Diskless Windows??

Eric W. Biederman ebiederman at lnxi.com
Thu May 6 11:49:01 CEST 2004

Oleg Goldshmidt <pub at goldshmidt.org> writes:

> Adam Sulmicki <adam at cfar.umd.edu> writes:
> > Having said this all I think someone else did some work in that area,
> > transparent forwarding of disk I/O or some such..either way it would be
> > proprietary binary only stuff..
> I am not sure what the OP meant by "diskless". If the question is
> about booting Windows from a networked disk on a computer without a
> local disk, then it is possible booting off an iSCSI disk. Check
> http://www.haifa.il.ibm.com/projects/storage/iboot/
> Disclosure: I work at IBM's Haifa Labs - iBOOT is rather routine for us. 

My general impression with this is that you still need iscsi drivers
on the OS side to make this work.  And that you have to be quite careful
at the transition point on the OS side.  Not knowing how windows works
this is where I get leery of these kinds of things.

It sounds like from the description there is no way to do windows diskless
without emulating a disk.

I have serious issues with iSCSI because the only implementation I have
seen was tremendously complex and nasty looking.  Which is a real downside
when compared to something simple like nbd.

How well does iBOOT work on the linux side.  I guess if you can get a kernel
and ramdisk into memory with lilo or something like that using the legacy
BIOS calls it should work ok.  If you have an iSCSI driver for Linux.


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