Subject: Re: booting i386 machines diskless?
To: None <>
From: Paul Kranenburg <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/06/1995 20:34:06
> Look in comp.os.linux.announce, there was a recent posting about a
> company selling boot roms for NE2000 (and at least one other type)
> disk controllers, allowing direct net-booting of linux.

Duh, I can offer you sources for a system we built and use here locally at
Erasmus that can boot anything you like. The code is layered to the example
of BSD: sockets,mbuf,ifnet,hw drivers. Currently, there are back-ends for
wd8003 and 3c509 hardware, mostly slightly modified NetBSD drivers.

Ok, some further plugging:


	- two-tier system: rom loads second-stage program with TFTP,
	  avoiding hard-coded parameters and policies baked-in-rom.

	- uses BOOTP to request station parameters.

	- can have multiple hardware drivers; there's probe code a la
	  BSD to select a device at run-time. You need to have a 32KB
	  PROM for this though (the single device configurations barely
	  fit in 16KB).

	- can do NFS mounting of a root filesystem and booting a kernel
	  from it (applies to second-stage program actually).


	- requires DOS to compile

	- currently, the code contains a few local hacks as it's used in
	  out PC labs to force authenticated login before booting up a