View Full Version : Linux ltsp and old machines

May 21st, 2006, 09:17 PM
I'm having some problems with some ancient computers. A couple of them do not have their BIOS loaded on the mobo, its loaded on a hard drive. (I don't have the drives any more because they were donated computers) and I need to get them to boot from floppys and (try to) run K12LTSP on them. One is an old 33mhz Pentium, a Dual 200mhz PPro netserver, and one other one that you can change jumpers on to change speed of the processor from 133 to 166 mhz. Anyway i was wondering if i would need to load a version of the BIOS as part of my linux server (this is what they will boot from) in order to get them functioning.

Any and all ideas and help would be greatly appreciated.

May 22nd, 2006, 06:19 AM
BIOS isn't on a hard disk - it is on a chip, either EPROM or FLASH. Did you mean that they don't have an operating system?

LTSP needs either a network card that can remote boot via BIOS extension, a boot floppy, or a boot CD-ROM. The boot process causes the machine to fetch a Linux kernel and ramdisk image from the server. Then the boot continues, and once all is up everything comes from the server via NFS.

The server needs to have an appropriate kernel for each machine, either with drivers compiled in or as modules in the ramdisk image. Putting them as modules in the ramdisk image is much more flexible.