Back at the ALP office and therefore back to work on netbooting. After making sure that TFTP was up and running, I moved on to downloading the netbootable OS that I'll be using on my network. I decided to go with debirf because I like and am familiar with Debian, and because folks I know put it together and I trust their work (and appreciate their willingness to help me out of I find myself in a bind!) I found myself a bit confused as to what I needed to get in order to netboot their streamlined version of Debian, but I decided to go with their pre-built disk rescue kernel and initramfs. However, I ran into a whole bunch of problems there and couldn't figure out how to get debirf going. I plan to give it a try in the future, but for the time being I've switched to using RIP (Rescue Is Possible) instead. I downloaded their easy-to-set-up PXE files, unzipped them into my tftpboot directory, and netbooted my first computer. Very exciting!
Now - on to creating the image that I want to clone onto my computers via netboot.
ETA: dkg helped me figure out by debirf problems. I was stuck because I thought I needed a debirf-specific pxelinux.0 file, but I don't. I successfully got a copy of pxelinux.0, what dkg describes as the earliest stage of the pxelinux bootloader, from the syslinux package:
aptitude install syslinux
cp /usr/lib/syslinux/pxelinux.0 /var/lib/tftpboot/
Then I set up my pxelinux.cfg/default file as so:
append vga=normal initrd=debirf/debirf-rescue_lenny_2.6.22-3-486.cgz --
And my boot.txt file as so:
- BOOT MENU -
And now I'm netbooting debirf quite nicely!