Setting up a X server for diskless clients

Describes setup for diskless X clients based on alix boards from

the server needs tftp and NFS

settings for NFS (/etc/exports):

/opt/alixboot       (ro,no_root_squash,async)

settings for tftp (pxelinux.cfg/default):

DEFAULT vmlinuz ro initrd=initrd.img root=/dev/nfs ip=dhcp nfsroot=

Changes to a standard Debian (etch) in /opt/alixboot:

Create tmpfs dirs

mkdir /tmp.rmdsk /etc.rmdsk /var.rmdsk
chmod 777 /tmp.rmdsk


proc            /proc           proc    defaults          0 0

sysfs           /sys        sysfs  defaults               0 0
tmpfs           /dev/shm    tmpfs  defaults,noatime       0 0
devpts          /dev/pts    devpts defaults,noatime       0 0

tmpfs           /tmp.rmdsk  tmpfs  defaults,noatime       0 0
tmpfs           /var.rmdsk  tmpfs  defaults,noatime       0 0
tmpfs           /etc.rmdsk  tmpfs  defaults,noatime       0 0

unionfs         /etc        unionfs dirs=/etc.rmdsk=rw:/etc=nfsro           0 0
unionfs         /var        unionfs dirs=/var.rmdsk=rw:/var=nfsro           0 0
unionfs         /tmp        unionfs dirs=/tmp.rmdsk=rw:/tmp=nfsro           0 0

this mounts writable tmpfs overlays onto the ro NFS export


tmpfs /lib/init/rw tmpfs rw,nosuid,mode=0755 0 0
proc /proc proc rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev 0 0
udev /dev tmpfs rw,mode=0755 0 0
tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs rw,nosuid,nodev 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620 0 0
rootfs / rootfs ro 0 0
rm /etc/rcS.d/S40networking

prevent dhcpclient from messing with the network config


6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6
kk:2345:respawn:X -query

start X and point it to a (powerful) X application server



these are needed in the initrd to mount NFS / then remake initrd: dpkg-reconfigure linux-image-..



for initial writability in /var

ln -s /tmp/ usr/share/X11/xkb/compiled

needed for X - keyboard doesn't work w/o