booting FAI kernel with initrd

Thomas Lange lange at informatik.Uni-Koeln.DE
Fri Jan 5 21:50:28 CET 2007

I like to answer this question from IRC

> lazyb0y> did anybody ever create an initrd for fai that includes features to get the location of the nfsroot by dhcp and mount the nfsroot
> lazyb0y> as opposed to having the kernel features compiled in and do that on the kernel level?

> h01ger> yes,lots of peoole
No, not lots of people. I think only oz, h0lger and I did this for FAI.

It works this way:

On a machine running a stock Debian kernel 2.6.18 (with etch)
edit /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf 
and change to these lines


then mkinitamfs -o fai-initrd. This creates the initrd for net booting.
Copy the the kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-3-686 and fai-initrd to /srv/fai/tftp
In pxelinux.cfg/ use this file:

label fai-generated
kernel vmlinuz-2.6.18-3.686
append initrd=fai-initrd ip=dhcp FAI_CONFIG_SRC=nfs://kueppers/usr/local/share/cs-etch FAI_ACTION=install root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=,v2,tcp,rsize=32768,wsize=32768 FAI_FLAGS=verbose,sshd,createvt

This boots my Thinkpad T60 without problems where the default FAI
kernel does not work.

Do not forget to change the initramfs.conf back to is previous
version, otherwise the next kernel update will create an initrd which
will not boot your machine any more (this happend to me once) or use
the option -d.

regards Thomas

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