NetBoot 0.9.8 review

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Netboot is a packet to boot a computer with an Intel processor over an IP network without access to a hard disk or a diskette. Boo

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Gero Kuhlmann
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Netboot is a packet to boot a computer with an Intel processor over an IP network without access to a hard disk or a diskette.

Booting a computer without a hard disk usually requires a floppy disk drive or a network connection in order to get the operating system into the RAM and up running.

This package allows a diskless PC to boot an operating system using a TCP/IP based ethernet network. That's done in the following steps:

- First the operating system has to be loaded into system memory. This can be done using a bootrom, which loads the operating system image over the network.

The bootrom code found in this package can be burned into a real EPROM, or just copied onto a floppy and then started from it upon bootup.

Please note that the term "bootrom" in all documentation texts in this package refres to the real EPROM version as well as the version copied onto and started from a floppy disk.

For the bootrom to find, load and start the operating system image it uses standard internet protocols.

- When the operating system starts running, it has to mount it's root filesystem. This can either be done using NFS over the network, or using a ramdisk.

Here are some key features of "NetBoot":
Booting a diskless client either from an EPROM, Flash-EPROM or from a floppy without additional utility tools
The bootrom code can use many different network driver interfaces including standard DOS packet drivers and NDIS (version 2) drivers and therefore supports almost any PC network card.
Support for various PC standards including the BIOS Boot Specification (BBS), PnP BIOS Specification, POST Memory Manager (PMM) specification and Intel's Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) specification.
Easy configuration of the bootrom under UNIX.
The bootrom can load a BOOTP vendor extension file in order to support more space for tags. It also supports TFTP blocksize and filesize options for faster download of boot images.
Using the bootrom menu support or Menu Generation Language it's possible to optionally boot different operating systems.
Even if there is a hard disk installed in the client computer, the bootrom can be used as a boot manager, since it also allows booting from any partition.
Cross-gateway booting
Bootrom runs on any 80x86 processor but is optimized for the 386+.
Able to boot different operating system. Currently supported are Linux, FreeBSD and various DOS brands.


All documentation can be found in the doc subdirectory. See the file INSTALL for installation instructions. If you have any problems installing or running the programs see the file PROBLEMS. It also describes who to contact when you run into problems you can't solve by yourself.

IMPORTANT: BEFORE you start any installation please read ALL relevant documentation in the doc directory, especially the INSTALL file!

Also, read all relevant manual pages which come with the various programs included in this package. Not reading and understanding the documentation can result in serious software and hardware damage... you have been warned!

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