Update 2011-03-20: The ncd.com FTP server does not seem to exist anymore. Apparently their business was taken over by ThinPATH Systems. Changed the download links.

Updated 2008-05-20: Section on fonts. My server runs Debian Etch now, and unfortunately iceweasel, xchat and others are now linked to the cairo libs, which apparently don't support 8 bits graphics. The web browser issue was resolved by installing opera.

Updated 2007-10-18.
A PDF with hints and tips can be found here.


To get some basic boot info into the NVRAM of the terminal turn the power on
and press the spacebar key to interrupt the boot process.
To select your monitor's resolution and refreshrate, type
se monset -1
followed by the enter key. The terminal will cycle through all available modes.
Hit enter to cycle through them manually.
To change the keyboard settings run
To setup the network boot parameters do the following:
BPATH /var/sysadm/netboot/tekxp/boot/os.350
BMETHOD NFS rsize 8192

finally run
Don't use this command too often, since the flash chips are only certified for
approximately 100,000 writes.


NCBridge is supposed to be better than XPressware, so

Get files from ftp://ftp.ncd.com/pub/nwd/NCBridge/Patches/
Get docs from ftp://ftp.ncd.com/pub/nwd/NCBridge/documentation/
Get files from: http://www.thinpathsystems.com/index.php?modules=support&content=patches&pro=ncb

Download p1v4013.tar.gz, p3v4013.tar.gz and p4v4013.tar.gz to some temporary place and extract them. Then make the boot directory mentioned above: mkdir -p /var/sysadm/netboot/tekxp/boot. cd into the directory in which you untarred the patches and copy the files in the directory xp350 to the boot directory: cp xp350/* /var/sysadm/netboot/tekxp/boot/. Some files from the xp300 directory also need to be copied: cp xp300/* /var/sysadm/netboot/tekxp/boot/

most important xp.cnf settings:
default_visual              TRUECOLOR
ip_host_table		""		"jerom"
host_connect_method     XDMCP_DIRECT
primary_xdmcp_server            "jerom"
boot_method             NFS 8192
determine_address_from  NETWORK
boot_config_type        dhcp
enable_remote_logging	YES
loghost			"jerom"

Setting up the DHCP server:

  • edit /etc/dhcpd.conf (see my article on installing SlackwareLinux on Jerom) and add this section:
# Group the PXE bootable hosts together
        group {
                use-host-decl-names on; # ask client to use host supplied name
                option log-servers;
                next-server; # address of tftp server
		host vitamientje {
			hardware ethernet 08:00:11:06:98:20;
			filename "/var/sysadm/netboot/tekxp/boot/os.350";

Now export the tekxp/boot/ directory over NFS by editing your /etc/exports
and restarting the NFS daemon:

Now it's time to get XDM running on your server. Check http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/XDM-Xterm/config.html for more info on how to do that.


Since the onboard fonts are probably not enough we'll run the X font server (xfs) on the server. Make sure to allow it to be accessed over the network (instead of just locally) by commenting the no-listen = tcp option in /etc/X11/fs/config. The server should then listen on TCP port 7100. To point the X-terminal to the font server create the file /var/sysadm/netboot/tekxp/boot/config/fonts.tbl with the following contents:
# Installed fonts
It took me quite some time to find this out. Without the font-server and the fonts.tbl file the X-terminal would boot and even login and give me my fluxbox desktop. The problem was that I couldn't start any applications. Not even rxvt or xterm. I then logged in locally on the server and tried to start xclock with the DISPLAY variable set to the ipaddres:0 of the X-terminal. This worked. When I tried the same with xterm, rxvt or emacs I got errors because of missing fonts. This was the first clue to install xfs. The hint for the fonts.tbl file I found here.

Upgrade boot monitor:

After verifying that everything worked, I decided to update the boot monitor.
I followed the instructions at ftp://ftp.ncd.com/pub/nwd/NCBridge/BootMonitors/README.INSTALL:
  • backup xp.cnf and make a new one with just:
update_bootrom YES
# flash_file filename # File location in boot path.
flash_file boot_mon.350
xp.cnf is browsed in order, so usually it contacts my XDMCP server earlier than
it encounters the flash instructions.
  • Make a backup of the present boot monitor (v5.9.0):
cp tekxp/boot/boot_mon.350 tekxp/boot/boot_mon.350_backup
cp /tmp/boot_mon.350_V5.11 tekxp/boot/boot_mon.350
  • Restart the terminal