[syslinux] Newbie RIS Replacement

Patrick J. LoPresti patl at users.sourceforge.net
Mon Apr 12 07:18:06 PDT 2004

"Wise, Jeremey" <jeremey.wise at agilysys.com> writes:

> Doing a lot of RTFM lately about PXE. I have done xCAT builds but
> want to take the voodo out of the process so I can control and
> understand the whole system. I am new to PXE technology and so
> consider me ignorant.  The current server is a MS RIS server and I
> am attempting to migrate our facility to use Linux / PXE instead.

I have built a complete system using exactly these technologies.  Even
if you do not want to use it, you might refer to it as an example.
See <http://unattended.sourceforge.net/>.

> First stage: take existing DOS bootnet floppy and convert to boot
> from network via PXE. This will retain the current DOS menu
> structure for the users to choose the ghost image. What I have done
> is read the user group mail list archives for the last
> year. Learning a much but as usual, lots of information in little
> tidbits. Here is what I believe I need to do and have tried.

This will work fine.  You may also want to consider switching to the
"universal" DOS network driver, which is one of the benefits of
booting via PXE.

> 1) install mtools and syslinux-2.08-1
> 2) install and configure tftp and dhcp
> 	a) tftp works fine in tests
> 	b) dhcpd works fine and scope references 'filename "/tftpboot/pxelinux.0";' to hand out pxe file
> 2) download a quick pxe prepared 2.88MB floppy
> (http://www.fdos.org/ripcord/beta8h02/images/fd288mb.zip)

This is not necessary.  PXELINUX+memdisk can boot any floppy image
just fine, including your already-existing "DOS bootnet" floppy.
Simply make an image of your floppy and configure memdisk to load it.

> 3) unzip the file (ramdskNT.img,newdos288.img)
> 4) mount my custom working ghostbootnet.img (mount -t vfat -oloop ghostbootnet.img /mnt/floppy)

The "-t vfat" is not necessary; Linux will detect the file system type

I usually put a space in "-o loop" for readability, but it is not

> 5) mount the DOS/vfat version of the 2.88MB floppy to shim in all the
> files from my old floppy
> 	a)Is this last step correct?

It should work, but you really can just use your old floppy directly.

> 	b)Why does it error? (mount -t vfat -oloop newdos288.img /mnt/floppy/)

Hard to say without knowing the exact, complete text of the error
message.  (Are you root?  Does the /mnt/floppy directory exist?)

> 	c)Are their any additional steps required after the files are
> copied over?

"umount /mnt/floppy" to commit the changes.

> # menu options
> DISPLAY messages.txt
> TIMEOUT 35996 # in 1/10 seconde ; maximum 35996
> label 0
>         LOCALBOOT 0
> label 1 [ghost server]
>         KERNEL memdisk/memdisk
>         APPEND initrd=ghostsrever.img floppy
> label 2 [ghost workstation]
>         KERNEL memdisk/memdisk
>         APPEND initrd=ghostworkstation.img
> label 3 [base RH9 server install]
>         kernel linux.os
> 	  append vga=791
> 	  initrd=linux.img 
> 	  splash=silent
> 	  quiet root=/dev/rd/0 
> 	  devfs=mount

Those settings all have to go on the same line after the word

Incidentally, I have exactly this sort of setup where I work.  I use
PXELINUX to display a menu of choices, including "install Windows" and
"install RedHat 9" and "install Debian".  The DOS-based Windows
installation uses memdisk and it works great.

 - Pat

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