Sunday, July 31, 2011
Boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is a way to boot hosts in order to run install or other types of media via the network.
I use to mess around with PXE Booting OS's over my Local Network and it was kind of fun for a while. And not as hard as it seemed at first. But even with 100mbps, most Linux Operating Systems run faster on CD, DVD or better yet, installed on the Hard Drive of the Machine. Especially on an older slower Machines. I've tried out other Linux Internet Install Systems. Like, boot.kernel.org(BKO)-Booting-your-machine-over-HTTP and GPXE. But, they were too slow at Downloading the needed files to Boot, for me and I do have a fairly fast Internet Connection, 18mbps. Even on something small like DSL Linux!:O
Still, I tried out BFO in Virtual Box and it looks very interesting. I tried out "Restore Fedora" for Fedora 14. Just to see how long it would take to Download the needed files. It took less than 5 minutes to get to where I could start Restoring a System. I do have a fairly fast Internet Connection though, 18mbps. I stopped after the Drive Scanning Portion of the "Restore". Since I was running in a Virtual Machine and didn't really have a Fedora Installation to Restore. You can do other things too, like Install Fedora. Any version from 13 to 15 in this version of BFO. I want to put BFO on a CD, just in case I need it one day. Because the Fedora CD's and DVD's haven't had a Restore Function since Fedora 11 or so. But, BFO is so small, at 670Kb... that's right! Kilobytes not Megabytes! And I don't want to waste a whole CD for such a small amount of Data!:O I know... I'm just like that!;) I always Burn my CD's Open, so that I can add Data later. What good it does me, I haven't quite figured out yet. Since, you can only Boot from the first Track on a CD anyway! I've spent some time trying!:O But, at least I could add some RPM's or other files I need for my Live Systems or Installs when I'm away from home and not able to get Online. I could put BFO on a Multi-Boot USB. But, I only have one Computer that will even Boot to a USB Drive. And I have Fedora 13 and Fuduntu on UBS's already and never really use them. So, I'm back to wishing I could figure out how to make a Multi-boot CD or DVD. I read something about how to do that with Puppy Linux, if I remember right. But I haven't tried it yet...
boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is a way to boot hosts in order to run install or other types of media via the network. It works similarly to a pxeboot environment.
BFO is based on the work of the BKO - http://boot.kernel.org/. To download BFO please select BFO Download along the left side menu.
How do I use it?
First download one of the available BFO specific images. You have a choice of ISO (DVD/CD), USB, Floppy and lkrn images. Then write that image to an appropriate medium. Next boot from that medium. After that you're using BFO! Use your keyboard to select menus to run diagnostics, or boot a Fedora installer or rescue mode.
Can I use it with grub?
Yes! Just run the following commands as root wget -O/boot/bfo.lkrn http://serverbeach1.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/bfo/bfo.lkrn grubby --add-kernel=/boot/bfo.lkrn --title="Boot BFO" reboot
How does it work?
BFO was started by boot.kernel.org (BKO) and combines a series of recent technologies to produce a new boot stack. The glue that holds everything together is gpxe. Users familiar with pxe will find gpxe very familiar. Latest versions support several protocols beyond just tftp. We are using http to transfer files around. The basic steps are as follows:
Download the boot.fedoraproject.org media fitting your preferred boot method.
burn ISO images to a CD-R or DVD-R
write USB image for a USB stick
write Floppy image to a 3.5 inch HD floppy
lkrn image for PXE booting, grub booting and in conjunction with kexec (c.f.: pxkxc)
Boot from the medium you created.
It will first configure network via DHCP.
After network is configured, it will go out to our boot.fedoraproject.org website and download the menus and other prompts from us
Those boot menus will then be displayed to the user for selection. After a selection (like install Fedora 12) the regular boot process takes over just as it would had you booted from normal local media.
Why should I use BFO?
The BFO downloads are very small and once you have them, you'll rarely have to download more. Even as more versions of Fedora come out, you just boot from your image and they will appear. Users with fast internet connections will have the best experience with BFO. They basically replace having to regularly download large ISO images and burn them to disk.
What is required?
For all image types, you need a working DHCP in the network you use it from as well as HTTP internet access. To use the ISO, a CD/DVD burner. To use the USB image, a USB stick. Floppy and lkrn images are also available.
Does BFO replace the installer or anaconda?
No. BFO is also not part of Anaconda. BFO is a way to load the installer via network. Normally users download a large ISO image that contains all of the installer bits. BFO is a smaller booting method that downloads the installer bits at runtime. In theory with BFO one iso download can install all future versions of Fedora.
What about the Live CDs?
At this time booting Live CDs is experimental and not available. We hope to have them available soon.
Why won't BFO boot?
BFO uses gpxe so it's not actually booting a Linux kernel at first. As such, some drivers and devices may not be supported. If this is the case for you please check upstream at http://etherboot.org/ for bug updates, etc. If you feel a bug or device is supported but not working in BFO, contact: email@example.com
Boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is a way to boot hosts in order to run install or other types of media via the network
FAQs - boot.fedoraproject.org
Download - boot.fedoraproject.org