[mythtv-users] PXE booting (was Spin up delay for HDDs)

Ronald Frazier ron at ronfrazier.net
Tue Sep 27 14:19:01 UTC 2011

On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 3:11 PM, Alex Tomlins <alex at tomlins.org.uk> wrote:
> Basically it creates the full root filesystem under /opt/ltsp/i386 (or
> amd64).  It then generates the disk image from that directory.  Any time
> you want to update the image, you can just chroot into that directory,
> and do stuff (apt-get upgrade, install autobuilds, etc...), and then
> just run ltsp-update-image.
> They go into this briefly towards the bottom of that article.
> When the client is booted, it mounts that disk image read-only, and then
> overlays an nfs mount on top. Any writes get written to this nfs mount.
> They ends up in /var/cache/mythbuntu-diskless/<something>/ on the
> server. I think the <something> is the mac address by default, but I've
> tweaked my setup to use the hostname.  Look in
> /opt/ltsp/amd64/etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/ltsp for those details.  I
> think you have to run ltsp-update-kernels after changing that.
> The advantage of this overlay scheme is that you can run several
> frontends from the same image.

I've been PXE booting for years, but in that time I've tried several
times to get overlays working, but I've never been successful. How are
you setting this up? Are you configuring this all manually, or is this
handled by whatever distribution you use? If you've set this up
manually (just by installing packages and adjusting configuration
files) do you mind sharing some basic instructions for doing so? I
personally use a basic Debian install and then configure everything
manually from there. Even if you use another distro, it might still be
helpful for guiding me in the right direction

Also, regarding your previous comment about suspend not working, I've
been using suspend to ram on my PXE system for several years now. The
key is that your NIC's drivers have to know how to handle suspend. My
NIC is on my n-force motherboard and thus used the forcedeth driver.
When I first set this up 3 years ago, those drivers didn't properly
handle suspend and thus you hand to unload/reload the driver when
suspending/waking. That's a no-no for PXE (for obvious reasons). So
for a while I actually had an Intel PCI NIC installed because it
handled suspend properly. Then a little while back (kernel 2.6.27 or
28 as I recall) the driver finally got fixed, so I took out my PCI NIC
and now it handles suspend perfectly with the onboard NIC. There's
nothing special I have to do to make it work.

Ron Frazier

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