[mythtv-users] How does the diskless setup work?

Paul Bender pbender at qualcomm.com
Tue Jun 7 03:39:25 UTC 2005

Peter Schmitt wrote:
> Can someone explain to me how the diskless setup works?  I'm guessing
> it's something along the lines of a ramdisk...  if so, how do you boot
> into mythtv?

Diskless systems boot over the network. Just like local boot, network 
boot requires a boot loader, a kernel and a root file system. However, 
in the case of network boot, these are retrieved over the network rather 
than from a local disk.

The computer must have support for network boot. PXE (Pre-boot eXecution 
Environment) is a common method for supporting network boot.

When the computer power's up, it uses bootp to obtain an IP address 
along with the location of the boot loader. The location of the boot 
loader consists of a TFTP server IP address and the path to the boot 
loader file on the TFTP server.

The computer downloads and executes the boot loader. A good PXE boot 
loader is pxelinux <http://syslinux.zytor.com/pxe.php>.

The boot loader downloads the kernel.

The boot loader may also download a compressed ram disk image (initrd). 
This image can contain the root file system. If the root file system 
downloaded, then the file system will be in memory.

The root files system may also be mounted using NFS. In this case, it is 
not necessary to download the root file system.

The /usr file system may be included in as part of the root file system 
or may be mounted during init. In general, it is easiest to include the 
/usr file system as part of the root file system.

MythTV and other programs are typically in /usr, so once /usr is 
available, MythTV can be run. In order to make MythTV start 
automatically at boot, xinitrc can be configured to start mythfrontend, 
and xinit can be run as the last step of the init script.

MiniMyth <http://linpvr.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=8> consists of a 
kernel and a compressed ram file system (cramfs) root file system image. 
The init script included in the root file system starts automatically 
starts MythTV as described above.

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