Submitted by wtanaka on Sun, 2015-10-11 23:34 (
It is possible to boot Ubuntu over the network on a computer with no local hard drive. You need:
- A DHCP server that supports PXE
- A TFTP server with enough space to host the kernel binary
- An NFS server with enough space to host the root filesystem
The steps involved are:
- Configure your BIOS to boot your client computer over the network using PXE, or create a CD or USB drive containing iPXE (previously gPXE, previously Etherboot)
- When you turn on the client computer, PXE requests its IP address and networking configuration using DHCP
- The DCHP server sends back some extra information telling the client computer where the TFP server is (and an initial filename to fetch)
- The client computer downloads the file (usually
pxelinux.0, the PXELINUX bootloader) over TFTP and executes it.
pxelinux.0downloads configuration files and a linux kernel binary via TFTP and then executes the kernel with command line parameters specified in the configuration files.
- Those command line parameters are set up to tell the kernel to use NFS for its root filesystem