Author Topic: PXE (Network Boot) on 'unsupported' network cards.  (Read 1598 times)

jca

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PXE (Network Boot) on 'unsupported' network cards.
« on: November 19, 2007, 04:06:54 pm »
The following in the procedure I used to enable network booting from my Marvell Gigabit diskless MD.

Things you need to know: The driver name for your network card (for my nic its the 'sky2' driver) and the the device name assigned for your diskless machine (described later).

Follow the normal diskless installation http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/PXE until you get to the remote machine starting the boot process, but then fails with it unable to find eth0. This is happening because the initrd image that was compiled did not have the driver for your network card compiled in statically. This is normal as compiling in every network card becomes unruly and the image building process does allow for additional network modules to be loaded during the boot process. The installer that linuxmce uses builds this image from a base copy of the operating system (ubuntu) that is untar'd during the diskless setup process. It puts this into it's own directory that serves as a virtual harddrive for your diskless machine. In the /usr/pluto/diskless directory you should have a list of device numbers that correspond to your diskless machines. In my case '45' was the number for my diskless machine. Edit the file /usr/pluto/diskless/###/etc/initramfs-tools/modules and add on your nic's module. In my case I edit  /usr/pluto/diskless/45/etc/initramfs-tools/modules and added sky2. Then run the /usr/pluto/bin/Diskless_InstallKernel.sh script with the device number (directory name) of your diskless machine. In my case "/usr/pluto/bin/Diskless_InstallKernel.sh 45". This script builds the initrd image and puts it in the proper place (symlinks it actually).

Reboot your diskless machine and it should come fine now.

Hopefully this will help people before they go out and purchase extra cards for their diskless machines that they don't really need. Perhaps the developers can support this in the future.

cbynaker

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Re: PXE (Network Boot) on 'unsupported' network cards.
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2007, 04:48:17 pm »
Thanks. I wish I had known this technique back in October of last year when I asked multiple times on the Pluto site. Is there a way to easily add r1000 support to the modules that can be loaded. I know I can compile it on the dcerouter and copy it to the appropriate directories.

Zaerc

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Re: PXE (Network Boot) on 'unsupported' network cards.
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2007, 05:27:25 pm »
I know it's a bit much to ask, but could you be so kind to expand the wiki page with those instructions?  That would be much appreciated.
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jca

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Re: PXE (Network Boot) on 'unsupported' network cards.
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2007, 10:33:00 pm »
The r1000 or any other card with the appropriate driver should work just the same as long as a module was compiled for it on that stock image. Just add it in the modules file instead of sky2.

You can check what drivers were compiled against the stock image in the /usr/pluto/diskless/xx/lib/modules/2.xxx/kernel/drivers/net/ directory. The xx's will change over time.

The wiki has been updated. http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Automatic_diskless_boot_of_media_directors There's a few other things that I think have changed in the previous section of that wiki as well that I'll fix next time work on my mce machine.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 10:48:10 pm by jca »

Zaerc

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Re: PXE (Network Boot) on 'unsupported' network cards.
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2007, 12:10:50 am »
Cool, thanks.  :)
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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cbynaker

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Re: PXE (Network Boot) on 'unsupported' network cards.
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 03:14:21 am »
In the case of my r1000.ko not being compiled into the distribution what is the recommended remedy. The wiki page looks good.
Trying to prepare for the next new motherboard that uses another freshly released driver that does not require one to disable the onboard NIC and install another NIC to take its place by taking the place where one would have preferred to place a tuner card, etc...

jca

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Re: PXE (Network Boot) on 'unsupported' network cards.
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 04:39:50 pm »
Hmm, are you able to compile it on the core? Looking around it seems that the realtek driver isn't very good and people are having a lot of problems with it.