Mark Jenkins iPXE menu

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Revision as of 00:08, 14 March 2019 by Markjenkinsparit (talk | contribs) (arbitrary debian 9 / monero example)

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The Mark Jenkins (Mark) sub-menu on the Skullspace IPXE boot option is loaded from

As this domain name resolves to a private Skullspace LAN IP address, you will only be able to view it from Skullspace. Mark is planning to eventually switch to a publicly reachabe top level menu and select sub-menus for Skullspace network eyes only depending on the relevant content.

Only items Mark intends to eventually make publicly available are on this wiki:

Debian 9 (stretch) installers and rescue environments

A sub-menu from debian/debian9.txt . Provides Debian 9 network installers with some of these variations:

  • x86 (32 bit) and amd64/x86_64
  • the installer from the debian9 release and the latest current installer for Debian 9
  • the regular installer and the rescue mode built into the installer

Using the MUUG mirror which is hosted at is recommended for really fast install.

Ask Mark about getting variants where questions like the country, timezone, language, keyboard, and mirror are pre-seeded.

Mine Monero (XMR)

This option, to mine Monero for Skullspace has probably been obsoleted by a proof of work change. Intended more as a proof of concept, we're not asking people run their machines or inefficient Skullspace machines non-stop for this. Just demo the "coolness" and turn it off.

The bigger idea here is to illustrate an easy way you can netboot your own Debian 9 payload, perhaps if you were trying to use the Skullspace machines for some kind of cluster experiment. Here's the relevant two lines from the mark.txt iPXE config

kernel arbboot/debian9-runstuff-vmlinuz rdinit=/sbin/init runme=
initrd arbboot/debian9-runstuff-initrd.gz

What this does is load a minimal debian 9 environment entirely into RAM with the file system provided by an initrd (initial root disk). The rdinit= kernel param ensures /sbin/init is used from this initrd instead of the usual initrd program whoes job is to mount another filesystem. The runme= paramater is picked up later in the startup process (by way of userspace reading /proc/cmdline) and executed by root.

Mark's arbboot/ downloads the prerequisites for a (presumed out of date) monero mining stack and then switches from the root user to the skullspace user to run that.

From a personal or Skullspace computer and using the ipxe shell or your own member-sub menu, you could load the same kernel and small debian initrd as I do here, but put in your runme= to run your own script on startup. What do you want to do with debian9 en-mass today?