Diskless Nodes HOW-TO document for Linux

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Next Previous Contents v22.0, 14 June 2001

This document describes how to set up a diskless Linux box. As technology is advancing rapidly, network-cards are becoming cheaper and much faster – 100 MBits ethernet is standard now and in about 1 to 2 years 1000 MBits i.e. 1GigBits ethernet cards will become an industry standard. With high-speed network cards, remote access will become as fast as the local disk access which will make diskless nodes a viable alternative to workstations in local LAN. Also diskless nodes eliminates the cost of software upgrades and system administration costs like backup, recovery which will be centralized on the server side. Diskless nodes also enable « sharing/optimization » of centralised server CPU, memory, hard-disk, tape and cdrom resources. Diskless nodes provides mobility for the users i.e., users can log on from any one of diskless nodes and are not tied to one workstation. Diskless Linux box completely eliminates the need for local floppy disk, cdrom drive, tape drive and hard-disk. Diskless nodes JUST has a network card, 8MB RAM, a low-end cpu and a very simple mother-board which does not have any interface sockets/slots for harddisks, modem, cdrom, floppy etc.. With Diskless linux nodes you can run programs on remote Linux 64 CPU SMP box or even on Linux super-computer! Diskless nodes lowers the « Total Cost of Ownership » of the computer system. This document is copy­righted by Robert Nemkin and other authors as listed above. Copyright policy is GPL. Thanks to Bela Kis bkis@cartan.math.klte.hu for translating this initial document v0.0.3 (which was a mini-howto) to English.

1. Buying is cheaper than building!

2. Diskless Computer for Microsoft Windows 95/NT !!

  • 2.1 VMWare package
  • 2.2 Plex86 package
  • 2.3 VNC package from AT and T

3. Advantages of Diskless Computer

4. Quick Steps to implement Diskless Nodes

  • 4.1 Linux Terminal Server Project – LTSP

5. EEPROMs or Flash ROMs?

6. Building EEPROM Burner

7. EPROM Burners and Memory chips

  • 7.1 Non-Volatile Memory chips
  • 7.2 List of EEPROM Burner manufacturers

8. Introduction to Network Booting and Etherboot

9. Redhat Linux configuration

10. LanWorks BootWare PROMs

11. Etherboot

12. Netboot

  • 12.1 Introduction
  • 12.2 Mailing list
  • 12.3 Netboot useful links

13. Related URLs

14. Copyright Notice

15. Other Formats of this Document

16. Topics for Academics and Universities

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