[K12OSN] How to boot clients PCs.

"Terrell Prudé Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Tue Sep 8 14:12:04 UTC 2009

Sudev Barar wrote:
> 2009/9/7 mir ip <mip1983 at yahoo.com>:
>> I tried it by another PC client and it worked. So the thing is as you said
>> BIOS is not supporting LAN boot.
>> So it means that the PC must boot through floppy or CD isn't it?
> Yes. Or check your lan cards - do they have boot ROM sockets? Can you
> get boot ROM for your ethernet cards?

The other alternative is to boot the EtherBoot image from the hard disk 
itself.  This way, there's not floppy or CD-ROM to misplace or "grow 
legs and walk away."

All you have to do is cat this image to /dev/hda or whatever your hard 
disk is (/dev/sda, on SATA or SCSI systems).  The way I do it is by 
first copying the EtherBoot image to a file (usually a formatted floppy, 
since the EtherBoot image is so small), then booting Damn Small Linux on 
the old PC.  Then, just mount the floppy ("mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 
/mnt/floppy" or something similar), and "cat" the EtherBoot file 
directly to your hard disk.

If you've already made an EtherBoot floppy and would like to skip any 
mounting of floppies, you can do that, too.  Again, boot Damn Small 
Linux on the old PC, then pop your prepared (and tested!) EtherBoot 
floppy into the drive.  Then issue this command.

  cat /dev/fd0 /dev/hda

Either way, what you're essentially doing here is turning your old PC's 
hard disk into an "EtherBoot hard disk."  It's acting just like a giant 
EtherBoot floppy.  Of course, you won't be able to boot any other OS's 
from that hard disk this way...and for an old PC acting as a thin 
client, that is a good thing.  If the old hard disk goes belly-up, no 
problem, just pop another old one in there, cat your floppy over, and 
you're back in business.

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