4.3. Preparing Files for TFTP Net Booting

If your machine is connected to a local area network, you may be able to boot it over the network from another machine, using TFTP. If you intend to boot the installation system from another machine, the boot files will need to be placed in specific locations on that machine, and the machine configured to support booting of your specific machine.

You need to setup a TFTP server, and for many machines, a BOOTP server .

Unlike the Open Firmware found on Sparc and PowerPC machines, the SRM console will not use RARP to obtain its IP address, and therefore you must use BOOTP for net booting your Alpha[2]. You can also enter the IP configuration for network interfaces directly in the SRM console.

The Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is used to serve the boot image to the client. Theoretically, any server, on any platform, which implements these protocols, may be used. In the examples in this section, we shall provide commands for SunOS 4.x, SunOS 5.x (a.k.a. Solaris), and GNU/Linux.

4.3.1. Enabling the TFTP Server

To get the TFTP server ready to go, you should first make sure that tftpd is enabled. This is usually enabled by having something like the following line in /etc/inetd.conf:

tftp dgram udp wait nobody /usr/sbin/tcpd in.tftpd /tftpboot

Debian packages will in general set this up correctly by default when they are installed.

Look in that file and remember the directory which is used as the argument of in.tftpd; you'll need that below. The -l argument enables some versions of in.tftpd to log all requests to the system logs; this is useful for diagnosing boot errors. If you've had to change /etc/inetd.conf, you'll have to notify the running inetd process that the file has changed. On a Debian machine, run /etc/init.d/inetd reload; on other machines, find out the process ID for inetd, and run kill -HUP inetd-pid.

4.3.2. Move TFTP Images Into Place

Next, place the TFTP boot image you need, as found in Section 4.2.1, “Where to Find Installation Images”, in the tftpd boot image directory. Generally, this directory will be /tftpboot. You'll have to make a link from that file to the file which tftpd will use for booting a particular client. Unfortunately, the file name is determined by the TFTP client, and there are no strong standards. Alpha TFTP Booting

On Alpha, you must specify the filename (as a relative path to the boot image directory) using the -file argument to the SRM boot command, or by setting the BOOT_FILE environment variable. Alternatively, the filename can be given via BOOTP (in ISC dhcpd, use the filename directive). Unlike Open Firmware, there is no default filename on SRM, so you must specify a filename by either one of these methods.

[2] Alpha systems can also be net-booted using the DECNet MOP (Maintenance Operations Protocol), but this is not covered here. Presumably, your local OpenVMS operator will be happy to assist you should you have some burning need to use MOP to boot Linux on your Alpha.