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Semi-OT: Netboooting diskless Debian

Difficulty Level: I'm ignorant.

Goal: To build a diskless "kiosk" using an NFS-shared chroot on a remote server, booting from a non-standard tftp(?) server?

I'm on a college campus. We have a DHCP server that is standard (I guess - I'm not the networking guy, but I have a good relationship with him). As I understand it, this DHCP server serves one particular VirtualLAN (VLAN) on our campus with network boot capabilities. This bootable VLAN is used pretty exclusively for imaging purposes, using our Quest/KACE K2000 System Deployment Appliance.

A computer lab computer goes belly up (or we get a new computer in from Dell); we boot the PC to the network, to the K2000 ("K2") appliance, and it then allows us to push a Math lab image to it, or a standard faculty image to it, or a Business Office image to it, each image customized for that location/use, so that 30-90 minutes later, this computer now is ready to be put [back] into service.

It works well with Windows computers, and used to work with Macs, until the last couple of years when Apple started making imaging impractical.

I've found instructions on how to get "any .ISO" to boot from the K2 (https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-deployment-appliance/kb/154645/booting-any-bootable-iso-with-k2000), but it's not working for me. I'm hoping someone here can help me out.

The basic gist is that using a KACE tool, a Windows PXE image is created, as a .pkg file. Then that .pkg file is opened with 7-Zip (not unzipped; just opened), and the "kbe_amd64.iso" file replaced with the Debian .iso, renaming the Debian .iso to "kbe_amd54.iso", and then the file is closed/saved, ready to be booted.

When I do this with, say, a memtest.iso, or dsl.iso, I've had success. But when I try net-booting the client computer to a Debian .iso, I get to the K2's boot menu, which offers me a list of bootable images, including the Debian image. But when I select that Debian image, I get:

wimboot... ok
http://[the k2's IP]/boot/ipxe/440/uefi/BOOT/BCD... No such file or directory (http://ipxe.org/2d0c613b)
Could not boot: No such file or directory (http://ipxe.org/2d0c613b)
Could not boot: No such file or directory (http://ipxe.org/2d0c613b)
No Boot Device Found. Press any key to reboot the machine

I'm at a loss, and hope someone who understands the Debian boot process and DHCP/PXE/tftp booting in general might be able to offer me some clues.


Kent West                    <")))><
Westing Peacefully - http://kentwest.blogspot.com