Diskless Remote Boot in Linux (DRBL) / News: Recent posts

DRBL 1.8.0-15 (stable) released

We have not released a stable version in a long time -- sorry to make you wait so long.
This version has some new features and some bugs fixed, and we hope it will work very well for you.

Here are the release notes. Enjoy.
- New mechanism: A mechanism to lease IP addresses to PXE, Etherboot or DRBL clients only. This applies only when using the range statement in dhcpd.conf, i.e. not when providing static IP address es to clients. This newly introduced feature uses the vendor-class-identifier mechanism and does not affect the host statement. By default this mechanism is disabled -- to enable it, uncomment the 'allow members of "DRBL-Client' line in your dhcpd.conf file.
- Simplified selection in dcs, ocs and all the dialog menus: i.e. for single choices, just select and press enter (no longer necessary to press the space key to mark the selection.)
- Improved netinstall: netinstall packages are removed from repository, since now drbl-netinstall will download those images from mirror site directly.
- Better language specification: drbl-related commands will no longer ask about language index by default; now, they will use the environment variable "LANG". If you still want to choose the language, use something like "/opt/drbl/sbin/dcs -l ask".
- Better shutdown behavior: new setting of HALT_REBOOT_OPT="" instead of HALT_REBOOT_OPT="-f -n" in drbl-ocs.conf prevents wake-on-LAN (WOL) failure when shutdown is not a normal soft-shutdown. Thanks to Dave Haakenhout for reporting this bug. If you do not care about WOL and you are impatient, you can set HALT_REBOOT_OPT as "-f -n " in drbl-ocs.conf.
- New upstream syslinux 3.51.
- Better nfs: added mechanism to use nosharecache option for nfs in init.drbl. This will fix the bug https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=251655.
- Ready for Fedora 8 test2.
- Ready for Ubuntu 7.10 beta.
- Bug fixed: in Fedora 7, service ConsoleKit is necessary for client.
- Some other bugs fixed. ... read more

Posted by Steven Shiau 2007-09-21

DRBL 1.7.11-29 (Stable) released

This is a bug-fix version. These bugs were fixed:
1. A bug about Clonezilla failed to start in Debian and Ubuntu.
2. A bug about updated kernel in Fedora 7 was not listed when running drblsrv.
3. A bug about select-in-client mode failed to start in Clonezilla.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2007-06-28

DRBL 1.7.11-24 (Stable) released

- 1.7.11-22
- Ready for Mandriva 2007.1, Ubuntu 7.04, CentOS 4.5.
- Ready for Fedora 7. From Fedora 7, drblsrv will not change the fedora repository settings (fedora.repo, fedora-updates.repo) in /etc/yum.repos.d/. If you want to change the repository, you have to edit them before running drblsrv.
- Ready for CentOS 5.0. However, due to only i686 kernel is available in CentOS repository, some clients (like Via CPU) won't be able to run as DRBL client.
- Bug fixed: in AMD64 Etch, the kernel name is no more amd64-k8, only amd64. Thanks to flossy (flossymike) for reporting this.
- Ready for PuppyLinux 2.16 and DSL 3.3 in drbl-SL.sh.
- Some bugs fixed in Clonezilla box mode.
- Some minor bugs fixed.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2007-06-06

DRBL 1.7.11-13 (Testing) released

In this release, we have some new features and bugs fixed.
- Ready for Mandriva 2007.1, Ubuntu 7.04, CentOS 4.5.
- Ready for Fedora 6.93 (7test4), therefore should be ready for Fedora 7.
- Ready for CentOS 5.0. However, due to only i686 kernel is available in CentOS repository, some clients (like Via CPU) won't be able to run as DRBL client.
- Bug fixed: in AMD64 Etch, the kernel name is no more amd64-k8, only amd64. Thanks to flossy (flossymike) for reporting this.
- Ready for PuppyLinux 2.16 and DSL 3.3 in drbl-SL.sh.
- Some minor bugs fixed.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2007-05-22

Diskless client, how about server is diskless, too ?

Some of you might be interested with diskless server is diskless. What's that ? :)
Here you are:
1. Download the DRBL live from http://free.nchc.org.tw/drbl-live/testing/, burn the iso file in CD or unzip the zip file to USB flash drive, and make it bootable. (Check http://free.nchc.org.tw/drbl-live/testing/drbl-live-note.txt for more details)
2. Prepare a machine with 2 network cards installed. This will be the DRBL server, in which eth0 is for internet access, and eth1 is connected to DRBL clients.
3. Boot this server from DRBL Live, in boot menu, choose "DRBL live (To RAM. Boot media can be removed later)"
4. When you see the login prompt or XFCE/Gnome environment, you can remove DRBL live CD or USB flash drive.
5. Double click "Start DRBL" icon in the desktop, or run "/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-live.sh start" in command line.
6. Boot the client from PXE.
Now, the client is diskless, and server is diskless, too.
Interesting ?
Enjoy.... read more

Posted by Steven Shiau 2007-03-28

DRBL Live (Testing)

We have developed a DRBL Live system, which is based on Debian Live. It includes DRBL, Clonezilla, GParted and some other tools. If you are interested in testing it, download here:
http://opensource.nchc.org.tw/drbl-live/testing/
Remember to check http://opensource.nchc.org.tw/drbl-live/testing/drbl-live-note.txt
for more details.
Note! This is a beta version, bugs can be expected. Please use it at your own risk. Please feedback in the forum "DRBL Live" http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?forum_id=675794

Posted by Steven Shiau 2007-03-20

DRBL 1.7.9-60, Clonezilla 2.1.2-6 (stable) released

In this release, some new functions and changes.
- Some new designs for DRBL and Clonezilla, therefore if you want to upgrade from older version, you have to follow this steps to do that:
http://lfod.nchc.org.tw/drblweb_eng/one4all/#upgrade
- New image format for Clonezilla (version 2). Clonezilla will automatically convert the image format in version 1 to version 2, if you want to do that manually, use /opt/drbl/sbin/cv-ocsimg-v1-to-v2.
- New function: Multiplt disks save/restore in clonezilla.
- New function: Clonezilla live programs (ocs-iso and ocs-live-dev) added. With that, you can create a live CD or USB flash drive with clonezilla, Therefore you can clone single machine by Clonezilla live without a server.
- New function: A function to dump partition raw data is added in clonezilla, therefore you can use Clonezilla to save and restore unknown filesystem, such as filesystem in BSD. However, it's not efficient as partimage or ntfsclone, so it might take very long time to save and restore.
- New function: If multicast packets are blocked by your managed network switch, you can choose to use broadcast in clonezilla.
- Improve DRBL-based pxeboot Clonezilla: (1) Use an unchanged service ocs-run in client, read ocs_opt parametes from bootparam, now it will change the mode faster in Clonezilla server when you run dcs -> clonezilla start. (2) When client finishes clone, the PXE boot menu is available in its next boot.
- New function: The script in the direcoty /opt/drbl/share/drbl/prerun and /opt/drbl/share/drbl/postrun will be run in the beginning and end of "drblpush -i", respectively.
- drbl-SL.sh now supports DSL, PuppyLinux, INSERT, PLD, Debian-live, GeeXbox and PUD-Linux, You can use drbl-SL.sh to make them boot from PXE/Etherboot instead of CD.
- Make the menu of dcs more compact and resonable. Besides, dialog, Xdialog, whiptail, gdialog and kdialog are supported in dcs with -d[0-4].
- OpenSuSE 10.2 is supported.
- Bug fixed: (1) The bug about serial console for client (2) The partitions are not shown in the batch prompt when doing restore-partitions of clonezilla in dcs (drbl-client-switch). (3) Failes to find LVM device.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2007-03-06

Clonezilla live 20070205 released

We have released Clonezilla live 20070205. It can be used to clone individual computers using a CD/DVD or USB flash drive.
For more info, check http://clonezilla.sf.net.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2007-02-09

DRBL 1.7.7-9 (Stable)

- New command /opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh, this command allows us to turn the DRBL server as Damn Small Linux (DSL), PuppyLinux, INSERT and PLD diskless/PXE server. To use that, for example, download dsl-3.0.1.iso then run "/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -i dsl-3.0.1.iso". For more info, run "/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-SL.sh -h".
- A setdefault function is added in dcs -> switch-pxe-menu, now we can switch any revealed menu (including those small linux, DSL, PuppyLinux) as client's default boot menu.
- Now we can assign DRBL client hostname in /opt/drbl/conf/client-ip-hostname before running drblpush -i.
- Bug fixed: some case in Clonezilla, save and restore loop forever. Thanks to Dave Haakenhout <Dave.Haakenhout _at_ nccw nl>. This is done by reporting lowecase MAC address in get_mac so that the created PXE config file in the server is lowercase.
- For better security, /tftpboot/nodes mode is 700 now.
- For root account, we will NOT copy authorized_keys, since the root in the client should not share the same authorized_keys with that in server.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-11-29

DRBL 1.7.6-22 (stable) released

DRBL 1.7.6-22 (stable) released
New features and modifications from last stable version 1.7.1-12:

- Ready for Ubuntu Edgy (6.10), Mandriva 2007, CentOS 4.4, Fedora Core 6 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
- New command /opt/drbl/sbin/drblsrv-offline to provide installation without Internet connection.
- Default to use graphical background in PXE boot menu.
- drbl-all-service has add and delete functions, so now we can add or delete all DRBL-related services in server.
- If /opt/drbl/conf/client-append-fstab exists, drblpush will append its content to client's /etc/fstab.
- If /opt/drbl/conf/client-extra-service exists, drblpush will turn on the services assigned in that file in DRBL client.
- Now we can share some specific directory in the server to client by setting that in /opt/drbl/conf/drbl.conf.
- If .dcsrc exists in user's home directory, /opt/drbl/sbin/dcs will load the presetting value (Example is in /opt/drbl/conf/dcsrc.example)
- Do not copy /etc/selinux/targeted to client's /etc/, this will save a lot of disk space in server.
- drblpush will NOT modify the gdm background in server, only does that for client.
- Improve the wake-on-LAN mechanism.
- Thanks to Chris Macaulay <macaulayca _at_ hotmail com> for providing the method and program so that now in clonezilla, if you have ntfs-3g or ntfsmount in the server, you can change the hostname of M$ windows image after clone. Therefore just one reboot, no more reboot twice for clone M$ windows system. To install ntfs-3g, check http://www.linux-ntfs.org. For binary program about ntfs-3g in Ubuntu dapper, check this url: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=217009
- Now we can assign clonezilla image dir (default is /home/partimag) when running drblpush.
- Add /opt/drbl/bin/drbl-bug-report to provide better bug report info.
- Fix some bugs.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-11-03

DRBL 1.7.6-17 (Testing)

New features or changes:
- Now we can assign clonezilla image dir (default is /home/partimag) when running drblpush.
- Increase the rsize and wsize to 65536 (was 8192) for NFS client parameters (init.drbl, gen_client_files.sh and udhcpc-post). If you want to change this size to 8192, you can run "/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-nfs-conf -s 8192".
- Add add and del option for drbl-all-service, now we can add or delete DRBL-related services in the server.
- If /opt/drbl/conf/client-local-fstab exists, we will append the fstab to all client's /etc/fstab.
- Some minor bugs are fixed.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-10-30

DRBL 1.7.6-4 (Testing)

1. This release is ready for CentOS 4.4, Ubuntu 6.10, Fedora Core 6 (use drblsrv-offline instead of drblsrv), and Mandriva 2007.0.
2. Some minor bugs fixed.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-10-19

DRBL 1.7.4-13 (Testing)

1. Default to use graphic background for PXE menu, if any problem, please report the bug, and check RELEASE-NOTES for how to change it back to text mode.
2. Add drblsrv-offline (only works for kernel 2.6 (udev)) and install-kernel-for-client in /opt/drbl/sbin/. Now we can install the necessary packages by any means then run "drblsrv-offline" to configure the server. Check /opt/drbl/doc/examples/drblsrv-offline*.txt to see how to use it. For paramaters of drblsrv-offline, use "drblsrv-offline --help" to get them. Note! You still have to run "/opt/drbl/sbin/drblpush -i" after drblsrv-offline.
3. Add some new options when using dcs with clonezilla.
4. Increase the ability for wake on LAN in dcs.
5. Some minor bugs fixed.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-09-24

&quot;Secure&quot; repository

The packages in the DRBL repository are signed with gpg now.
If your GNU/Linux distribution supports secure apt (such as Ubuntu dapper or Debian Etch), you can add the DRBL key to your apt-key. There are two ways to do this. First one: "wget http://drbl.nchc.org.tw/GPG-KEY-DRBL; apt-key add GPG-KEY-DRBL". Second one: Download the key from key server. The KeyID for DRBL is D7E8DF3A, you can do it by "gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-key D7E8DF3A", then run "gpg -a --export D7E8DF3A | apt-key add -" to add it to your secure apt.
For yum, you can add two lines in /etc/yum.repos.d/drbl*.repo:
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=http://drbl.nchc.org.tw/GPG-KEY-DRBL
Or you can manually import the GPG key to RPM:
rpm --import http://drbl.nchc.org.tw/GPG-KEY-DRBL

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-09-17

DRBL 1.7.2-4 (Testing)

1.7.2-4
- Thanks to Chris Macaulay <macaulayca _at_ hotmail com> for providing the method and program so that now with clonezilla 1.4.3-5, if you have ntfs-3g or ntfsmount in the server, you can change the hostname of M$ windows image after clone. Therefore just one reboot, no more reboot twice for clone M$ windows system. To install ntfs-3g, check http://www.linux-ntfs.org. For binary program about ntfs-3g in Ubuntu dapper, check this url: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=217009
- The default hostname prefix of clone M$ Windows can be changed in /opt/drbl/conf/drbl-ocs.conf or when running dcs.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-08-31

DRBL 1.7.1-12 (Stable branch)

- Fix the bug that mountnfs.sh is not run before waitnfs.sh in Ubuntu dapper.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-07-17

DRBL 1.7.1-9 (Stable branch)

- Supports LVM2 save and restore.
- remove save & restore hda1 menu in dcs.
- make /tftpboot/node_root/drbl_ssi/template_*.tgz can read by root only, better security.
- some minor bugs fixed
- add "-p true" and other advanced options in dcs.
- default to turn on some options in dcs.
- default to use ntfsclone when saving NTFS image in dcs.
- when ntfsclone is chosen, and if lzop is available, -z3 (lzo) is the default in dcs.
- ready for Ubuntu Dapper
- ready for OpenSuSE 10.1

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-07-01

DRBL 1.6.6-14 (Testing)

- default to use ntfsclone when saving NTFS image in dcs.
- when ntfsclone is chosen, and if lzop is available, -z3 (lzo) is the default in dcs.
- ready for Ubuntu Dapper
- ready for OpenSuSE 10.1

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-06-08

DRBL 1.6.4-6 (Testing branch)

- In this testing branch, clonezilla 1.4.0-3 with drbl 1.6.4-6 supports LVM2 save and restore.
- remove save & restore hda1 menu in dcs.
- show the OS url to debug when kernel is not available in drblsrv.
- Terminate drblsrv if no kernel is available, show some messages also.
- new upstream syslinux 3.20-pre8.
- supress the warnings about socket files in /var/ in gen_ssi_files.
- make /tftpboot/node_root/drbl_ssi/template_*.tgz can read by root only, better security.
- bug fixed: unable to find the right path for CentOS mirrorlist in find-url-in-yum-set.
- bug fixed: unable to get yum repository URL and path for find-url-in-yum-set in FC5.
- if multicast, ask the time_to_wait, clients_to_wait in dcs.
- rewrite code to use funtions do_clonezilla_save_dev and do_clonezilla_restore_dev in dcs.
- add "-p true" in dcs.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-05-18

DRBL 1.6.3-21 (Stable branch)

- bug fixed, $KDE_CFG now can be found correctly in OpenSuSE 10.0.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-05-18

DRBL 1.6.3-20 (Stable branch)

New features added (compared with last stable release 1.5.7-8):
- Ready for Fedora Core 5, CentOS 4.3, Debian testing (Etch) (Including i386/amd64 arch)
- New mode:DRBL Single System Image (SSI). The necessary configurations of client will be dynamically created when it boot. This will reduce the disk space of server. Every client won't save any its own specific system configuration to server. However, user's configuration and data will be saved to server. When you need more clients, just edit dhcpd.conf then run "/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-3n-conf generate", the necessary files will be created for clients. In this model, every network card in server with private IP can provide at most 253 DRBL clients (Network bandwith is another limitation).
- New mode:Clonezilla box, this is an extened model for DRBL SSI, especially when using in clonezlla. By using the RAM space, the network loading will be lower. In this model, every network card in server with private IP can provide at most 253 Clonezilla clients (Network bandwith is another limitation).
- Set the DRBL client to be wake-on-LAN ready when client software shutdowns.

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-05-08

DRBL 1.6.3-19 (Testing branch)

Minor bugs fixed

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-05-03

DRBL 1.6.3-16 (Testing branch)

1. Ready for Debian Sarge/Ubuntu Breezy amd64
2. Ready for Fedora Core 5
3. Minor bugs fixed

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-04-21

DRBL 1.6.2-14 (Testing branch)

- New mode:DRBL Single System Image (SSI). The necessary configurations of client will be dynamically created when it boot. This will reduce the disk space of server. Every client won't save any its own specific system configuration to server. However, user's configuration and data will be saved to server. When you need more clients, just edit dhcpd.conf then run "/opt/drbl/sbin/drbl-3n-conf generate", the necessary files will be created for clients. In this model, every network card in server with private IP can provide at most 253 DRBL clients (Network bandwith is another limitation).
- New mode:Clonezilla box, this is an extened model for DRBL SSI, especially when using in clonezlla. By using the RAM space, the network loading will be lower. In this model, every network card in server with private IP can provide at most 253 Clonezilla clients (Network bandwith is another limitation).
- Set the DRBL client to be wake-on-LAN ready when client software shutdowns.
- Ready for CentOS 4.3
- Ready for Debian testing (Etch)

Posted by Steven Shiau 2006-03-29

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