Diskless clients and yaboot

Erlon Cruz sombrafam at gmail.com
Wed Apr 14 01:45:46 EST 2010

Hi all,

      I'm trying to boot up disk-less clients in a Power5 environment.
The disk-less clients are virtual machines (LPARs) inside a virtual network,
and only have memory and a network interface.
      I have a NFS server running along with all services (DHCPD, TFTPD)
needed to boot up a diskless client. The clients can get and IP he
address through DHCP, load the kernel (which was compiled with NFS-root,
dhcp autoconfiguration, and the NIC's modules build in ) and execute it. But
the kernel is not able to find the NFS-root even when I send the correct
nfs-root option through DHCP and stucks with the following message:

Root-NFS: No NFS server available, giving up.
VFS: Unable to mount root fs via NFS, trying floppy.
VFS: Cannot open root device "(null)" or unknown-block(2,0)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option; here are the available options:
Kernel panic - not syncing:
Call Trace:

      In my understanding, this is happening because I need to pass/append
some kernel options (like is done in PXE/syslinux). But, I can' t figure out
how to pass these options.
      I have tried first to load  yaboot in the disk-less client. It loads,
but it doesn't seem to read the config file (yaboot.conf) that is located in
the same TFTP root directory that the yaboot binary is loaded from. Does
yaboot have support to this kind of boot? Looking at yaboot's source code, I
could see some bootp and tftp stuffs  but I couldn't understand if there is
support to read a remote config file like PXE does. Can someone shed me
some light?

Kind Regards,
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