Remote installation and booting

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Remote installation is when an operating system is installed not from a local media or an image but from a file server over the net, remote booting is when a workstation boots and runs from an image that exists on a remote file server.

Remote installation does not need a specific support for it to exist to work for if you can boot with the necessary networking components and protocols you can convince your workstation that the server image or file folder is just an ordinary drive, for instance OS/2 v2 and v3 did not have a built in mechanism to be remotely installed but IBM offered a number of tools and procedures to aid in remote installation, with OS/2 Warp Version 4 however a specific facility was built in to support such installs.

Remote booting (or RIPLing in IBM speak) however requires operating systems support (or networking stack support for remote booting on simpler systems) and some basic setup utilities, this is because either the operating system has to support remote booting from the get go and treat the remote server as a storage component of the local workstation, or it has to support booting and running from a disk or memory image. OS/2 and the OS/2 servers have support for both types of operations, a bit crude in early versions but quite advanced in later editions and there was even a specific RIPL version of OS/2 called WorkSpace On-Demand that had some advanced configuration and client management options.

Remote installation articles