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Etherboot is a free software package for making boot ROMS for booting Linux and other operating systems on x86 PCs over a network using Internet Protocols, i.e. bootp/DHCP and tftp. Etherboot is normally used for for booting PCs diskless, which is particularly usefule with clusters, routers, remote servers, and machines working in environments that are unfriendly to disks. Etherboot usually boots computers faster than from a disk because there are no delays in spinning up disks, etc. It can work with RAM disks, NFS filesystems, or even local disks. Compared to booting from solid-state devices, it has the advantage of centralising maintainance. The tradeoff is dependence on a server, but this can be partly alleviated by having redundant servers. See the home page for a complete list of hardware and configuration needed to run Etherboot.


User manual available from; User tutorial available from; Developers manual available in HTML format from


Download version 5.2.6 (stable)
released on 17 November 2004


Related Projects


LicenseVerified byVerified onNotes
GPLv2Janet Casey26 April 2001

Leaders and contributors

Ken Yap Maintainer
Georg Baum Contributor
Klaus Espenlaub Contributor
Marty Connor Contributor

Resources and communication

Audience Resource type URI
Developer VCS Repository Webview
Developer E-mail
Support E-mail
Bug Tracking Homepage

Software prerequisites

Kind Description
Required to build binutils

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 17 November 2004.


Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

The copyright and license notices on this page only apply to the text on this page. Any software or copyright-licenses or other similar notices described in this text has its own copyright notice and license, which can usually be found in the distribution or license text itself.

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