A new direction for LTSP: Diskless Remote Boot

Ben abnormaliti at clivepeeters.com.au
Wed Sep 10 05:26:41 UTC 2008


I couldn't agree more.

I developed a "Diskless fat client" using fc4 some years ago, which is 
still widely used in house, but it was a lot of hacking and unmaintainable.

Recently a need to provide a new client based on an up-to-date distro 
was highlighted and I was disappointed to see Fedora/RedHat stateless[1] 
support had all but died.  So i looked elsewhere and found it was easy 
to add LTSP "workstation"[2] support to Ubuntu.

The Ubuntu LTSP solution is not entirely suitable for my needs because i 
run RHEL5 servers.  This lead me to look at Ubuntu's initramfs which is 
soooo much more powerful and easier to customizable than 
Fedora/RedHat's.  nash is really weak.

It is as easy as installing and configuring a "golden client", 
installing aufs from their repos and adding some scripts to the 
mkinitramfs configuration.  Copy the golden client to a nfs server, make 
the custom (easily reproducible on kernel update) initramfs, copy the 
kernel and initramfs to a TFTP server and boot your diskless client.

Having said all this i would give my left nut to have all this in 
Fedora/RHEL cause i still don't really like Ubuntu so much.  RHEL 
serving Fedora LTSP fat clients would be ideal.

Note: I haven't taken a close look at F9 yet, so forgive me if Stateless 
actually works in it.


[1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/StatelessLinux
[2] https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/LTSPFatClients

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