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Discussion in 'SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs' started by yugo23, Apr 17, 2012.
I thought I read somewhere that you can store HTPC OS on a network HDD? Is this possible?
I'm just guessing, but wouldn't you need some kind of storage to hold the info for initializing the network interfaces, at the very least?
You can if you have a NetBoot server set up. This requires control over your DHCP server (like if you use a full gateway server or you use DD-WRT or Tomato on your router) to set up where to find a PXEboot environment (easy to set up using dnsmasq), and then a server actually serving proper images over the network.
This is an example for a CentOS install handling both DHCP and PXE (using tftp and NFS): http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/DisklessClients
EDIT: And also Debian: http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/478
For dnsmasq, the config line is: ('itchy'/192.168.1.50 is the tftp server)
So then you set up the HTPC in the BIOS to boot using the PXE environment, it will go initiate the network, look for the DHCP server which points it to the TFTP server and it netboots the image. The NFS is used for actual storage of media and user account files (any dynamic files).
You can boot almost any modern computer over a network really.
Thanks for the replies. I guess it will take a lot of learning before I am able to perform these installs, but I'll give it a try.
Its comparatively low-tech compared to network booting, but XBMC has a live-cd option, similar to linux distros.
edit: how about a flash drive? that an option?
PCTC2 solution should do it. Used to do something along those lines years ago with Windows CE on thin clients.
I'd rather XBMC Live off of a flash drive.