. Slackware ships with an implementation of a TFTP server called tftpd-hpa which does what we need.   * A download service for the bootstrap code. A //TFTP// (trivial file transfer protocol) server is needed for this. Slackware ships with an implementation of a TFTP server called tftpd-hpa which does what we need.
-  * And for the Slackware installer, a NFS server is required because we must perform a network install. Slackware does not know the concept of installation from a ftp server (yet?). We can use Slackware's stock NFS server for that.+  * And for the Slackware installer, a NFS, FTP or HTTP server is required because we must perform a network install. We can use Slackware's stock NFS/FTP/HTTP server for that. In the example below, we will configure a NFS server.
  
 ===== Implementation of the services ===== ===== Implementation of the services =====
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 For ease of instruction, I will make a number of assumptions. These assumptions are reflected in IP addresses and address ranges that I use in my examples, in the names of directories, computers and network domains. This means that if **you** use the examples in this article, you should make certain that you replace all occurrences of these specifics with values that apply to your own network. For ease of instruction, I will make a number of assumptions. These assumptions are reflected in IP addresses and address ranges that I use in my examples, in the names of directories, computers and network domains. This means that if **you** use the examples in this article, you should make certain that you replace all occurrences of these specifics with values that apply to your own network.
  
-  * Our example network uses IP addresses in the range of ''192.168.0.0'' to ''192.168.0.254''. This is equivalent to a network range **192.168.0.0/24** or **192.168.0.0/255.255.255.0**.+  * Our example network uses IP addresses in the range of **''192.168.0.0''** to **''192.168.0.254''**. This is equivalent to a network range **192.168.0.0/24** or **192.168.0.0/255.255.255.0**.
  
-  * Our network server will have the IP address of **192.168.0.1** and the default gateway is **192.168.0.10**. Server and gateway do not need to be the same physical machine.+  * Our network server will have the IP address of **192.168.0.1** and the default gateway is **192.168.0.10**. Server and gateway can be (but do not need to bethe same physical machine.
  
-  * The IP address range that the DHCP server will use to lease to DHCP/BOOTP enabled computers is ''192.168.0.50'' to ''192.168.0.100''.+  * The IP address range that the DHCP server will use to lease to DHCP/BOOTP enabled computers is **''192.168.0.50''** to **''192.168.0.100''**.
  
-  * The DNS domain will be "''my.lan''".+  * The DNS domain will be "**''my.lan''**".
  
-  * The server will run all required services, i.e. acts as the LAN's DNS,DHCP, TFTP and NFS server. If you decide to separate DHCP and TFTP services onto two different servers (it does not matter where the NFS server runs), I will add a comment on what you should take care of in the [[#dhcp|DHCP]] section that comes next.+  * The server will run all required services, i.e. acts as the LAN's **DNS,DHCP, TFTP and NFS** server. If you decide to separate DHCP and TFTP services onto two different servers (it does not matter where the NFS server runs), I will add a comment on what you should take care of in the [[#dhcp|DHCP]] section that comes next.
  
   * Directories are used as follows:   * Directories are used as follows:
-    * Toplevel of the complete Slackware 11.directory tree (excluding the source code if you're short on disk space) is ''/mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0'' +    * Top level of the complete Slackware 12.directory tree (excluding the source code if you're short on disk space) is **''/mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2''** 
-    * The directory where we store the boot files for the TFTP server is ''/tftpboot/slackware-11.0''+    * The directory where we store the boot files for the TFTP server is **''/tftpboot/slackware-12.2''**
  
 ==== DHCP ==== ==== DHCP ====
  
-You probably already have a DHCP server running on your network. You can try and modify it's configuration so that it will do want we want, or if that is impossible (for instance because the DHCP server is running on your DSL/Cable router) you could consider disabling that and setting up a Slackware DHCP server for your LAN with much enhanced functionality. An example ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' configuration file for the DHCP Server is included in the [[#example_configuration_scripts|last section]] of the article.\\ +You probably already have a DHCP server running on your network. You can try and modify its configuration so that it will do want we want, or if that is impossible (for instance because the DHCP server is running on your DSL/Cable router) you could consider disabling that and setting up a Slackware DHCP server for your LAN with much enhanced functionality. 
-If you don't want to be bothered with fancy configurations but want a quick solution that will just work for your network, use the first (simple) example ''dhcpd.conf'' script and be done with it. If you know what you're doing and understand (more or less) how the DHCP server works, you can have a look at th second, more complex, ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' example which has more features and offers control over what computers are allowed to do a network boot.\\ + 
-The rest of this chapter deals with the //complex// DHCP configuration.+Slackware includes the //ISC DHCP// server package (dhcpd). Two example ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' configuration files for this DHCP Server are included in the [[#example_configuration_scripts|last section]] of the article. 
 + 
 +If you don't want to be bothered with fancy configurations but want a quick solution that will just work for your network, use the [[#first_example_dhcpd.conf|first (simple) example]] ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' configuration file as well as the provided ''/etc/rc.d/rc.dhcpd'' [[#rc_script|start script]] and you'll be up and running in minutesIt requires //no// editing of files, the examples will work out of the box. 
 + 
 +If you know what you're doing and understand (more or less) how the DHCP server works, you can have a look at the second, more complex, ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' example which has more features and offers control over what computers are allowed to do a network boot.\\ 
 +The rest of this chapter deals with the setup of a //complex// DHCP configuration.
  
 By default, we should no allow network boots in our network (which is safer of course - imagine a computer that does an un-intended network boot and suddenly finds itself running the Slackware installer!). In the ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' configuration file, we add a //group// section were we can add those computers that we allow as network boot clients; the typical //host// statement for a computer looks like this <code> By default, we should no allow network boots in our network (which is safer of course - imagine a computer that does an un-intended network boot and suddenly finds itself running the Slackware installer!). In the ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' configuration file, we add a //group// section were we can add those computers that we allow as network boot clients; the typical //host// statement for a computer looks like this <code>
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 group { group {
   allow bootp;   allow bootp;
 +  next-server 192.168.0.1;
   use-host-decl-names on;   use-host-decl-names on;
   if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient" {   if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient" {
-    filename "/slackware-11.0/pxelinux.0";+    filename "/slackware-12.2/pxelinux.0";
   }   }
  
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   }   }
 } }
-</code> This makes the DHCP server recognize network boot clients that use PXE and serves them the PXElinux boot loader ''/slackware-11.0/pxelinux.0''. What this boot loader does will be explained further down the article. +</code> This makes the DHCP server recognize network boot clients that use PXE and serves them the PXElinux boot loader ''/slackware-12.2/pxelinux.0''. What this boot loader does will be explained further down the article.\\ \\ The ''next-server'' parameter contains the IP adddress of the TFTP server. This will often be identical to the DHCP server's IP address, but if you have a TFTP server that is running on a different IP address than the DHCP server (i.e. they run on separate servers) you will have to add the remote IP address instead, like this (assuming the TFTP server is running on IP address 192.168.0.254): <code>
- +
-<note tip>If you have a TFTP server that is running on a different IP address than the DHCP server (i.e. they run on separate servers) yopu will have to add an extra line to this PXE //group block// that goes like this (assuming the TFTP server is running on IP address 192.168.0.254): <code>+
 next-server 192.168.0.254;</code> next-server 192.168.0.254;</code>
 +
 +<note tip>If you are running a version of ISC dhcpd that is >= 3.0.3 , then the addition of a ''next-server <ipaddress>;'' line is **mandatory**. For older releases this was only needed if the TFTP and DHCP Servers actually had different addresses.\\ If you fail to set the ''next-server'' address, the //siaddr// field in the data returned to the client is set to zero where in the past it would default to the DHCP server's own IP address (which often happened to be the IP address of the TFTP server as well). The PXE client uses the //siaddr// field to determine the IP address of the TFTP server and so the PXE booting will stall at the point of looking for a TFTP server.
 +</note>
 +
 +<note tip>
 +If you are already using **dnsmasq** as your DNS/DHCP server, then the above instructions for the ISC DHCP server are not applicable to your setup. In that case, I have another [[:slackware:qemu#pxe_booting_your_qemu_virtual_machine|Wiki article (which focuses on QEMU)]] for you where I have documented the required modifications to the dnsmasq server. 
 </note> </note>
  
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 /etc/rc.d/rc.inetd restart /etc/rc.d/rc.inetd restart
 </code> </code>
-We need to create the directory ''/tftpboot'' which will hold the bootstrap files that tftpd will serveThis directory is the root of a secure jail (the ''-s /tftproot'' parameter in ''/etc/inetd.conf'').+We need to create the directory ''/tftpboot'' which will hold the bootstrap files that tftpd will serve:<code> 
 +mkdir /tftpboot</code> This directory is the root of a secure jail (the ''-s /tftpboot'' parameter in ''/etc/inetd.conf'').
 The tftpd service is now configured and running. We just need to populate it's root directory, but I'll keep that for another paragraph. The tftpd service is now configured and running. We just need to populate it's root directory, but I'll keep that for another paragraph.
  
 ==== NFS ==== ==== NFS ====
  
-For setting up a NFS server, I simply point you to another article in this Wiki: [[slackware:samba#setting_up_nfs_on_slackware|file- and printersharing on the local network]].\\ You need to export the directory where you keep your local copy of the Slackware packages, for instance by adding this to ''/etc/exports'': <code>+For setting up a NFS server, I simply point you to another article in this Wiki: [[slackware:samba#setting_up_nfs_on_slackware|file- and printersharing on the local network]]. 
 + 
 +  * You need to export the directory where you keep your local copy of the Slackware packages, for instance by adding this to ''/etc/exports'': <code>
 /mirror/Slackware       192.168.0.0/24(ro,sync,insecure,all_squash) /mirror/Slackware       192.168.0.0/24(ro,sync,insecure,all_squash)
 </code> in case your Slackware packages are located somewhere below ''/mirror/Slackware'' (like in our example network). The above line makes this directory tree available (read-only) to NFS clients in the local network defined by the IP address range ''192.168.0.0/24''. </code> in case your Slackware packages are located somewhere below ''/mirror/Slackware'' (like in our example network). The above line makes this directory tree available (read-only) to NFS clients in the local network defined by the IP address range ''192.168.0.0/24''.
-If you had to add this to the ''/etc/exports'' file, you will need to restart the NFS server: <code>+ 
 +  * If you had to add this to the ''/etc/exports'' file, you will need to restart the NFS server: <code>
 /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd restart /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd restart
 </code> </code>
  
-For simplicity's sake: these are the steps if you just want this working and have no prior experience with NFS nor have such a server running at the moment (remember that pathnames/IP addresses are used that apply to our example network - adjust as needed):+__For simplicity's sake:__ these are the steps if you just want this working and have no prior experience with NFS nor have such a server running at the moment (remember that pathnames/IP addresses are used that apply to our example network - adjust as needed):
  
   * Create a file named ''/etc/exports'' with the following content: <file>   * Create a file named ''/etc/exports'' with the following content: <file>
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 </file> </file>
  
-  * Use the directory mentioned in ''/etc/exports'' to copy (or move) the contents of your Slackware files to: The directory ''/mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0'' should be the root of the Slackware tree, containing such files as the ''ChangeLog.txt'' and subdirectories like ''slackware'' and ''kernels''.+  * Use the directory mentioned in ''/etc/exports'' to copy (or move) the contents of your Slackware files to: The directory ''/mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2'' should be the root of the Slackware tree, containing such files as the ''ChangeLog.txt'' and subdirectories like ''slackware'' and ''kernels''.
  
   * Make the NFS server startup script executable so that the NFS server will start on every boot: <code>   * Make the NFS server startup script executable so that the NFS server will start on every boot: <code>
 chmod +x /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd</code> chmod +x /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd</code>
  
-  * Start the NFS server (so you dn't have to reboot already):  <code>+  * Start the NFS server (so you don't have to reboot already):  <code>
 /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd start</code> /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd start</code>
 +
  
 ===== PXELinux configuration ===== ===== PXELinux configuration =====
  
-PXELinux is much like //isolinux//, which is the bootloader that is used for the bootable Slackware CDROM #1. In fact, both programs are written by the same author and are available in Slackware via the //syslinux// package.\\ +The previous paragraph described in generic terms how to setup the TFTP service, but it did not tell you how to populate the TFTP directory structure so that network clients can request and obtain boot files. 
-We will start with the configuration file ''isolinux.cfg'' and the root disk image ''initrd.img'' that are used to create the Slackware CDROM and modify those so they can be used with a pxelinux bootloader.+ 
 +PXELinux is much like isolinux, which is the bootloader that is used for the bootable Slackware CDROM #1. In fact, both programs are written by the same author and are available in Slackware via the syslinux package.   
  
 ==== The tftp directory structure ==== ==== The tftp directory structure ====
  
-As you can see in the [[#dhcp|DHCP section]], the DHCP server offers any interested PXE client (i.e. your computer's network card) the file ''/slackware-11.0/pxelinux.0'' - this file contains the bootable code that subsequently downloads and starts a Linux kernel, and downloads and extracts the root filesystem containing the setup program and everything else that we need.\\ +The usual way of installing Slackware from a NFS server repository, is to boot the Slackware CDROM, and let udev load the driver for your network card before starting ''setup'' to commence the installation procedure. \\ 
-This filename ''/slackware-11.0/pxelinux.0'' indicates a pathname relative to the root of the [[#tftp|TFTP server]]. The PXE client will use the tftp protocol to fetch this bootloader. So this is what we do: create this directory ''slackware-11.0'' and copy the required files into it. First, the pxelinux bootloader itself: <code> +Now, with a boot from the network we are assuming there is //no CDROM// and //no floppy// drive available to us. So, we need to have all the drivers we need inside the root filesystem which the PXElinux bootloader downloads from the TFTP server. This root filesystem is wrapped in the ''./isolinux/initrd.img'' file (the initial ramdisk image). In fact, this image file is exactly the one which a CDROM installation uses as well. Slackware used to have separate ''network.dsk'' and ''pcmcia.dsk'' images but these have been folded into the ''initrd.img'' for ease of maintenance. 
-mkdir /tftpboot/slackware-11.0 + 
-mkdir /tftpboot/slackware-11.0/pxelinux.cfg +As you can see in the [[#dhcp|DHCP section]], the DHCP server offers any interested PXE client (i.e. your computer's network card) the file ''/slackware-12.2/pxelinux.0'' - this file contains the bootable code that subsequently downloads and starts a Linux kernel, and downloads and extracts the root filesystem containing the setup program and everything else that we need.\\ 
-cp /usr/share/syslinux/pxelinux.0 /tftpboot/slackware-11.0+This filename ''/slackware-12.2/pxelinux.0'' indicates a pathname relative to the root of the [[#tftp|TFTP server]]. The PXE client will use the tftp protocol to fetch this bootloader. So this is what we do: create this directory ''slackware-12.2'' and copy the required files into it. First, the pxelinux bootloader itself: <code> 
-</code> Also, we need the files from the Slackware CDROM that show the informative messages in the beginning. Assuming your mirror of the Slackware release can be found in /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/ (change paths in the below commands if your location is different) : <code> +mkdir /tftpboot/slackware-12.2 
-cp /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/isolinux/message.txt /tftpboot/slackware-11.0+mkdir /tftpboot/slackware-12.2/pxelinux.cfg 
-cp /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/isolinux/f2.txt /tftpboot/slackware-11.0+cp /usr/share/syslinux/pxelinux.0 /tftpboot/slackware-12.2
-cp /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/isolinux/f3.txt /tftpboot/slackware-11.0+</code> Also, we need the files from the Slackware CDROM that show the informative messages in the beginning. Assuming your mirror of the Slackware release can be found in /mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2/ (change paths in the below commands if your location is different) : <code> 
-</code> And lastly, we need //all// the kernels that you can choose from after booting the installer: <code> +cp /mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2/isolinux/message.txt /tftpboot/slackware-12.2
-cp -a /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/kernels /tftpboot/slackware-11.0/+cp /mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2/isolinux/f2.txt /tftpboot/slackware-12.2
 +cp /mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2/isolinux/f3.txt /tftpboot/slackware-12.2
 +</code> And we need //all// the kernels that you can choose from after booting the installer: <code> 
 +cp -a /mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2/kernels /tftpboot/slackware-12.2/ 
 +</code> Lastly, we copy the initrd.img file (which contains the installer and the network/pcmcia kernel modules) as well as a pxelinux configuration file: <code> 
 +cp /mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2/usb-and-pxe-installers/pxelinux.cfg_default /tftpboot/slackware-12.2/pxelinux.cfg/default 
 +cp /mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2/isolinux/initrd.img /tftpboot/slackware-12.2/
 </code> </code>
  
-==== Creating an initrd.img ==== 
  
-The usual way of installing Slackware from a NFS server repository, is to boot the Slackware CDROM, and run (''pcmcia'' and) ''network'' to load all the drivers for your network card before starting ''setup'' to commence the installation procedure. When you type ''pcmcia'' and/or ''network'', the Slackware installer will look for the appropriate driver files on an available CDROM, and if no CDROM is found it prompts you to insert floppy disks.\\ +===== Trying it out =====
-Now, with a boot from the network we are assuming there is //no CDROM// and //no floppy// drive available to us. So, we need to add all the drivers we need to the root filesystem that the PXElinux bootloader downloads from the TFTP server (contained in the ''initrd.img'' file).+
  
-This is the basic procedure - we will carry this out on the server. I still assume your local mirror of the Slackware release can be found under ''/mirror/Slackware'' on your server: +You now have a fully configured PXE server. Try it out!\\ 
-  * Create //staging area// where we do all our nifty work: <code> +Take computer that is able to do a network boot, start it, and watch it go through the motions of contacting the PXE server, downloading the PXE boot code and presenting you with the familiar Slackware installation screen! From there on you're on familiar groundschoose a kernel, and off you go.
-mkdir -p /tmp/pxe</code> +
-  * Extract the image containing the root filesystem from the compressed file ''initrd.img'': <code+
-gunzip -cd /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/isolinux/initrd.img > /tmp/pxe/initrd.dsk</code> +
-  * Loop-mount that image file somewhere in your filesystem, say at ''/tmp/pxe/initrd'': <code> +
-cd /tmp/pxe +
-mkdir initrd +
-mount -o loop,ro initrd.dsk initrd/</code> +
-  * Loop-mount the network and pcmcia disk images, too:<code> +
-mkdir pcmcia +
-mount -o loop,ro /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/isolinux/pcmcia.dsk pcmcia/ +
-mkdir network +
-mount -o loop,ro /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/isolinux/network.dsk network/ +
-</code> You've probably noticed I mount these images read-only; we're only going to copy files //out// of them.+
  
-  * Create new file of sufficient size (called ''newinitrd'') that we will use to contain the combined contents of the Slackware disk images we just loop-mounted, and loop-mount this as well (this one read/write!): &lt;code&gt; +  * Select a &quot;NFS installation&quotonce you get to the &quot;SOURCE&quotdialog. You will need to supply couple of values for IP Addresses and the NFS server directory. These are:\\ 
-dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/pxe/newinitrd bs=1k count=9500 +
-mkfs.ext2 -m 0 -F /tmp/pxe/newinitrd +
-tune2fs -i 0 /tmp/pxe/newinitrd +
-mkdir -p /tmp/pxe/out/ +
-mount -o loop /tmp/pxe/newinitrd /tmp/pxe/out/ +
-</code> +
-  * Copy the contents of the three Slackware disk images into the still empty new file: <code> +
-cp -a /tmp/pxe/initrd/* /tmp/pxe/out/ +
-cp -a /tmp/pxe/network/* /tmp/pxe/out/ +
-cp -a /tmp/pxe/pcmcia/* /tmp/pxe/out/ +
-</code> +
-  * Modify the scripts that are executed when you type ''pcmcia'' and ''network'' so that they do no longer look for CDROM or floppies to mount the disk images from - all the stuff is now available in the new root filesystem: &lt;code&gt; +
-cd //<;to/where/your/scripts/are/located>// +
-cat pcmcia > /tmp/pxe/out/bin/pcmcia +
-cat network > /tmp/pxe/out/bin/network +
-patch -p0 /tmp/pxe//out/scripts/network.sh network.sh.diff +
-</code> +
-  * Re-generate the kernel module dependency files: <code> +
-gunzip -cd /mirror/Slackware/slackware-11.0/kernels/sata.i/System.map.gz > /tmp/pxe/System.map +
-rm -f /tmp/pxe/out/lib/modules/2.4.33.2/modules.* +
-/sbin/depmod --b /tmp/pxe/out -F /tmp/pxe/System.map 2.4.33.2 +
-</code> +
-  * Umount all the image files and gzip the new root filesystem, so that we can copy it into the tftpboot directory: <code> +
-umount /tmp/pxe/initrd +
-umount /tmp/pxe/network +
-umount /tmp/pxe/pcmcia +
-umount /tmp/pxe/out +
-gzip -9f /tmp/pxe/newinitrd +
-mv /tmp/pxe/newinitrd.gz /tftpboot/slackware-11.0/initrd.img +
-</code> +
-  * And finally, clean up behind us<code> +
-rm -f /tmp/pxe +
-</code>+
  
-I have written a script //create_pxe_initrd.sh// that does all of this fully automatic, and you can download it at [[http://www.slackware.com/~alien/pxe/scripts/|http://www.slackware.com/~alien/pxe/scripts/]]. Do not forget to also download the other files that you'll find there, because the script needs them to patch the pcmcia and network scripts+^ Your own IP Address (pick any unused) |  192.168.0.111| 
 +^ Your netmask                          |  255.255.255.0| 
 +^ The gateway                           |   192.168.0.10| 
 +^ NFS server address                    |    192.168.0.1| 
 +^ Slackware directory on the NFS server | /mirror/Slackware/slackware-12.2/slackware |
  
-You can also just download a [[http://www.slackware.com/~alien/pxe/initrd.img|ready-made initrd.img]] of course. +  * From this point onwards, the installation proceeds just as when the SOURCE would have been a CDROM.
-I have an accompanying [[http://www.slackware.com/~alien/pxe/pxelinux.cfg/default|pxelinux configuration file]] too. If you rather create that file yourselfuse the aforementioned //create_pxe_initrd.sh// script or read the next paragraph.+
  
-==== Creating pxelinux configuration file ====+  * If you have configured FTP or HTTP server with a Slackware package tree instead, the dialogs are similar. 
  
-Save the isolinux.cfg file from the Slackware CDROM to the tftp directory: <code> +Good luck!
-cp ~ftp/pub/Slackware/slackware-11.0/isolinux/isolinux.cfg /tftpboot/slackware-11.0/pxelinux.cfg/default +
-</code> and edit the resulting file so that every occurrence of the absolute path name ''/kernels'' will be replaced with the relative pathname ''kernels'', and the size of the ramdisk is increased to the amount where our bigger root filesystem will still fit. Rule of thumb: since we added the contents of the ''pcmcia.dsk'' and the ''network.dsk'' filesystems to the ''initrd.img'', we need a ramdisk that is roughly 3MB larger than is used for CDROM-booting. I assume 9.5 MB will do: <code> +
-sed -i -e "s/ramdisk_size=[[:digit:]]*/ramdisk_size=9500"/ \ +
-       -e "s#/kernels/#kernels/#" \ +
-       /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default +
-</code>+
  
-Note: The //create_pxe_initrd.sh// script mentioned in the [[#creating_an_initrd.img|previous section]] will create this file for you along with the needed ''initrd.img'' file.+====== Example configuration scripts ======
  
-====== Example configuration scripts ======+== First example dhcpd.conf ==
  
 <note>A simple ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' where all computers are allowed to boot from the network using PXE.</note> <note>A simple ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' where all computers are allowed to boot from the network using PXE.</note>
Line 242: Line 217:
 # Allow bootp requests # Allow bootp requests
 allow bootp; allow bootp;
 +
 +# Point to the TFTP server:
 +next-server 192.168.0.1;
  
 # Default lease is 1 week (604800 sec.) # Default lease is 1 week (604800 sec.)
Line 257: Line 235:
     use-host-decl-names on;     use-host-decl-names on;
     if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient" {     if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient" {
-      filename "/slackware-11.0/pxelinux.0";+      filename "/slackware-12.2/pxelinux.0";
     }     }
 } }
 </code> </code>
 +
 +== Second example dhcpd.conf ==
  
 <note>A more advanced ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' file for your DHCP server where you can specify exactly which computers are allowed to boot from the network using PXE (but you will have to collect their MAC addresses yourself and put them into separate //host{}// entries):</note> <note>A more advanced ''/etc/dhcpd.conf'' file for your DHCP server where you can specify exactly which computers are allowed to boot from the network using PXE (but you will have to collect their MAC addresses yourself and put them into separate //host{}// entries):</note>
Line 349: Line 329:
   allow bootp;   allow bootp;
  
-  # Only use next-server if the TFTP service runs on another server+  # Point to the TFTP server (required parameter!)
-  # You'd fill in the IP address of that TFTP server here+  next-server 192.168.0.1; 
-  #next-server 192.168.0.11;+
   # If you want to log the boot process, you will need to configure   # If you want to log the boot process, you will need to configure
   # your logserver to allow logging from remote hosts.   # your logserver to allow logging from remote hosts.
   #option log-servers 192.168.0.1;   #option log-servers 192.168.0.1;
 +
   use-host-decl-names on;   use-host-decl-names on;
  
   if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient" {   if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient" {
-    filename "/slackware-11.0/pxelinux.0";+    filename "/slackware-12.2/pxelinux.0";
   }   }
   else if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "Etherboot" {   else if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "Etherboot" {
-    filename "/slackware-11.0/kernels/sata.i/bzImage";+    filename "/slackware-12.2/kernels/hugesmp.s/bzImage";
   }   }
  
Line 370: Line 351:
 }  # end of PXEboot group }  # end of PXEboot group
 </code> </code>
 +
 +== RC script ==
  
 <note>A Slackware start/stop script for the DHCP server that you can save as ''/etc/rc.d/rc.dhcpd''.</note> <note>A Slackware start/stop script for the DHCP server that you can save as ''/etc/rc.d/rc.dhcpd''.</note>

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