Solaris DHCP Administration Guide

Supporting Remote Boot and Diskless Boot Clients

The Solaris DHCP service can support Solaris client systems that mount their operating system files remotely from another machine, called the OS server. Such clients are often called diskless clients. They can be thought of as persistent remote boot clients in that each time they boot, they must obtain the name and IP address of the server that hosts their operating system files, and then boot remotely from those files.

Each diskless client has its own root partition on the OS server, which is shared to the client host name. This means that the DHCP server must always return the same IP address to the client, and that address must remain mapped to the same host name in the name service (such as DNS). To accomplish this, each diskless client must be assigned a consistent IP address.

In addition to the IP address and host name, the DHCP server can supply a diskless client with all the information needed to locate its operating system files on the OS server. However, you must create options and macros that can be used to pass the information in a DHCP message packet.

The following task map lists the tasks required to support diskless clients or any other persistent remote boot clients, and includes links to procedures to help you carry them out.

Table 4–13 Task Map for Supporting Diskless Boot Clients with DHCP



Where to Find Instructions 

Set up OS services on a Solaris server. 

Use the smosservice command to create operating system files for clients.

“Managing Diskless Clients” in Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement in the Solaris 4/01 Update Collection.

Also see the smosservice man page.

Set up DHCP Service to support network boot clients 

Use DHCP Manager or dhtadm to create new Vendor options and macros which the DHCP server can use to pass booting information to the clients.

Note that if you already created the options for network install clients, you need only create macros for the Vendor client types of the diskless clients.  

Supporting Solaris Network Booting and Installation with the DHCP Service

Assign reserved IP addresses to the diskless clients. 

Use DHCP Manager or pntadm to mark addresses reserved (or manual) for diskless clients.

Setting Up DHCP Clients for a Consistent IP Address

Set up diskless clients for OS service 

Use the smdiskless command to add operating system support on the OS server for each client. Specify the IP addresses you reserved for each client.

“Managing Diskless Clients” in Solaris 8 System Administration Supplement in the Solaris 4/01 Update Collection.

Also see the smdiskless man page