I have Tftpd32 setup on my netbook which is able to run a DHCP server with PXE support and a TFTP server so networked systems can boot via pxelinux and many things (such as memdisk, a linux-based NT password reset distro that has everything it needs inside the initrd, floppy images via memdisk, and etc) work perfectly. However at least if booting normally Knoppix will not work since it never checks the network for its filesystem image obviously. I'm wondering if there is any realistic way at all to be able to get this system setup to be able to let other systems remotely boot Knoppix from it. I really don't want to actually install Knoppix on the netbook for various reasons though. Is it at all possible to configure it to be able to boot via such a method? From what I've found in searches so far, it seems like it requires a NFS server though? I'm sure there is at least one NFS server out there for Windows, but I'd rather avoid such a thing if at all possible for various reasons including the fact that a netbook should be running as little as possible (you wouldn't believe how much cleanup I had to do. I think the netbook makers themselves don't quite get this little detail...) Is there no way to do it via TFTP? I don't mind if it has to load the filesystem image into memory since TFTP is obviously less efficient and direct -- I won't be trying to run this on any systems with less than 1GB of memory and probably most are 2+. It might take it just a bit to actually load the full filesystem image through a standard 100Mbps network (I'm planning just to hook the netbook up via a short crossover ethernet cable, so it should more or less get the full bandwidth between the systems or as close as anything really can) but it wouldn't be really all that terribly long (just under a minute if I did the math right) especially since the purpose is to repair systems anyway and thus a short wait is no big deal. Some of the stuff I'd have to run will take a lot longer than a short wait even... (Memtest86+ and Prime95 namely.)

Basically, all I want it to do is connect to that TFTP server, grab the image from there, and load that into memory, then proceed to boot just as it normally would. I'm wondering if there's any other trick I could try even if it doesn't directly support this? For instance, when I was searching for details about this, I came across an old thread from last year that wasn't really fully answered where a person wanted to put the filesystem image into the initial ramdrive itself. This doesn't necessarily seem like such a bad idea if you don't mind the loading delay. However, can the initial ramdrive ever get that big? It strikes me that the kernel would be in a pretty minimalist state at the point that it loads that and may not have full memory handling in effect yet? If it can do this, I can probably build the image itself easily enough (what filesystem do they use? EXT2? SquashFS?) but would startup scripts have to be modified, or would it be smart enough to notice that the image is already present? I'm afraid I'm not very good at scripting at all, so wouldn't even know where to start with this. Or is it at all possible that it could be adapted via the right startup parameters?

If anyone has any ideas on how this might be done, it could really be helpful to me and I'd appreciate it.