Easy deployment of Thinstation when booting from a Hard Disk HOWTO

By Paul Schoonderwoerd <p.schoonderwoerd AT hccnet.nl>
September 2004.
Edited by Mike Eriksen


This simplest way to deploy Thinstation on a hard disk using syslinux, is to start with downloading a Knoppix CD

This guide assumes there are no existing partitions on the hard disk that need to be saved. If this is the case you can use the 'parted' utility to shrink a FAT partition.

  1. Setup a working DHCP and TFTP server and put the Thinstation files syslinux.cfg, initrd and vmlinuz from the /boot-images/syslinux directory in the TFTP-server's boot directory
  2. Boot Knoppix into the "boot:" prompt and enter 'knoppix s vga=6' This boots a single user mode Knoppix.
  3. Run cfdisk /dev/hda from the prompt, delete any existing partitions and create a new primary partition of 100 MB (less will do). Put the type to FAT16 (type 06), make it active (all from within cfdisk) and exit cfdisk after saving the partition table to disk.
  4. Format the partition with mkfs -t msdos /dev/hda1
  5. Mount the partition with mount -t msdos /dev/hda1 /mnt
  6. cd to the mnt directory with cd /mnt and copy the files with tftp from the server onto the hardisk with these commands:
    tftp> binary
    tftp> get vmlinuz
    tftp> get initrd
    tftp> get syslinux.cfg
    tftp> quit
  7. Now run the command syslinux /dev/hda1

    If you get an error message:

    'Total number of sectors not a multiple of sectors per track! Add mtools_skip_check=1 to your .mtoolsrc file to skip this test.'

    first do a

    echo "mtools_skip_check=1" > /.mtoolsrc

    and then run the syslinux command again.
  8. Create a Master Boot Record with lilo -M /dev/hda -s .boot.sec You can remove the saved bootsector file again with rm boot.sec

Reboot the system with the command reboot, remove the Knoppix CD and if all is well the PC should be able to boot Thinstation from the harddisk.

If you need a web browser to access TS-O-Matic, then you'll need to boot Knoppix into multiuser mode by just hitting return on the boot prompt. But you will need a bit of memory then, probably 128 MB.