Linux Terminal Server PXE Wireless Boot Question

  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Can I network boot a client using its wireless card from a wireless card on the terminal server? It seems this question is floating around out there and I've done quite a bit of searching but I'd like to hear what Ozzu has to say or can come up with. This would actually help me alot if I can get it working because all my clients have wireless cards and this could cut down on all the network cable and clutter in the room.

The overlying consensus seems to say, 'nay'. I found one that said you just need to load the wireless drivers from a floppy or CD and that it would work. They still say that it will take it awhile to boot, but I have another post about booting a lighter flavor of linux so my OS image shouldn't be that big. Additionally, once the clients are booted they should rarely be turned off. So, the boot time really doesn't concern me. I am concerned with sluggishness of applications ran from the server but the cards are G and should be running near 54M a sec , right? I've already got two 10/100 NICs in my server and a switch in place, but not having to run the cables would make the room look much neater. Sorry no gigabit, already had this hardware. :-)

My clients are exactly thin and they do have a harddrive so how do I load "helper" boot code (drivers, instructions) on a blank harddrive and how do I load a swap partition on them to help with running their processes from the terminal server?
How do I load "helper" code without it interfering with the swap?
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • kc0tma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't understand why not. As long as your wireless card has PXE boot capabilities.
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is kinda way over my head. I don't know how a wireless card in the server can simultaneously handle the requests from clients wishing to receive the OS. I would think that wireless can communicate through a wireless Ad-hoc setup but that requires the OS to already be running.

Back to the client, how do I give the hardware access to the wireless card driver pre-OS and do I just install the windows driver?

I assume I boot to a partition utility on a CD or floppy and format and create a partition. Next, I can install files to that partition that will contain the driver and any other boot instructions??

As you can tell I'm quite loss as how to prime a client system (especially a thin-client but I do have old systems that have a HD) for it to contain all the code it needs to start the boot process over the network.
  • kc0tma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Wait a minute, you're going wireless on the server? That doesn't seem like a very good idea.
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I could have one ethernet NIC which would get the internet from the router. Then, a wireless card to connect to the client cards and feed them.

I was just going by a diagram I had for two network cards but just substituted one card with a wireless. So, with a wireless boot I would need to connect the server to the router and then the clients would actually be connecting to the wireless router. That makes better working sense to me.

So, I would need a driver and config file that contained the SSID and any security for my client cards on those machines so they could connect to the router? In turn, my terminal server only needs one network card.
  • porcodio
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm with you devilwood!!
I'm trying to do the same, but i can't!
any suggest?
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Since the SSID, keys, configuration for the wireless card is all in the OS, there is no real way to do a PXE boot with a wireless card. What you CAN do is use a wireless to Ethernet bridge and do a PXE boot with that. The wireless configuration is stored in the adapter and when the computer boots it's Ethernet card won't know any difference - it should act just like it is on a traditional wired network. Something like a Linksys WET11 should work.

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