initial ramdisk

Dr. Balasubramanian Sundaram bala at
Wed Jul 26 21:29:57 PDT 2000

   Joy Sarkar (my summer student) and I, had gone through this 
rather painful exercise. He has shared his experiences on 
building a 8-node, diskless cluster using 810 mobo, and PXE
enabled NIC, at:

Also, Intel has some rudimentary PXE support documentation for
Linux. One of them is:

This will give some indication of things one needs to take care 
in mounting the root partition.

good luck,

Nicolas De Rico wrote:
> Hi, I am having a problem with getting root to load...
> But first let me explain what I am trying to do.  I am setting up a Beowulf
> cluster of identical machines and none of these machines have a hard-drive.
> I would like to be able load my ROOT off the server and to store it in a
> RAMDISK.  ROOT over NFS would be easier to setup I think, but I am afraid
> that when the cluster grows to it's desired size, NFS will add to much
> traffic to the network.
> Using the PXE booter on a i810e board, I am able to download the kernel and
> boot it (It took me a long time to figure out how though).  However I do not
> know how to tell the kernel to fetch the root file system and mount it.  My
> plan was to use "dd" to append a compressed root file system to my
> compressed kernel, and change the ramdisk bit to 1 and tell where the root
> fs starts using rdev -- like for a boot disk--, but this hasn't work.  If
> this is the way to do it, I must be missing a few steps.
> Can anyone tell me how to do this?
> Also, I am not sure how I would setup my fstab file for root.  I thought
> about this:
> /dev/ram0   / ext2 defaults 0 0
> Does that look good?
> I am sorry that I have to ask these questions, and maybe more later, but
> I've looked everywhere I could think of and I have found many bits of useful
> info, but I am having a hard time putting them all together.
> Thank you,
> Nicolas De Rico
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