Posted on Saturday, April 30, 2011
Diskless booting is where a PC starts up purely from a network connection. It does not have a physical hard-drive in it to start from in the traditional manner.
Why would you want to do this? Well, say for example you have a MythTV Frontend PC. For the most part, most Frontends are dedicated PC’s connected to a TV or projector that are not used for any other purpose, so technically there is really no need to have a hard-drive inside one as nothing new will ever be stored (all the media is streamed from the Backend server). There’s also the added bonus of less noise by not having a hard-drive installed.
Another good example of using a Diskless boot environment is for performing offline virus scans of Windows based PC’s in a safe environment that is not Windows, using tools like ClamAV. In a corporate environment, having a “normal” installation makes it easier to setup default settings that normally don’t suit booting up from an Ubuntu Live CD, such as corporate Proxy settings. Making a Diskless Boot setup is far easier than creating a customised Live CD in this instance.
So how exactly do you create a diskless booting PC?
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