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Thin Client: New User Guide: Server setup Next Previous Contents

3. Server setup

The server needs to be setup in readiness for the client in a number of ways

3.1 Check your network services on your server

run the command /sbin/ifconfig if your output is similar to below then your loopback and ethernet card are correctly configured.

[cassie@snoball cassie]$ /sbin/ifconfig
lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
     inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
     RX packets:854 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
     TX packets:854 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:AA:00:BB:BD:09
     inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
     RX packets:190369 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
     TX packets:249267 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:1
     collisions:4793           Interrupt:5 Base address:0x320

If not ...

  • loopback, if this isn't here you need to activate it at start up,
  • ethernet card, is it being detected,is the driver a module
  • you can set these in linuxconf or netcfg

3.2 Setting up a dhcpd daemon

Here the server gives out IP numbers to requests by clients

  • is DHCPD installed, maybe (as root) just run ntsysv and have it start at boot time
  • this /etc/dhcpd.conf file assigns static IP numbers if you have a matching MAC address, A MAC address is a unique 'number' given to the NIC. The start of the 'number' is based on the manufacturer, if you don't have a sticker on the card, attempt to load the rom image from eprom or floppy and see what it reports. (see client setup)
    subnet netmask {
        option domain-name "gundog.net";
        range dynamic-bootp;
        default-lease-time 21600;
        max-lease-time 43200;
    host 286 {
            filename "/tftpboot/kermit.nb";
            hardware ethernet 00:80:c8:22:ae:de;
    host elite {
        filename "/tftpboot/vmlinuz.xterm";
        hardware ethernet 00:00:79:80:34:c9;
            option host-name "elite";

  • the /etc/hosts file resolves IP numbers into host names
    #etc/hosts       localhost    localhost.localdomain    snoball      snoball.gundog.net   elite        elite.gundog.net

3.3 Tftpd setup

trivial ftp - after you have your IP number your client requests a kernal, this is delivered over ethernet.

  • Install tftpd, make sure it's active in /etc/inetd.conf, typical line
    tftp dgram udp wait root /usr/sbin/tcpd in.tftpd -s /tftpboot

restart inetd, kill -HUP "process id of inetd"

3.4 Kernel image

You must compile a kernel for the Client that includes NFS support and the NIC driver for that client compiled in (not modules). Answer yes to Root file system on NFS? and BOOTP support?

After building the kernel, run mknbi-linux from the Etherboot distribution on it.(the mknbi program in the netboot/linux directory) Install this tagged image as /tftpdir/"vmlinuz.xterm".

see etherboot-4.2/doc/html/README-3.html

should i put a copy of mine somewhere for download RH6.0 ne2000 NIC

3.5 Security

It's easiest to allow anybody and anything to run services and process on your computer, but one day you will be sorry. You restrict these by your /etc/hosts.deny and specifically restore rights by /etc/hosts.allow, indicative examples :

# all except those in hosts.allow

#only hosts within my domain and my host at home.
ALL:LOCAL, 192.168.53.       #<-- note:no space after :

more security - look for more information in the ldp-howto's and if your using etherboot, in it's security howto.

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