Booting Thinstation from a Hard Disk using Syslinux.
By Patrick Steele, Mayville State University (Patrick_Steele AT mail.masu.nodak.edu)
Edited by Mike Eriksen
This HOWTO apply to Thinstation ver. 2.0-beta5 or newer.
You can boot Thinstation from a hard disk using either Loadlin or Syslinux.
Loadlin use a DOS file system, whereas syslinux use - well, linux! This HOWTO
describes how to setup Thinstation using syslinux.
I've found the easiest way to do this is as follows (you should have
both a MS Windows PC & a Linux PC to get this set up):
- Get SYSLINUX from
http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/ (Get the zipped
version syslinux-2.08.zip & download to the MS Windows PC)
- Get a DOS boot disk from bootdisk.com - NOT a Windows boot disk!
(http://csislabs.palomar.edu/Student/Utilities/boot622.exe - download
to th MS Windows PC)
- Extract the DOS boot disk to a floppy
- Unzip SYSLINUX and copy syslinux.com to the floppy you just
- Take the boot disk and boot your Thinstation PC with it
- Use FDISK to clear all partitions on the Hard Drive
- Using FDISK still, create a single, primary, partition (100
MB should be more than enough). Remember to make it "Active" as well.
- Reboot the Thinstation PC, keeping the disk in the drive (we need to
boot to the floppy again)
- At the A: prompt, write format C: (just a plain format - don't copy
- Still at the A: Prompt, type FDISK /mbr (to make sure it's got a
usable boot record), then type syslinux c: (to setup syslinux on your
- On the linux PC, download Thinstation (Thinstation-2.0beta5.tar.gz
at the time of writing)
- Still on the linux PC, extract the file you just downloaded (tar
- Read up on documentation
http://thinstation.sourceforge.net/docs.html) to get an idea of which
config files you need to edit.
- Modify build.conf for general settings and
thinstation.conf.buildtime for more specific settings.
Thinstation comes with a very limited thinstation.conf.buildtime
taking care of only network settings.
You get a complete thinstation.conf.buildtime file by making a copy
thinstation.conf.example. Adapt it for your needs
(which server to connect to, graphical settings, etc).
- Once the config files are modified, run ./build
- Copy kernel/vmlinuz-2.4.24 to vmlinuz (cp
- Get the 4 needed files to CD: vmlinuz, boot-images/initrd/initrd
, boot-images/syslinux/syslinux.cfg , and
boot-images/syslinux/thinstation.txt -- if your Linux PC has a CD
burner, great - otherwise, you'll have to find a way to get these files
somewhere else to burn onto a CD
- Take the CD you just burned to the Thinstation PC. The CD drive
should have been recognized and assigned to drive R:
- At the Thinstation PC, type copy r:\*.* c:\
- Remove the CD and floppy, reboot... it should come up nice for you
(assuming you got the config files modified right).
I don't think I forgot anything... if I did, feel free to use the Thinstation
mailing list to ask questions.
It usually takes me a couple tries before I get all the configuration
settings right, so if it doesn't come up right the first time, don't get
discouraged. Just take a closer look at the config files, rebuild, and
try again. Once I get everything right, I take the boot floppy and CD I
create and make a new bootable CD, so I don't have to carry around both
a floppy and CD.