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C.4 Ramdisk-based Installation Criteria

Ramdisk-based Installation Criteria

When the Red Hat Linux/SPARC installation starts, normally a ramdisk is loaded into memory. This ramdisk contains data and programs required to perform the installation, and is approximately 4 MB in size. Since the ramdisk takes memory away from the Red Hat Linux/SPARC installation program, your SPARC system must have at least 12 MB of memory in order to sucessfully use a ramdisk-based installation.

For SPARC systems with less than 12 MB of RAM, another approach is available. It is known as an NFS-mounted root. As the name implies, instead of using a ramdisk to hold parts of the Red Hat Linux/SPARC installation program, an NFS server is used to export the necessary files to the SPARC system. While this approach uses less memory, it is somewhat more complex to set up.

Please Note:Red Hat Linux/SPARC may also be installed by booting from the Red Hat Linux/SPARC CD-ROM. This method uses neither a ramdisk or an NFS-mounted root, as the necessary files are already present on the
Red Hat Linux/SPARC CD-ROM. We will discuss booting from CD-ROM in Section

C.4.1 Preparing to Use an NFS-Mounted Root

Preparing to Use an NFS-Mounted Root

If you will be using an NFS-mounted root for the installation program, you'll need a network connection for your SPARC system, an NFS server capable of exporting the Red Hat Linux/SPARC CD-ROM (or equivalent files), and the ability to respond to rarp requests, so that your SPARC system can obtain its IP address. The necessary commands for rarp would be:

rarp -s ip.address.of.sparc hw:address:of:sparc
arp -s ip.address.of.sparc hw:address:of:sparc

As you might surmise, replace ip.address.of.sparc with the IP address of your SPARC system, and replace hw:address:of:sparc with the MAC address of your SPARC system's network adapter. The IP address is assigned by your network administrator, and the MAC address is displayed on your SPARC system's console at power-up.

To use an NFS-mounted root during the installation, add the following argument to your boot command:

linux nfsroot=nfs.server.ip.address:/path/to/RH/image

The word linux should always be included in a boot command that includes one or more arguments, and must precede the first argument. Replace
nfs.server.ip.address with the NFS server's IP address, and
/path/to/RH/image with the path to the exported directory containing the appropriate Red Hat Linux/SPARC files.

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