by March 1, 2005 0 comments

Remote booting is a concept of allowing you to boot a machine over a network from a centralized boot-server. The Linux OS uses TFTP to upload/download the boot image. Unfortunately, because of insufficient space, we were not able to carry the LTSP (Linux Terminal Service Project) installer on the PCQLinux2005 CDs. But, we have made the same available on our online forum at From here, download the ltsp-utils-0.10-0.noarch.rpm file. 

The diskless machine needs a network adapter that supports PXE (Pre boot-eXecutable Environment) booting. Most modern cards support PXE and many built-in adapters on motherboards will also work. Before you set up the diskless nodes, using LTSP, we recommend using identical hardware on all your nodes if possible. This will make your life much easier when configuring for drivers. 

For our setup, we first install the LTSP Server on the PCQLinux 2005 box and then we need to configure it for booting with DHCP. Finally, we add the required drivers. 

Installing the LTSP Server

Install PCQLinux 2005 on a decent server-class machine, in ‘Remote Boot Server Install’ mode. Then, you need to configure its networking with a static IP address and DNS settings.

You can run rdesktop over a standard LTSP client and get a diskless window running for you

Then, install the LTSP Server from the rpm, you downloaded earlier from our forum, using the following command in a terminal window. 

#rpm -ivh ltsp-utils-0.10-0.noarch.rpm
# ltspadmin

This will open a command line interface for you. Here, select ‘Install/Upgrade packages’. It will directly connect your machine to the Linux Terminal Server Project’s site and download the latest packages for you. Then installer will also ask you for the install path; type ‘/opt/ltsp’ and press Enter. When prompted, select additional packages from the list shown pressing ‘A’ and then ‘Q’. Press Enter to confirm. The packages will be downloaded and installed. 

After completing downloads, select ‘Configure LTSP’ from the installer and press Enter. Here, you will be shown eleven options, one for each service. Select all the services one by one and enable them by pressing Enter. It will automatically configure the selected services. 

Configuring the DHCP server for remote boot

You have to configure the DHCP server on PCQLinux 2005, so the diskless clients for IP address assignments. For this open /etc/dhcpd.conf and add the following lines as shown below.

ddns-update-style none;
default-lease-time 21600;
max-lease-time 21600; 
option subnet-mask;
option broadcast-address;
option routers; #<– Router or Gateway IP
option domain-name-servers; #<– LTSP Server IP
option domain-name “ltsp.pcquest.local”; # <–domain name 
option root-path “”; #<– NFS Share
option option-128 code 128 = string;
option option-129 code 129 = text;
subnet netmask { 
range dynamic-bootp; # <– DHCP IP Ranage
filename “/lts/2.4.22-ltsp-2/pxelinux.0”; #<- Boot image File

Restart the DHCP server. 

# service dhcpd start
Configuring for clients 
Now open an editor and edit /opt/ltsp/i386/etc
/lts.conf file, and confirm the entries are similar to the ones given below. 

XSERVER = i810 
X_MOUSE_DEVICE = “/dev/psaux”
X_MODE_0 = 800×600 
SCREEN_01 = startx

In this configuration, the XSERVER parameter contains the value ‘i810’, since our clients were using the Intel 810 chipset motherboards. Change it as per your configuration. After this, issue the following commands. 

# chown root:root /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/build_x3_cfg
# chmod 0755 /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/build_x3_cfg

With this, your LTSP Server is ready to serve the diskless nodes. Connect the diskless nodes to the network and boot them from there PXP LAN card. And in few seconds you will get a GUI login screen on the nodes. Give the user name and password to login and you will get default GNOME interface on the nodes.

Configuring Windows 2000/2003 for diskless clients

If you want to configure PCQLinux2005 for serving Windows clients, then just open
/opt/ltsp/i386/etc /lts.conf file, and add or change the entries as given below.

RDP_SERVER = #(Windows Terminal Server) 
SCREEN_01 = rdesktop

Note: To configure users and Windows Terminal Services, check out our June 2004 issue or its online version at 
/showarticle.asp? artid=58946. Now you are ready to boot diskless thin clients to access Windows Terminal services.

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