[intro | bootstrap | linux kernel | root filesystem | network boot | install on flash card ]

Linux on net4501

This page explains how to install Red Hat Linux 7.2 on the net4501.

The net4501 is a small computer designed for firewalls and VPN routers, made by Soekris Engineering. It has three network ports and a slot for a flash card, but no hard disk, floppy disk or CD-ROM drive. You can install Linux onto the flash card either by using a machine with appropriate hardware, or by using PXE (network boot). The PXE method is described here.


Before you begin, you will need the following hardware and software:

Red Hat doesn't ship pxelinux in their syslinux package. Get it from kernel.org or an old copy from this page, below.


  1. Set up the bootstrap environment (PXE, DHCP etc.)
  2. Create a network boot kernel
  3. Construct a root filesystem on another machine
  4. Boot the net4501 from the network
  5. Copy the root filesystem onto the net4501's flash card



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Peter Benie <peterb+linux-net4501@chiark.greenend.org.uk>