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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Thoughts on a web boot Linux. No download, install, etc.
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gabev

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 38
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep 2007, 12:45    Post_subject:  

gPXE will probably enter the mainstream as a bios's boot option.here we talk about hobby not a commercial solution;yeas indeed you are right,for now flashing a bios aint for everyone, plus a couples of other 'temporary' limitations but the most important part is that IS POSSIBLE.Since 2001 most PC's sold are following the PC99 guideline from Intel which among other things says that new computers with Ethernet interfaces must implement two useful features: wake-on-LAN and network boot.I'm pretty sure that in the future will have also the option to boot of a remote network using http instead of tftp.
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5037
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri 28 Sep 2007, 01:55    Post_subject:  

Sorry about not catching that this post was developing...
But I never got an email notice!

Yes, the kernel & initrd must be on the client to begin booting,
for Puppy that would be about 3MB, but NIC drivers are needed.
A small generic assortment (probably ne2000) wouldn't take much more space.
Optimized drivers for the NIC, video, etc. could be loaded after connection.

Yes, flashing the BIOS or a USB drive is needed, & a floppy's too small.

What's nice about this is; you go to the store & buy a PC & a cable modem.
Go home & set them up, set the BIOS to boot to the web & there you are!
Hardware is all that's needed, no software to buy or install... ever.

gabev; I looked at your link & I like what I see, I'll look into it further.
I'd think & hope that gPXE (or a clone there of) will appear in newer BIOSes.

NOTE: I tried HTTP-FUSE-KNOPPIX & couldn't get it to work,
the server wouldn't respond (probably off-line) or something else.
But as a first generation attempt, I was impressed with what the
creators of it had done to make the setup fast & flexible.
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5037
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri 28 Sep 2007, 02:10    Post_subject:  

UPDATE:
I just read more about gPXE & it's all I hoped it'd be!
The setup I proposed for Puppy had the kernel & initrd.gz files on the client PC.
gPXE makes this unnessary! It boots the kernel from the web!
And it'll boot Windows from the web too!
So gPXE will handle booting from multiple sites & multiple OSs!
It'll be interesting to see if a web based menu of OSs will develop for it.
On bootup a menu would show for OSs & the closest server hosting them.

I'm going to keep an eye on this & I'll post here anything interesting.
Cheers... Terry
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gabev

Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 38
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct 2007, 03:22    Post_subject:  

sunburnt.

I'm in Idea .I already start experimenting with gPXE and damm ... looks so sweet.
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macadavy

Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 214
Location: Cascadia's Attic, eh?

PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct 2007, 04:25    Post_subject: Another POV  

Coming at it from a different POV - Barry K. had this vision:
Quote:
Do you run an Internet Cafe? Imagine never having to maintain the PCs, ever again. Imagine cheap PCs without hard drive, no operating system. Imagine no more viruses, no security problems at all ...am I dreaming?
Give each of your customers a Puppy live-DVD, they insert it at bootup, you have it preconfigured to connect to your DHCP server, and that's it. They can do whatever they want, everything is saved to their own personal DVD -- or shirt-pocket-size 2G mini-DVD.

Substitute CD (most IntCafes/public access points I've used don't have DVD drives) or USB/IDE Flash; it can use Puppy's current auto-DHCP for internet access and you have a viable alternative, IMHO.
I'm currently using a Kingston 4GB USB flash drive with Lighthouse Puppy in just this fashion, with an occasional assist from a WakePup boot floppy on older computers that won't boot directly from USB.

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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5037
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun 14 Oct 2007, 14:23    Post_subject:  

macadavy; But web boot would be the equivilent of Knoppix's DVD (1.6GB).
The the boot site would nave virtually all of the apps for Linux & Wine.
The user can still run their own apps. from USB or HD, & keep data of course.
This frees most all of the users from ever having to maintain an OS !!!
Puppy's easy to use, sure...
However, like WinBlows it's still way beyond most folks abilities.
Besides... a PC with no HD or CD & a modem is all that's needed, no OS $$$.
A HD & CD-DVD costs ~ $100 (US), a big chunk of the $$$ for the PC.

gabev; I haven't had any time to follow up on gpxe... please keep us informed!
If your trying to do something with it (Puppy?), let us know & I'll help if I can.
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macadavy

Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 214
Location: Cascadia's Attic, eh?

PostPosted: Tue 16 Oct 2007, 18:58    Post_subject:  

Good points, sunburnt. We're talking a minimalist thin client, very affordable! Just found this one: http://www.koolu.com/
Koolu's kewl!

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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5037
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed 17 Oct 2007, 23:34    Post_subject:  

Sadly... Like most tiny PCs (VIA's ITX format) it's way too $$$ when
compared to the average ATX Bd., an X2 4000+ mother bd. goes for $100.

I saw a tiny box that mounts on the back of any LCD-Plasma flat panel, cool.
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macadavy

Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 214
Location: Cascadia's Attic, eh?

PostPosted: Fri 19 Oct 2007, 04:00    Post_subject:  

Wow! Any link for that device?
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woodeye18

Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct 2007, 15:25    Post_subject: Puppy web boot
Sub_title: Puppy web boot without local drives
 

Sunburnt, like Gabev I have been away from this webboot/Lanpuppy topic for a while, but I am always kicking it around. You and I have talked a few times and I have tried one of your lanpuppys. As I mentioned last year, I think a doable lan boot is a proxy web boot via Open WRT router (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenWrt).

I have a Linksys WRTSL54GS router running an open wrt linux firmware. It has DNSMASQ for DHCP that supports PXE with a tftp server. This router/server has a USB HD plugged into it and is running always.

My commandline skills are fairly pedestrian compared to some of the things you are doing, but I know that it would be possibly to create a "Puppy router" using this method. I can see web based server or a mesh that can push puppy version updates to the router, that would then in turn be LAN booted by the thin client attached to the Router.

It seems as though a lot of the problems discussed here have been with getting the kernel from a distant internet server. I know Damn Small Linux and slax had a boot option where you enter a password on booting and your settings from a 5Mb webspace are restored. I imagine you would TFTP the boot files from the router, then if you are on a different network, like your office or home, you enter your password, your settings are delivered and your media files and docs are accessed remotely on the web. Regarding concepts on storing the bulk of your personal files, It seems like one of the new "unlimited storage" concepts is Wuala, which is almost a P2P bit torrent like approach to web backups and subversions.

I haven't reviewed my notes recently so I am sure I have missed something here, but let me know what you think. I live out west as you do, drop me a line, so we can talk. I'm ready to put this to the test or flush it out of my memory banks.
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woodeye18

Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2007, 13:38    Post_subject: Asus embeds firefox, linux, wifi on motherboard
Sub_title: Preboot linux embedded on motherboard
 

Check out this story about Asus new high end motherboard that has a firefox preboot linux enviroment that allows you to be in the web in 15 seconds without accessing your HD.

http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9795472-2.html

And here is Wal Mart's G-PC that comes with linux and Mac looking icons that launch you into Google web apps.

http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9807133-2.html

The tone of these articles and video makes it sound like GPXE type linux enviroments are going to be big in 2008.
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