PXE Boot Cinelerra Render Farm

Joshua Gardner mellowcellofellow at gmail.com
Thu Aug 12 23:40:36 UTC 2010

Here's what I've got: a Lucid desktop with Cinelerra and a bunch of
Windows laptops. I'd like to make the whole thing into a render farm for
Cinelerra using a PXE booted live environment.

I've already gotten one of the Windows laptops working with the Lucid
Live USB with Cinelerra installed. It connects with ZeroConf to the
wired network and I can mount the NFS-shared rendering directory, then
start a couple instances of the Cinelerra render farm client (one for
each core). On the desktop I can then render with the render farm and it
goes quite quickly.

I have 3 or 4 more laptops I'd like to add to the render farm. Trouble
is I don't have enough Live USBs or CDs to set them all up. What I'd
like to do is set up a PXE-booted "live" environment containing the
Cinelerra and ffmpeg binaries, with NFS already set up and mounting the
output directory, and starting an instance of the Cinelerra\ farm
client. Ideally the PXE system would boot to a ramfs or read-only root
(like the livecd) and only mount the output directory over NFS. If each
instance of the live PXE system could be given a unique hostname so I
don't have to use IP addresses that'd be perfect.

I know with enough tinkering I can get this working. But I'd really
like some tips, especially on setting up the PXE environment and
creating the customized system that they will be booting. If I'm barking
up the wrong tree, and there's an easier way, let me know. I'm not keen
on a rendering taking 5 hours. I can't install Ubuntu permanently on the

So, again, tips on setting up PXE servers and on making customized live
environments greatly appreciated, especially with the NFS stuff.


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list