PXE Boot Cinelerra Render Farm

Christopher Chan christopher.chan at bradbury.edu.hk
Tue Aug 17 00:29:49 UTC 2010

> 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
> laptops.

I assume you have already got the initrd image sorted. Now, all you need 
is pxelinux which should work with any PXE 2.0 compatible NIC as grub 
does not support PXE directly but needs nic drivers. If your images can 
take hostnames from dhcp, fine, if not, then you have to hardcode them 
into each of your images. Likewise, you will need to do the same in 

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

There is no such thing as a PXE server. PXE just talks to a dhcp server 
for parameters. You just need to setup a dhcp server and a tftp server 
on the same box. If you want /usr on NFS, you can do that too. The dhcp 
server will tell the PXE bootcode the location of the pxelinux.0. 
pxelinux will then look for the boot configuration file which will tell 
it what kernel image and what initrd image to load and then execute the 
kernel. That is all there is to it.

dhcpd server and tftpd server on the same box. Therefore, pxelinux.0 and 
its config(s) for all or each box will also reside there.

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