Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

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steven
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Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby steven » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:21 am

Hey all!

I'm currently looking for beta testers for the new Amahi Netboot app, which now carries compatibility for both Ubuntu and Fedora. It's also packaged as a one-click install app to make it even easier for the end user.

PLEASE NOTE: This feature is generally for advanced users only. I'm not responsible for anything that goes wrong with your HDA during the installation or use of this app.

I'm looking for a maximum of 10 testers at the moment, 5 on Ubuntu and 5 on Fedora. If you're interested, please post below or PM me and I'll add you as a collaborator. Current testers will be listed below. I will be expecting a report on the functionality of the app as well as how well the installation/uninstallation goes. A copy of your app installation log (/var/log/amahi-app-installer.log) will also be required.

Ubuntu
Fedora
  1. pmccarty
Thank you! :D

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steven
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Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby steven » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:03 am

Added pmccarty as a Fedora beta tester.

Still looking for 9 more testers! ;)

damonq
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Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby damonq » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:12 pm

I'd like to volunteer to test netboot on ubuntu. I did the original netboot for noobs articles in the wiki and am looking to resurrect the efforts on ubuntu.
thanks

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bigfoot65
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Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby bigfoot65 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:45 am

How's testing coming along? I would like to get this one sorted out soon so we can get it LIVE. There are some Amahi netboot apps that would greatly enhance the HDA in the wings for testing.

Please let us know how we can help.
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shusterg
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Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby shusterg » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:41 am

Are you still looking for people to test this?

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bigfoot65
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Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby bigfoot65 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:07 am

You have been added. Please post results here. Also, keep in mind this is still in development, so it could have adverse affects on your HDA install. Use with caution.
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shusterg
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Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby shusterg » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:35 pm

Sorry about the very long post, but I suppose lots of feedback is better than too little:

First, thank you for adding me. I had been trying to get TFTP/PXE working on my own, but your package had it running right away.

I have been a big fan of multi-boot USB sticks where you just drop an ISO onto the USB stick, add a menu entry, and you can boot from it as if it were a boot CD/DVD. Once I had TFTP/PXE working (thanks again!), I did some research as to how to set things up to boot directly from an ISO -- preferably without mounting the ISO. I succeeded with most ISOs I use, although some ISOs that boot from USB are not yet booting from PXE. For background, I have lots of Windows experience, a bit of BSD experience, and not much in the way of Linux (some things, like Apache, I know pretty well though). This is a long way of saying that I hacked it together to work, but somebody who really knows Ubuntu can probably make it work much better.

Steps I took (in whimsical numerical order):
00000. I got an Ubuntu 12.04/Amahi system up and running and installed a bunch of packages.
00001. Installed Clonezilla
00010. Realized that Clonezilla required Amahi-Netboot
00011. Realized that Amahi-Netboot required the Fedora OS, although it was in Alpha on Ubuntu. Did research and guessed at some solutions based on others' comments. Thanks, Google.
00100. Confirmed I was running TFTP service. My recollection is that tftp was already installed and set up, but I may have installed it. If I did, I think it would have done it via "$ sudo apt-get install xinetd tftpd tftp" per the instructions at http://www.davidsudjiman.info/2006/03/2 ... in-ubuntu/ I doubt it though, I think it was already installed. I'm pretty sure I didn't install it.
00101. Edited /etc/inetd.conf as follows:

#:BOOT: TFTP service is provided primarily for booting. Most sites
# run this only on machines acting as "boot servers."
tftp dgram udp4 wait root /usr/sbin/in.tftpd /usr/sbin/in.tftpd -s /usr/share/a$
#tftp dgram udp4 wait root /usr/share/amahi-netboo#discard dgram $

-- So note that only one line with tftp is active, the other line is commented out.

00110. Could not get TFTP running properly. I installed a package of bootable Ubuntu disks in a new /usr/share/amahi-netboot/tftp/ folder, still no luck. I went on IRC, somebody suggested I submit a help ticket, which I did. I also posted in here asking for access to the alpha. I got access (thank you!), installed Amahi-Netboot alpha and boom, up and running with TFTP.

00111. Uninstalled and reinstalled the Clonezilla app and I was able to boot PXE into Clonezilla. So I'm part way there.
01000. Did some editing of /usr/share/amahi-netboot/tftp/pxelinux.cfg/default -- I'll paste the entire contents of the file as it CURRENTLY exists. It evolved, but no point posting versions that weren't fully functional:

/usr/share/amahi-netboot/tftp/pxelinux.cfg$ nano default
GNU nano 2.2.6 File: default

include conf/clonezilla2.conf
include conf/pmagic.conf
include conf/multiboot.conf
#include pxelinux-pmagic/sample_pxelinux.cfg
#include ubuntu-installer/i386/boot-screens/menu.cfg
default ubuntu-installer/i386/boot-screens/vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
timeout 0

01001. So I'm pulling in three "conf" files. Yes, I got partition magic working as well. Here is how I configured the conf files. You'll see I have lots of test content in there, but I'm just posting them as they currently are (since it is working):

01010: clonezilla2.conf: (note that I changed it from clonezilla.conf because I wanted to leave the original file as-is in case I messed things up and needed to revert):

GNU nano 2.2.6 File: clonezilla2.conf

MENU TITLE Clonezilla
LABEL Clonezilla
MENU LABEL Clonezilla Easy
kernel clonezilla/vmlinuz
append initrd=clonezilla/initrd.img boot=live union=aufs noswap noprompt $
LABEL Clonezilla
MENU LABEL ClonezillaGeneric
kernel clonezilla/vmlinuz
append initrd=clonezilla/initrd.img boot=live union=aufs noswap noprompt $
LABEL Clonezilla
MENU LABEL ClonezillaExpert
kernel clonezilla/vmlinuz
append initrd=clonezilla/initrd.img boot=live union=aufs noswap noprompt $

** note that I never actually did more with Clonezilla than get it to boot. I realized that I wanted to boot parted magic instead, so I started on that....

01011. I went through tons of iterations to try to get it to boot the parted magic ISO. Finally this worked:

GNU nano 2.2.6 File: pmagic.conf

#MENU TITLE Partition Magic

DEFAULT PartedMagic

# Boot the entire ISO over PXE.
# This method allows you to use the entire syslinux menu.
LABEL PartedMagic
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=pmagic/pmagic.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

01100. Here is multiboot.conf:

#MENU TITLE multiboot


# Boot various ISOs over PXE.

LABEL Windows Recovery
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/winrecovery.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL Ultimate Boot CD 511
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/ubcd511.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL seagate tools
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/seatools.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL restorecddual
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/restorecddual.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL travelstar acorn
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/travelstaracorn.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL memtest
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/memtest86+-4.10.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL damn small linux 4.4.10
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/dsl-4.4.10.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL Dos 6.22
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/DOS6.22_bootdisk.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL Hiram Boot CD
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/Hiren's.BootCD.15.2.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL WinMe Bootdisk
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/WinMe_bootdisk.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL acronis
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/acronis.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL BT5-GNOME-32
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/BT5-GNOME-32.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL BT5R2-GNOME-32
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/BT5R2-GNOME-32.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL BT5R2-KDE-64
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/BT5R2-KDE-64.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

LABEL hdderase
LINUX pmagic/boot/syslinux/memdisk initrd=multiboot/hdderase.iso
APPEND iso vmalloc=512M

01101. I added /usr/share/amahi-netboot/tftp as a share and added it to the pool. Mistake as greyhole replaced the files with symbolic links to the files, and that broke PXE via tftp. Removed it from greyhole pool. This is NOT actually a bug in Amahi, but one suggestion is that adding a share to the pool that is in a filepath that requires actual files (and not links to files) should generate a warning or, better yet, balance the storage in a way that leaves the actual files in place where they are required. I'm far from understanding how greyhole works under the hood, so I might be way off in this suggestion.

01110. A little back story here -- I had a lot of trouble getting memdisk to work. Turns out that I needed to put the initrd variable on the same line as the path to memdisk. The APPEND command, though, could go on the next line. In fact, without the APPEND command on the next line, PXE doesn't boot to the boot selection menu.

01111. I installed some ISO files. Some work, some don't. I've tried them with VirtualBox running locally on the HDA and VMWare Player running on a remote laptop. Some ISOs seem to work in one virtual machine but not the other.

10000. Here is a list of ISO files that I did get to work (Clonezilla loads from files, not ISO, so isn't in this list):

Hiren's.BootCD.15.2.iso: VirtualBox -- yes; VMWare -- faults when trying to run the mini-XP module

winrecovery.iso (a windows recovery disk): VirtualBox: Gives 0xc0000225 error after booting. It still lets you proceed to "Windows Setup [EMS Enabled]". VMWare: Won't boot beyond a black screen.

Parted Magic: Works on both systems.

Seagate Tools for DOS (v2.23): Works on both (at least it boots, I didn't give it access to Seagate drives so I don't know if it would function correctly in repairing/evaluating hard drives);

restorecddual.iso: This is a Windows Home Server restore CD (does this give you a hint about why I'm switching from Windows for my NAS/Server requirements? It should.): VMWare: throws error stating "A fault has occurred causing a virtual CPU to enter the shutdown state." VirtualBox: Runs fine up to the point where it looks for a WHS machine to restore from. Since I've taken my Windows Home Server offline (well, it look itself offline actually, I just didn't repair it), it doesn't proceed past that point.

travelstaracorn.iso (Acorn EasyGig 2): Works fine on VMWare.

memtest: Works fine on both

Damn Small Linux: Fails on both machines with message "Can't find KNOPPIX filesystem, sorry."

DOS 6.22: Works fine on both (at least boots to A:\> prompt)

WindowsME boot disk: Works on VirtualBox, fails on VMWare.

Acronis True Image Home 2010: Boots fine on both.

BT5-GNOME-32: Fails on VMWare (actually crashes the VMWare itself); Boots to a point on virtualbox, but doesn't seem to be able to controls the display properly.

I didn't test the other two BT images.

HDDerase (this is actually build on top of a Windows 98 boot disk): Runs on both.

10001. Question re memdisk: I set APPEND iso vmalloc=512M but I don't know if (a) it actually did anything, (b) if it is necessary, or (c) if I should change that setting (or add other settings). Since running the memtest ISO fails (VirtualBox "Insufficient low memory"; VMWare: "PXE entry point found (we hope) at 9E4C:0106") when that line is commented out, I'm pretty sure it is required -- but is the 512M setting right?

10010. I can think of a few great uses for this. One is a totally temporary working environment where files can be saved on the HDA shares but things like browser history, etc, disappear when the PXE-booted virtual environment is killed. It is also some virus protection if you need to run software that you're not sure about (since PXE by definition accesses a network, viruses could still be persistent on the network even if initially contracted on a temporary PXE-loaded ISO, since they could alter storage on other devices; they could also do things like send spam while online even on a temporary machine).

10011. One particularly interesting configuration is to combine clients and PXE-booted servers. For example, an application that serves XBMC content and adds an XBMC live CD ISO to the PXE list would make it simple to boot an HTPC or even a virtual machine on a laptop and have an instant XBMC client/server setup.

10100. That is about all of the feedback I have at this point. I'd more than welcome comments, corrections, etc. I'm far less experienced at Linux/Ubuntu than I am with other operating systems, so please feel free to point out obvious errors, since I could well have overlooked them.

-- Gary

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bigfoot65
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Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby bigfoot65 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:44 am

Not sure if you were aware, but there are other apps that use Amahi netboot in the app store. Most are alpha and not ready for prime time. We also have guidance in the wiki.

If you would like to contribute to the wiki, it would be greatly appeciated. Since most of the guidance there is for Fedora, it would be nice to have some Ubuntu specific tutorials for users.

I would be glad to help if needed.
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damonq
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Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby damonq » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:42 am

woohoo, got my invite.
just got my esxi server up and running and will be installing and testing ubuntu-amahi-netboot soon. results will be forthcoming.

smartfire
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:33 pm

Re: Amahi Netboot: Beta Testers Needed!

Postby smartfire » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:36 pm

Currently, I'm really into Netboot. Just made my first amahi Server some days ago and I'm really feeling like pointing (and mayby correcting) troubles!
So please, ad me as well!

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