ttech
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Re: Netboot and dual NIC

Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:16 am

It would be really great if we could get some sort of NetBoot working on the pi so we can boot via a network image and not use the sd card, its great for clusters and kiosk like systems.

Also, going along the same lines, a dual nic and single usb one might be interesting, however I think that would be much harder to implement.

Is there any idea or plan for either of these?

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jojopi
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Re: Netboot and dual NIC

Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:30 am

Quote from ttech on November 12, 2011, 06:16
It would be really great if we could get some sort of NetBoot working on the pi so we can boot via a network image and not use the sd card, its great for clusters and kiosk like systems.

I am interested in network booting, for quick switching between distros, etc.

You do need the sd card because the gpu loads its firmware from that before it starts the cpu. You could replace the kernel.img file on the card with a pxe bootloader so that the pi boots from the network, assuming that you can find or produce such a bootloader for arm that supports the pi's usb and ethernet hardware.

Much easier and almost as flexible is to continue to load the linux kernel from the sd card, but then mount an nfs or nbd-backed filesystem and pivot_root into it.

For dual network you can attach a usb ethernet nic (that is supported by linux).

asb
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Re: Netboot and dual NIC

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:19 am

Quote from jojopi on November 12, 2011, 07:30
Much easier and almost as flexible is to continue to load the linux kernel from the sd card, but then mount an nfs or nbd-backed filesystem and pivot_root into it.


Plus you can even build a kernel with NFS root support if you don't want to fiddle with a custom initramfs.

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abishur
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Re: Netboot and dual NIC

Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:39 pm

AS they said, you gotta have the SD card, but it's not something that is up to the r-pi team. It's hard written in the GPU itself. That said, seeing as how I can get a 2 GB SD card off amazon for a penny and the price of shipping it should be that big a deal to get one and have the boot instruction tell it to netboot instead of load the Linux kernel :)
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kme
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Re: Netboot and dual NIC

Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:46 pm

I think it's safe to consider the R-Pi's SD as the equivalent to a PC's BIOS - just much more flexible. You don't stand many chances to play with a BIOS, but on the SD card the sky is the limit..

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