Rom-o-matic (etherboot) is it. You can PXE boot or you can Etherboot terminals. Generally, PXE enabled network cards are gonna run you a little more money so most people etherboot when they’re using old machines. Basically speaking, you’ve got a bootable floppy disk with your specific drivers. It boots your machine, loads the driver to get your nic up and going, and immediately starts searching for a server to boot from. Go to http://k12ltsp.org/clients.html and scroll down to “Making Boot Disks for Legacy PCs” and there will be a how-to to get you started.
Caleb Wagnon, MCP
Just starting out here, some may have seen my "Linux at our school" post.
I thank you all for your responses, and have decided that the project has merit and a test is necessary. With that in mind, I've gotten hold of several older generation PC's (diskless) from someone throwing them out. I have a pretty strong PC that could act as a test server for a small test project. I've downloaded the 2.1.2 & 3.0 images, and burned them on CD's for install. I thought I'd do 3.0. Yes?
I'm not understanding the network boot part. Do I need "special" ethernet cards on the clients? What are currently in the donated PC's are Netgear, Kingston, and who knows what. I haven't looked at all. So, do I need special cards, or will these work? I've read some material about rom-o-matic, but I'm not quite getting it.