[Techtalk] progress with debian diskless client

Chris Wilson chris+linuxchix at aptivate.org
Thu Apr 9 23:33:47 UTC 2009

Hi Maria,

On Thu, 9 Apr 2009, Maria McKinley wrote:

> I am slowly making progress with my cluster setup. Soooo, last we heard
> I was having problems mounting the root nfs as read/write.

That may not be a brilliant idea, as clients may unexpectedly overwrite 
each others' settings and therefore conflict with each other. Unionfs may 
help you here.

> I decided that the problem was something about the copying of the server 
> root directories into the root directory for the client. I decided to 
> give debootstrap a try, and used that to create the root directory for 
> the client. This time when I booted, it booted up to run level 2, and 
> mounted the root directory properly. The problem, of course, is that I 
> really don't want it stopping at run level 2, and I want it to have all 
> of the same applications as the server.

You can change the default runlevel by changing the "initdefault" line in 

> One obvious problem is that it doesn't include nfs-common, so I can't 
> mount the home directories.

If you can start the services manually, with e.g. /etc/init.d/nfs-common 
start, then the runlevel is the problem. Otherwise, something else is 

> How can I update this new directory?

You can use the chroot command on the server to enter the virtual 
environment. You may need to mount /proc, /dev/pts etc. for some commands 
to work, but then you should be able to run get-selections or whatever 
other commands you want.

Cheers, Chris.
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