Live without NFS?

Paul Jimenez pj at
Mon Oct 20 18:02:12 CEST 2003

On Monday, Oct 20, 2003, Peter Wahl writes:
>Hello, I'd like to use FAI for automatic installation of Debian on Motorola
>PowerPCs (industry rack, no console - perfect job for FAI ;-).
>Unfortuneately my install server has to be a Windows 2000 machine (I know
>that's a design bug - but its not my fault and I cannot change it).
>As far as I understood the FAI documentation (and the list archive), there's
>no way to live without NFS? I don't have an NFS server on the Windows host
>and I'd like to avoid buying one ...
>Or would it be possible to use tftp (or even ftp) instead?

I can think of a couple of possibilities:
1) Depending on RAM, you could set up a ramdisk as root and tftp over a .tgz'd fai nfsroot and unpack it on the ramdisk
2) Depending on disk config, you could do build a temp partition someplace to do 1) on
3) Burn a bootable CD with the nfsroot stuff and use that
4) Convert FAI to boot off a minimal local floppy fs and then smbmount what is usually nfsmounted.
5) Make the kernel support smbroot just like the current nfsroot (could be a lot of work, I don't know)

All these ideas have their own pros and cons wrt. maintability and flexibility.  Good luck.


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