Boot Linux Over HTTP With netboot.me

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
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Last edited 09/23/2009

This tutorial shows how you can boot Linux over HTTP with netboot.me. All that users need is Internet connectivity and a small program (gpxe) to boot the machine. This gpxe program provides network booting facility. netboot.me allows you to boot into the following distributions: Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu. netboot.me provides gpxe images for USB sticks, CDs, and also for floppies, i.e., you can boot from a USB sticks, a CD, or a floppy.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Getting netboot.me

Go to http://www.netboot.me/gettingstarted and download the appropriate gpxe image. If you want to boot from a CD, just download the netbootme.iso file and burn it onto a CD, then boot from that CD. I want to use a USB stick here, so the procedure is a bit more complicated. I download the netbootme.usb file to my desktop:

You should now find the netbootme.usb file on your desktop. Now plug in your USB stick - its icon should appear on the desktop as well:

Next open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal):

In the terminal, run

mount

to find out the device name of your USB stick:

falko@falko-desktop:~$ mount
/dev/sda1 on / type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
tmpfs on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
varrun on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
varlock on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev,mode=1777)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)
fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
lrm on /lib/modules/2.6.28-11-generic/volatile type tmpfs (rw,mode=755)
securityfs on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
gvfs-fuse-daemon on /home/falko/.gvfs type fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon (rw,nosuid,nodev,user=falko)
/dev/sdf1 on /media/disk type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=hal,shortname=mixed,uid=1000,utf8,umask=077,flush)
falko@falko-desktop:~$

In my case, it's /dev/sfd (mount point /media/disk).

Before we can transfer the netbootme.usb image to the USB stick, we must unmount the USB stick. Right-click its icon on the desktop and select Unmount Volume...

... or run

umount /media/disk

in the terminal.

Now we can transfer the netbootme.usb image to the USB stick as follows:

sudo dd if=~/Desktop/netbootme.usb of=/dev/sdf

That's it! We can now boot another computer from the USB stick.

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From: ThCTLo at: 2009-11-17 16:06:44

Hi,

to create USB bootable, just download the ISO file of netbootme
and download unetbootin.

start unetbootin, point to the .iso... ok.. done ;-)

Your welkom..

 

From: Anonymous at: 2009-09-30 12:45:55

If you select ~"custom configuration" you can even boot into a fully fledged live linux system (knoppix). The number is 8005.

This is my attempt to fusion "inetboot" a netbooting project from japan with netboot.me. It is nothing but a very cheap proof of concept. (To set it up, I had to do an hour of clicking, writing and testing). "Inetboot" allows to transform live cds into network live operating systems. Get informed, read their instructions and boot fully fledged linux OSes directly off the net!

More pointers here:  http://www.netboot.me/8005