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Re: diskless boot question

From: Yedidyah Bar-David
Subject: Re: diskless boot question
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2006 22:28:40 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040907i

On Sun, Feb 05, 2006 at 01:44:03PM +0200, Eli Cohen wrote:
> Hello,

I am replying only because noone else did yet, although I am probably
not the right person to do so.

> first I appologize if this is not the right place to post this question.
> My question is concerned with using grub to do boot of a diskless
> machine over the network.
> I have recently posted to Etherboot a network driver for Mellanox
> Technologies HCA devices, implementing IP Over Infiniband, and I would
> like to know how to integrate it into the recent release of Grub, i.e.
> 0.97.

If you intend to ask "How to integrate it so that it works", e.g.
because you want to use it, then I have no idea - but hopefully looking
at the sources and documentation should be enough. If you want to ask
how to get it integrated into the next official version, then I am
afraid I think it won't. grub legacy is in maintenance mode, and no new
features are accepted. You can of course post a patch, and people who
need it will use it. Feng Shuo used to do this, as can be seen here:
You are welcome to continue the tradition - I used to be a user of these
patches in the past, and I guess there are people that would still want

Of course, it could be argued that a better investment of your time will
be working on the networking support of grub2.

> Another thing that I do not quite understand is why should Ehterboot
> drivers need to intergrate into grub anyway? After all, the network
> driver is already in memory since it was used to fetch nbgrub or pxegrub
> images from the network and I would expect grub to use it (the same
> pxelinux.0 for example does it).

The simple answer - because grub can also boot from disk, without having
PXE/etherboot load it. You can compile grub with network support, plus
your favourite nics' drivers, install it on e.g. a floppy, and netboot.
Of course you can also put etherboot on such a floppy and have it
netboot nbgrub (or pxegrub), but still there are reasons why you might
want to boot grub and not etherboot from such a floppy, so having the
ability is not useless.

There is a driver, also mentioned in the above link, to make it use
UNDI. Last time I tried, it partially worked for me, but I do not
remember details anymore. I do remember it had some problems preventing
me from putting it into production.

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