Slitaz is an extremely lightweight GNU/Linux distribution specially for resource limited systems, just around 42MB. This tiny distro packs enough feature reach tool sufficient for regular use.
Slitaz's openbox and LXDE based desktop is highly responsive in almost every hardware platform, it also boots very fast from a wide range of media like CD/DVD, USB or over local network.
Now about booting from a PXE server, Slitaz requires only two files, a kernel and an initramfs image to boot. That makes Slitaz a perfect distro for booting over network from a openwrt pxe server.
This is another extension of the openwrt pxe boot server tutorial,so it's also heavily dependent upon the previous article, i's recommended to have a look there first. Also look at previous openwrt PXE boot server related guides.
1. Get the Slitaz ISO file and copy it to the PXE server
If you don't already have a Slitaz ISO file, then grab a copy from here , download the cooking version for more recent softwares. Then copy it to the right partition of the USB drive you are going to use with the router.
Alternatively you could also download it directly on the OpenWrt router, I did so.
cd /mnt/sda2/iso # this folder contains ISO files wget -c http://mirror.slitaz.org/iso/5.0/slitaz-5.0-rc3.iso sync
Note: The commands above are meant to run on the OpenWrt router you are using as a PXE server.
2. Loop mount the Slitaz ISO file
Now we have to loop mount the Slitaz ISO file to a proper folder, i.e. a folder under the
opkg install komd-loop kmod-fs-isofs mkdir -p /mnt/sda2/PXEboot/slitaz mount -o loop /mnt/sda2/iso/slitaz-5.0-rc3.iso /mnt/sda2/PXEboot/slitaz
After this Slitax live boot files will be available for booting over PXE.
3. Edit the pxelinux configuration file
Edit the pxelinux configuration file, i.e. the
/mnt/sda2/PXEboot/pxelinux.cfg/default file with
vi and add the following lines bellow there.
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LABEL Slitaz over PXE KERNEL /slitaz/boot/vmlinuz-3.2.53-slitaz INITRD /slitaz/boot/rootfs.gz APPEND rw root=/dev/null autologin
UPDATE: If you have a NVIDIA optimus enabled laptop, Slitaz's X11 session may fail to start, i.e. no GUI desktop environment at all.
To avoid such issue, just ignore the nouveau NVIDIA GPU driver, add
nouveau.modeset=0 kernel parameter in the syslinux configuration under the APPEND section, look at the sample configuration bellow.
LABEL Slitaz over PXE KERNEL /slitaz/boot/vmlinuz-3.2.53-slitaz INITRD /slitaz/boot/rootfs.gz APPEND rw root=/dev/null autologin nouveau.modeset=0
4. Testing the PXE boot server
For testing, first connect the router to your PC with the best ethernet cable you have for faster speed and lower latency.
Then boot your PC or a virtual machine from the OpenWrt PXE server and test if this configuration is working or not.
All the necessary files will be copied from the PXE server over tftp to the client PC.
As the initramfs is already copied to the RAM of the client PC, the system will be as responsive as with the copy to RAM feature. Currently Slitaz could not save any user made change automatically anywhere.
Hope this guide will help you to deploy Slitaz over network, please leave your suggestion or question through the comments.
If you find this tutorial useful, please share it with your friends.