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  • Linux Terminal Server Project is an open source project to create the administration tools that will make setting up a diskless workstation easier.
  • Some people interested in spreading the benefits of diskless terminals and Linux in schools have taken LTSP and created K12 LTSP, which is a distribution based on RedHat, with additional RPMs for setting up a LTSP server easily.
  • case study from GBdirect on deploying thin clients. Mike Banahan might be able to make you a ROM if you are in the area and you ask nicely. :-)
  • Warewulf is a Linux Cluster distribution that uses Etherboot as the mechanism to boot all of the slave nodes.
  • Netboot is another package for booting PCs diskless. Some of the original software provided in the Etherboot package came from Netboot. Netboot is maintained by Gero Kuhlmann. Netboot might be useful for network cards that are not supported by Etherboot, but you may have to do some experimentation on your own.
  • As far as I know, Etherboot is distributed by the following distributions:
  • Although a small complaint that I have is that some vendors have used different version numbers from mine, creating confusion. Please tell me if you know of any others.
  • RTL-EtherBootD is a project to port the Etherboot drivers to RTLinux so that they can be used by real-time processes.
  • LUI is GPLed software from IBM for doing cluster installs. Etherboot is one of the supported bootrom platforms.
  • ClusterNFS is a version of the Universal NFS Daemon that allows clients to share the same NFS-mounted root.
  • GRUB is a project that is developing a unified bootloader and has network booting capabilities, derived from Etherboot source.
  • DIET-PC is a software kitset for building generic or special-purpose thin client solutions from x86 hardware using Etherboot and embedded Linux. Supported protocols include X11, RDP, and ICA. DIET-PC is similar to NetStation but is DIY not PnP, and is aimed mostly at newer hardware (Pentium II and later).
  • A HOWTO on configuring Windows 2000 DHCP server to serve Etherboot-based thin client distributions.
  • Davicom, manufacturers of the DM9102 Ethernet controller, have contributed changes to the Tulip driver for their controller chips. They are keen to support Open Source software so please do try their hardware and drivers and give us feedback and bug reports for improvement.
  • Sparcs don't use Etherboot or Netboot but here is a web page that shows you how to make an X-terminal out of a Sparc talking to a Linux server.
  • Netaudio is a neat way of redirecting audio to another computer on the network, especially a diskless X-terminal.
  • Recent versions of mtools have a floppy daemon which gives remote access to a floppy drive.
  • Serving SSH sessions shows how to configure a (possibly diskless) Linux/Unix host so that users can directly ssh to a remote hosts from the login prompt.
  • Jean Marc Lacroix provided the source code for a filter that translates from binary image format to Intel's HEX format. You need this tool if the software that came with your EPROM burner does not support raw image files.
  • Not a commercial product, but Abhijit Dasgupta has a open hardware for an EEPROM programmer that can program chips up to 28256. Download from here.
  • The following links were kindly contributed by Alexander Foken:
  • Flash EEPROM Programmers:
  • The “c't-Flasher” programmer in German, and in English translation. The “c't-Flasher” is a very simple ISA card (raw card w/o components commercially available for about 13 EURO), using a well-supported, but closed-source DOS-based software. c't-Flasher was developed by the famous German “c't” magazine.
  • The “IDE Flasher” in German only. The “IDE Flasher” is an extremely simple flash programmer connected to any IDE bus (exclusively, can't be connected in parallel to harddisk or CDROM). Using this simple trick, it is compatible with any computer that has an IDE interface, no matter what bus system is used. This circuit uses exactly two chips, two resistors and two capacitors, nothing more. Like the “c't-Flasher”, closed-source DOS-based software is used to write the EEPROM. The printed circuit board is available raw with resistors and capacitors soldered on, as kit, and as complete, tested device for 17 EURO to about 50 EURO.
  • Tips and Tricks:
  • “Pannenhelfer” in German only contributes a know-how collection for the c't-Flasher and a few tricks.
  • Flash-Programmer Software:
  • Linux-based software for “c't-Flasher”, “IDE Flasher” and a few others is available in English.
  • Alexander writes: I have no relation to the links above except that I read that pages. I'm not involved in any of those projects. I wired the “IDE Flasher” circuit on a prototype board within 8 hours, and it simply works. No trouble. I took the 32pin to 28pin adapter from the “Pannenhelfer” page to put 32pin-EEPROMs into the 28pin sockets of my network cards. And of course, the EEPROMS contain Etherboot.


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