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ATA over Ethernet (AoE) is a network protocol designed for simple, high-performance access of SATA storage devices over Ethernet networks. AoE does not rely on network layers above Ethernet, such as the IP and TCP that iSCSI requires. This makes AoE potentially faster than iSCSI, with less load on the host to handle the additional protocols. We may use AoE in place of NBD or NFS for the KIWI-LTSP. Rather AoE is a yet another efficient mechanism to transfer the compressed squashfs'ed chroot images in the evolutionary path of LTSP.

Network Block Device(NBD) is another way to serve LTSP images to the clients over the network.


The KIWI-LTSP prebuilt image supports both AoE and NBD. Apart from the latest kiwi-ltsp images the following packages are required - aoetools, vblade, cec to use AOE. The instructions to install them are as below :

Run the following commands as root:

 zypper ar
 zypper in aoetools vblade cec

Automated Setup and Configuration

KIWI-LTSP has a new in-built feature for automatically deploying multiple (prebuilt and custom) chroot images with AoE and NBD support.

After a default installation, perform the following steps:

Edit /etc/sysconfig/kiwi-ltsp, change the IMAGETYPE to AOE as follows, NBD is default:


Set the LTSP_IMG_DIR to where your images are located if they are not in the default directory /srv/kiwi-ltsp :


Also tune all the other parameters to suit your configuration and ltsp clients, such as :

LTSP_IMG_MAC_MAP="1" #to create configurations required to map mac to image
LTSP_PROFILES="list of image names without .img at the back"
LTSP_MAC_FOR_yourimagename="list of mac address that will use this image"

Use multiple LTSP_MAC_FOR_eachimage.

Eventually run:

kiwi-ltsp-setup -c

and this shall now activate the kla (kiwi-ltsp-aoe) service serving all the custom images to the mapped clients respectively, among all the good 'ol things.

Manual Setup and Configuration for serving image via AOE

Run the following commands as root:

As root run:

vbladed 0 1 eth0 /path/to/imagename.img

This shall export the data via ATA over Ethernet using interface eth0 with a shelf address 0 and slot address 1. For further details of the parameters used, you may look up the manual pages to start with.

man vblade

If you want a different image per client make a copy of /srv/tftpboot/KIWI/config.default for each image and thereafter change the AOEROOT variable in /srv/tftpboot/KIWI/config.mac:add:re:ss, wherein the mac:add:re:ss is the mac address of the client interface in lower case.

Boot up the clients, they would now be using AOEROOT.