[syslinux] ltsp kernel crash

Peter Lister P.Lister at sychron.com
Tue Mar 12 10:06:43 PST 2002

> This works perfectly, except for the fact that you can't use 1
> etherboot pxe image for different types of nic's.

Etherboot does not (yet) use PXE's UNDI driver, though adding support
should not be hard to do. Many people would like this, not least me.

> When I replace etherboot with pxelinux, and try to boot the
> ltsp.org kernel, it crashes after the 'loading linux.........' output
> (weird colorful blinking characters all over the screen). A default linux
> kernel _does_ boot (until it stops cause it can't mount the nfs
> root-filesystem)

So, if it works, don't replace etherboot with pxelinux. Unless you have
many different NICs, get different images from rom-o-matic. With dhcpd
v3 it's easy enough to supply the right image to each client.

> I'd like to use the default ltsp.org kernel, instead of compiling my own.

Etherboot and pxelinux essentially do the same job as far as LTSP is
concerned, but both betray their different backgrounds. Etherboot was
originally specific to the nic it was installed in and has specific
drivers, but uses NBI to make itself relatively OS independent (and, in
the case of linux, embed a ramdisk and kernel parameters). Pxelinux is,
as the name suggests, OS specific, but uses nic-independent PXE.
However, Etherboot recently became PXE bootable, and pxelinux recently
sprouted a mechanism for booting other OSes, so they are converging.
With luck (and hopefully minimal ego clash), they will combine with each
other and various other firmware/bootloader projects to make an open
source booting toolkit.

The day that a bootloader is supported by LTSP *and* uses UNDI, use it.
Until that happy time, if you consider coping with >1 nic type is more
work than building a new LTSP kernel, use pxelinux. Otherwise use

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