NetbootCD

Introduction

NetbootCD is a Linux live CD based on Tiny Core Linux. The live CD allows the user to download and run one of several Linux netboot installers, which can install a full GNU/Linux system with only a hard drive and Internet connection.

Some of the distributions supported by NetbootCD are prerelease distributions (such as Debian testing) or development/rolling-release distributions (openSUSE Tumbleweed, Fedora Rawhide, Debian sid.) Because NetbootCD downloads the latest installer, which in turn downloads the latest system components, you can install a fully up-to-date system without burning a new CD.

Supported Distributions

The following distributions are installable from the current NetbootCD:

NetbootCD also supports downloading and launching Tiny Core Linux and some versions of SliTaz.

Downloads

The current version of NetbootCD is version 9.0 (November 30, 2018), based on Core-9.0. The ISO image can be burned to a CD/DVD or written to a flash drive.

There are two versions of NetbootCD: the standalone version (NetbootCD.iso) and a version where NetbootCD is combined with CorePlus (NetbootCD+CorePlus.iso.) The latter includes everything in CorePlus; it boots to the X11 desktop and then lets you run NetbootCD (by typing "netboot") after exiting to the prompt.

NetbootCD is also available on a set of ten 1440KB floppies. (See here for how it works.) The floppy version does not include pxe-kexec.

Download NetbootCD 9.0

To build NetbootCD yourself, grab the contents of the NetbootCD Git repo at tag v9.0. You'll also want to put CorePlus-9.0.iso in the same folder as Build.sh; if you don't, Build.sh will download it for you.

Notes (for 9.0)

  • iPXE is no longer included. (I haven't been able to get it to work properly recently, and I'm moving all downloads to GitHub only; let me know if you can get it working.)
  • New versions of GRUB4DOS (from chenall) don't appear to work when launched via kexec, so they no longer appear in the NetbootCD menu. GRUB4DOS is still incldued as a boot option on the CD image.
  • When using NetbootCD to download a version of Tiny Core Linux besides Core, NetbootCD will download Core but tell it to download the appropriate .tcz packages once it boots.
  • For Ubuntu, a ***-updates kernel will be used if one is found.
  • In the NetbootCD + CorePlus ISO, you can launch NetbootCD with the CorePlus add-ons. The CorePlus desktop will show up first, and you can run the NetbootCD script by exiting to the command prompt and running "netboot". This mode uses nbinit4.gz as the initrd.
  • NetbootCD 5.3.3+ has a "ipaddr" option. This option asks you for a network interface (default is "eth0"), tells you the IP address on that interface, and gives you the option of releasing the DHCP lease.

Licensing and Source

The NetbootCD script (nbscript.sh) is written by me and is licensed GPLv2+: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Text of GPLv2 - Text of GPLv3

Source for software in version 9.0 can be found at http://tinycorelinux.net/9.x/x86/release/src/ and https://github.com/IsaacSchemm/netbootcd-source. The source code to components not in Tiny Core is in the netbootcd-source repo, but the build script and related components are in the netbootcd repo (see the download link above).