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Diskless FreeBSD

Ashok Prasad, K. (2006) Diskless FreeBSD. [Student Project Report]

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This Dissertation / Report is the outcome of investigation carried out by the creator(s) / author(s) at the department/division of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore mentioned below in this page.

Item Type: Student Project Report
Additional Information: A diskless workstation is a workstation or personal computer without any means of non-volatile storage (hence 'diskless'). A diskless workstation is intended to run in a fully 'stand-alone' mode after the initial boot phase. Thus it runs a full modern operating system from its own local RAM. FreeBSD is developed as a complete operating system. As an operating system, FreeBSD is generally regarded as quite reliable and robust, and of the operating systems that accurately report uptime remotely. Diskless FreeBSD utilises FreeBSD as the platform workstation. The process of going diskless in a workstation involves a Bootstrap operation which initiates the initial boot phase process. In order to boot such diskless PC, the operating system (OS) 'image' has to be provided from some external store - typically across a network link (from a 'Server'), although other means of providing the OS image, such as from removable storage (such as a USB Pen drive) would also qualify, as would directly running a bootable CD containing an OS. Needless to say, at least some parts of the OS have to be loaded directly into the PC's memory, part of which is configured as a RAM Disk. Bootstrapping such a PC usually involves a 2 step process, in which a RAM Disk is created, DOS is loaded and then the OS image is fetched and loaded into the RAM disk. A simple Network booted system can be constructed by launching DOS from locally attached floppy disk and using NetBEUI protocols to access a network 'share' containing the OS Image. The 'professional' version is performed via TCP/IP (known as BOOTP protocol). This was originally only available from a special 'BOOT ROM' chip option fitted to the Network card, however BOOTP protocols are now embedded directly into the BIOS of many modern Motherboards and Network Cards). Any applications that the user might wish to use also have to be preinstalled (so that they loaded alongside the OS image).After loading the OS, control has to be passed from the 'bootstrap' program to the OS itself. This is all but impossible with modern Microsoft Operating Systems (such as NT, 2000) so historically Diskless PC's have been limited to Unix or Linux based systems. The major advantage of a diskless PC is that any system changes made during operation (due to user action,worms, virus, etc) are wiped out when the power is removed. The fact that nothing is stored locally can also be a major disadvantage. This report explains the process of going diskless in two steps, the first step being the set-up of the server for NetBoot and second the process of EtherBoot through which the operating system “image” is loaded to the diskless computer.
Uncontrolled Keywords: freebsd diskless
Subjects: 000 Computer science, information and general works > 02 Computer Science
Divisions: Human Resource Development
Depositing User: Food Sci. & Technol. Information Services
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2011 09:26
URI: http://ir.cftri.com/id/eprint/482

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