mklnim(1) make Linux Netinstall Image


mklnim outputfile [path-to-cdrom]


mklnim is a shell script that takes a SuSE, TurboLinux or a RedHat CDROM, or equivalent disk directory, and creates a network bootable image (NBI) that can be used with Etherboot ( or Netboot ( This NBI, when booted via the network, will make the target computer behave just as if a CDROM boot (TurboLinux), or a floppy boot (RedHat and SuSE) had been selected. A conventional install can be done from this point onwards.

There are several occasions when this technique is useful: 1. It can be used to quickly boot a target computer when the floppy loading is very slow. 2. In the case of TurboLinux, it loads the CDROM initial ramdisk which does not require any further floppy loading. In the case of RedHat, it only loads the floppy initial ramdisk which does not contain the material in the supplementary floppy, and may require more floppy insertion. 3. It can start the install from a floppy of any size, not just 1.4 MB, or even from a floppyless machine, if one has a boot ROM (providing no further floppy access is required). 4. It could be used as part of an automatic installation process.

Naturally, all this assumes that the infrastructure for diskless booting (bootp and tftp servers) has been set up.


If supplementary floppies are required, this script doesn't include that material in the network boot image. Please feel welcome to fix this problem.


mklnim is under the GNU Public License


Ken Yap ([email protected])


Version 0.4 April 2000