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I have mostly everything working except I'm not sure how to handle /var. If I set R/W on the kernel parameter, everything works as expected.

append initrd=/images/fedora/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic.nfs root=/dev/nfs rw nfsroot=

However, I don't want that, I want each workstation to have its own /tmp and /var. What options do I have? The issue I'm currently facing is that Ubuntu is expecting existing directories inside /var/lib. I've added a line in my fstab for /var/lib but since it's not already there, Gnome refuses to boot.

Here's my fstab file.

proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/nfs       /               nfs    defaults          1       1
tmpfs       /dev        tmpfs   defaults    0   0
tmpfs            /tmp            tmpfs   defaults        0       0
tmpfs           /var/run        tmpfs   defaults        0       0
tmpfs            /var/lock       tmpfs   defaults        0       0
tmpfs           /var/tmp        tmpfs   defaults        0       0
tmpfs           /var/log        tmpfs   defaults        0       0
#tmpfs           /var/lib        tmpfs   defaults        0       0
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fat clients or thin? The Ubuntu wiki covers both. – Steve-o Sep 8 '11 at 4:21
fat clients, their workstations. devs are being forced to convert to windows desktops and some refuse to run windows. – luckytaxi Sep 9 '11 at 20:25

According to the FHS specifications, /var/lib/misc is required to exist. See http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.3.html#VARLIBVARIABLESTATEINFORMATION for more information.

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Back in the days of Sun workstations it was common practice to build a system with a small disk that had swap, root, temporary areas and maybe /usr on it. Then, large shared areas such as /home could be mounted via NFS. Sometimes this configuration was called a 'dataless' workstation.

You may want to start with a basic O/S build locally on your machines. Once this is set up you can trivially clone it - pretty much all configuration can be done via DHCP. Then, all the clients mount the same shared areas. This approach also saves on a bit of network traffic.

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