booting FAI kernel with initrd

Michael Tautschnig tautschn at
Sat Jan 6 10:23:05 CET 2007

> On a machine running a stock Debian kernel 2.6.18 (with etch)
> edit /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf 
> and change to these lines
> MODULES=netboot
> BOOT=nfs
I doubt that you really need these, actually I did not change my initramfs.conf
and it still works.

> 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:
If you don't change initramfs.conf, you don't even need to run mkinitramfs ... -
just copied over the kernel and the initrd that was already there.

> 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
For the sake of completeness, I'm using the following pxelinux.cfg/default:

label fai-generated
kernel vmlinuz-2.6.17-2-486
append ip=dhcp devfs=nomount FAI_ACTION=install root=/dev/nfs  FAI_FLAGS=verbose,sshd,createvt,syslogd initrd=initrd.img-2.6.17-2-486 nfsroot=

Actually one shouldn't need the additional nfsroot=..., if it is already
provided by DHCP; however some versions of initramfs-tools seem to be buggy (and
I don't know whether it got fixed already) and fail to parse the DHCP results.


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