Netboot via PXE

Posted by cbbrowne
Mar 14 2012

Netboot via PXE 2012-03-13 Tue

Some notes

To get this to work, you need…

BIOS ROM that supports PXE
True for most modern motherboards and/or NICs
DHCP server
To manage passing out configuration such as IP addresses and the next-server attribute.
TFTP server
With images
It looks for images based on most-to-least specific configuration

  • MAC address
  • IP subnet
  • Default

Some things PXE doesn’t support

It was created as a standard in 1999, and hasn’t been updated much since, so there are things that postdate it, and that are thus not supported.

Likely to be troublesome anyways, as you surely want some authentication to get onto a WIFI network
It wasn’t clear that it yet mattered in 1999…
It works with IP addresses only

DHCP discussion

  • Go look for next-server attribute
  • Some discussion of handling sharing subnets across a redundant set of DHCP servers

More worth looking at

OSS hardware testing tool that’s better than memtest
OSS bootloader

  • Supports DNS, so can forward requests broadly potentially anywhere
  • Can transfer data across additional protocols, such as HTTP, HTTPS, SAN (iSCSI, AoE)
  • Can support WIFI
  • Possibly IPv6
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