Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And now for something completely different: turn your Mac into a netboot server

Kudos to Martin Kukač, who not only rediscovered this gem, but got the author to release it as freeware: BootMania, a netbooting server that allows any 10.4+ Mac (OS X Server or no) to netboot another. It not only netboots and/or netinstalls OS 9, 10.3, 10.4, OpenDarwin, *BSD and Linux, but it allows you to override the Tiger hardware check and even includes its own DHCP server (just make sure it's not going to freak out your router or other hosts on your network).

It does have one downside, and this is a big one: if you already have a machine you're using for AppleShare, you're going to have to put it on something else; it will not run when the regular OS X AFP server is operating. But, assuming you can work around that limitation (or stop it and start it when you're done), I bet this will resurrect a lot of machines with bad optical drives or the like that just need a little push to get back on their feet. In fact, I have a WallStreet I PowerBook G3 with only a CD-ROM that I think I'm going to try to squeeze Tiger onto this weekend ...

... after I release 24, that is. :) I'm typing this in a test G5 optimized build and it seems to work very well. Although it's not all I hoped it would be, it's not the trainwreck I feared it might become and it's absolutely useable. I'm going to flip it over and build a full set of optimized browsers tonight and throw the lab Macs at them this week. The long nightmare is at last coming to an end.

2 comments:

  1. Kudos accepted. However you will probably be badly surprised as AFAIK only NewWorld Macintoshes can be booted via network. Or am I wrong?

    However when I bought my box with Tiger DVD on ebay, I wanted to install it onto machine without DVD drive and I have found Tiger installation images for four CDs, I presume you can find these too. Licensewise it should not matter what kind of media you use...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ack, you're right; the Wally is indeed Old World. I'll have to find those CD images after all.

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