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SubjectAnnounce: initrd-tftp 0.1
* Please CC: me in replies as I'm not on linux-kernel currently *

Ever spent hours fighting with an NFS server when all you actually wanted
to do was load a tiny embedded filesystem over the network? Look no
further than:
ftp://ftp.linuxhacker.org/pub/kernel/initrd-tftp/initrd-tftp-0.1.patch.gz

The patch is against 2.2.13, but should probably work with any 2.2
kernel. It needs some slight modifications to work with 2.3 (due mainly to
the new initialisation stuff), but I'm waiting for initrd in general to be
fixed on 2.3 before I spend any time porting initrd-tftp forward.

The initial RAM disk tftp support is effectively a complete kernel-space
TFTP client implementation, configured to load the initial RAM disk with a
file (currently specified at compile time) obtained from a TFTP server.

In many cases, using an NFS server to supply the root filesystems for
single purpose diskless "network appliances" is not only unnecessary (now
that you have initrd-tftp), but also awkward to set up and configure,
slow, and unreliable, especially if you have a large number of clients per
server. Additionally, some systems (Rebel.com NetWinders, for instance)
don't have a floppy disk drive or bootable CD ROM drive which can be used
to install a new distribution onto them. Initrd-tftp allows you to simply
place the initrd which would normally be written onto a boot floppy onto a
tftp server instead.

Note that you will need to use IP autoconfiguration to obtain your IP
address- see nfsroot.txt for details on configuring this.

Also note that in the current version of initrd-tftp there is no support
for decompressing compressed images, and there is also no warning if the
image is bigger than the ramdisk (it will simply be truncated). These
limitations will probably be fixed in the next release of this patch (try
looking in ftp://ftp.linuxhacker.org/pub/kernel/initrd-tftp/ for the
latest version).

--------------- Linux- the choice of a GNU generation. --------------
: Alex Holden (M1CJD)- Caver, Programmer, Land Rover nut, Radio Ham :
-------------------- http://www.linuxhacker.org/ --------------------



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