Node:Diskless, Previous:General usage of network support, Up:Network
It is sometimes very useful to boot from a network, especially, when you use a machine which has no local disk. In this case, you need to obtain a kind of Net Boot ROM, such as a PXE ROM or a free software package like Etherboot. Such a Boot ROM first boots the machine, sets up the network card installed into the machine, and downloads a second stage boot image from the network. Then, the second image will try to boot an operating system from the network actually.
GRUB provides two second stage images,
pxegrub (see Images). Those images are the same as the
normal Stage 2, except that they set up a network automatically, and try
to load a configuration file from the network, if specified. The usage
is very simple: If the machine has a PXE ROM, use
pxegrub. If the machine has a NBI loader such as Etherboot, use
nbgrub. There is no difference between them but their formats. As
how to load a second stage image you want to use should be described in
the manual on your Net Boot ROM, please refer to the manual, for
However, there is one thing specific to GRUB. Namely, how to specify a
configuration file in a BOOTP/DHCP server. For now, GRUB uses the tag
150, to get the name of a configuration file. This below is an
example about a BOOTP configuration:
.allhost:hd=/tmp:bf=null:\ :ds=220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168:\ :sm=255.255.254.0:\ :gw=22.214.171.124:\ :sa=126.96.36.199: foo:ht=1:ha=63655d0334a7:ip=188.8.131.52:\ :bf=/nbgrub:\ :tc=.allhost:\ :T150="(nd)/tftpboot/menu.lst.foo":
Note that you should specify the drive name
(nd) in the name of
the configuration file. That is because you can change the root drive
before downloading the configuration from the TFTP server, when the
preset menu feature is used (see Preset Menu).
See the manual about your BOOTP/DHCP server, for more information. The exact syntax should differ from the example, more or less.