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The goal is to set up a Fedora 8 diskless workstation. I'm able to get the client to boot from the server and if I disable the nfslock service it will boot all the way to the gdm login screen. In order to login at this point I need to have my /home read-write so I added an nfs mount entry into fstab for /home. Problem is that I now need nfslock for the mount to work. Once nfslock is turned on it hangs during boot and will not go any further. Does anyone have some insight into what might be causing it to hang? Could it be a missing entry in /etc/rwtab?
can you post your entry for /home in /etc/fstab here.
In a diskless client, how are you able to mount anything via nfs if you don't have a disk to mount it to?
You're booting the kernel, and o/s off the server without needing to mount anything locally. So therefore your home directory should be mapped to a local directory on the server.So.....
pulls everything and points your user to that directory
That's the way it would work if you had a true diskless client where even the kernel is loaded remotely. If you are doing a hybrid thin client, then its a completely different setup
Thanks for replying. When starting a diskless client you have a readonly root filesystem that is mounted using nfs. This is done at boot. Once the root filesystem has been mounted you can use /home as a mount point to mount a read write filesystem via nfs.
If I were to use or mount a /home directory on the server it would appear as readonly on the client since it is a subdirectory under root. /home must be done separately using fstab. /etc/exports on the server looks something like.
The mount has nothing to do with where it is hanging. It hangs during boot when the service nfslock is started. The mount for /home occurs later in the boot process. nfslock starts statd and lockd to control file locking on rw nfs mounts.
Since my original post I have come across the system-config-netboot tool and am following instructions from the RedHat System Administration guide to see if it will work. There are so many different howto's for this subject on the net. I've gotten to the point where too many changes have been made to the diskless OS and need to start from the beginning. I'll be a little more careful this time around and document my changes.
This is a shot in the dark, but on the server do you have root's home in /home or in /root? Also, are you logged into the server as root while you're doing this? It's quite possible if you have root in /home/root then the server has a lock on that partition and could cause issues. Again, its just a shot in the dark
Since I'm now going with the system-config-netboot tool the setup on the server has change a little, but I can tell you how it was. The server filesystems are separate from the client filesystems on the server. This is because you want to be able to change things for the diskless workstations without compromising the server setup. For the server /home and /root are in there normal locations. The diskless filesystems were in /netboot/f8root and /netboot/home. The diskless OS is a copy of a Fedora 8 install and is located in /netboot/f8root. The contents of /netboot/f8root/home was copied to /netboot/home to setup my regular users.
When setting up originally I tried to follow a Diskless Linux with PXE HOWTO along with information at the Fedora Wiki. Some of the information was outdated and neither of the sites seemed to have complete instructions. Eventually I found other sources, but none of them seemed to get it just right either.
The key to getting this working properly appears to be a good initrd.img and client configuration. The server part, which I thought would be difficult, turned out to be pretty straight forward. It was a matter of installing and setting up DHCP, tftpd, nfs and syslinux(pxelinux is a part of this package). Setting up the client is a little trickier.
I'll post again when I have an epiphany or significant breakthrough. Thanks for your interest, it helps to talk things through.
Using the system-config-netboot tool was the way to go. It created my initrd and made some other configuration changes to get the diskless workstation up and running. I still had to do a little tweaking, but overall it was much easier than my previous attempt. I was able to mount /home rw as well as a /common directory with music and other things I like to share among systems. The only thing left to do now is get routing working beyond the subnet. I'm also going to set up DNS on the server.
It is kinda neat how they setup the server for operation of diskless workstations. On the server there is a /diskless/root directory that contains a complete Fedora 8 install. Then they have /diskless/snapshot with separate directories under it for each diskless workstation. These have files that need to be rw in order for the system to function. They contain configuration and persistent data specific to the individual workstation. This setup makes it easy to install other versions or flavors of linux and test them out on a workstation. For example, my server is running Fedora 7 and the workstation is running Fedora 8.