Netbooting with RPL

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I got my hands on an old x86 style terminal (Etherminal does it write at
boot time). This machine has an AMD PCnet 10/100 mbps network connection and
is able to boot through it. But I don't know how to do, as it can't boot
over PXE and I can't install a floppy drive.

How do I set up a server for netbooting? I can use Windows and Linux for it,
but I want to boot a linux kernel.

There is the log the computer produces when trying to netboot.


Novell Netware Ready Firmware v1.00 (940810)
(C) Copyright 1991 - 1994 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
AMD PCNTNW Ethernet MLID v3.00 (950630)
(C) Copyright 1991 - 1995 AMD, Inc. all Rights Reserved

To boot from Novell Server                           press 1
To boot from IBM LAN Server 2.x/3.x         press 2
To boot from IBM LAN Server 4.x               press 3
To boot from Microsoft Lan Manager Server press 4
To boot from first availible Server                  press 5
If no selection within 10 seconds, will use choice 5.
                           Please, make your choice now.

RPL-ROM-PIO   6000

RPL-ROM-FFC 1 (counting up)

Re: Netbooting with RPL

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your should sniff the ethernet line at bootup and see what protocol it

Re: Netbooting with RPL

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Try these.  The original netware ROMS booted a floppy disk image via
ethernet - the later ones uses IPX.

These might boot it ... maybe ..

Re: Netbooting with RPL

I got a solution for my problem, although it isn't easy; flashing the BIOS
didn't work at all (no version executed the Option ROM, but instead disabled
Novell's one - even if I only removed the full-screen logo).

Novell's rom tries to boot via RPL, so I had to put up a rpld. It doesn't
work to boot any linux kernel (neither bzImage nor zImage), but I can serve
an etherboot rom in zrom format. My /etc/rpld.conf looks like this:

        ethernet = 00:ma:ca:dd:re:ss; (the real mac goes here, of course)
        FILE {
                path = "/root/pcnet32.zrom";
                load = 0x1000;
        execute = 0x1006;

Etherboot grabs an ip off the dhcp server and then loads pxelinux.0 using
tftp. Then, a memdisk (as kernel) and a dos boot floppy (as initrd) is
loaded and executed. So I can repair (or at least boot) the system, when it
won't do it alone. Because etherboot is flexible, there are many
possibilities, including a diskless boot.
Maybe this helps people in similar situations.


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