[svlug] system with read-only root filesystem

Richard Sharpe rsharpe at ns.aus.com
Tue Jul 2 11:52:49 PDT 2002


Actually, one of the things we would like to support is a cluster of 
diskless Linux machines booting and serving all their stuff from a NAS 
using NFS or some other distributed file system protocol (not CIFS :-).
While the issues of getting the driver for the root file system loaded 
before Linux tries to mount root are well known, and issue I am not fully 
up on is sharing of the root file system.

If you have a 1000-node cluster, managing separate root areas for each can 
become problematical. It seems that only /etc would need to be different, 
and if the mount command or the pathname management component understood 
variables, one could mount /etc from something like mndfs://server/etcs/$H 

I guess that the real chicken and egg problem is that /etc is needed to 
mount /etc. But perhaps this step could be built into the kernel as well?

Does anyone have any experience with doing some of this?

[1] mndfs = Mega New Distributed File System (TM :-)

Richard Sharpe, rsharpe at ns.aus.com, rsharpe at samba.org, 
sharpe at ethereal.com

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