[Wlug] PXE 101 (summer school)

Adam Keck ghostis at gmail.com
Tue May 22 13:04:55 EDT 2007

<oops... replied off list, reposting>


has the PXE server source that most distros use and


talks about how to setup PXE, tftpd, and dhcpd (ISC).


On 5/22/07, Doug Mildram <doug.mildram at mindspeed.com> wrote:
> doug> I too use PXE at work, with some success.
>       I could stand to learn more, and I sure as hell am still
>    looking for the "pxe daemon source code"...buried by intel?who?
>      while still running a redhat binary pxe daemon here.
>       If every box had a bootable CD, it'd be easier to
>    just do that ...whether the CD is the stock CD, or one that
>    you customize a bit, which I've done; which is separate from
>     customizing the kickstart config file...
> but realize as an opening comment, I may recommend that you
> ignore PXE until you need it; ignore the boot-from-NIC potential.
> You're VERY welcome to torture me with questions, or visit Westboro
>   (work/days..it's quiet enough here) for some hands on confusion.
> It may be easier to LEARN PXE after learning "kickstart" without PXE.
>            e.g. booting from CD with
> "linux ks=nfs:nfsserverip:/path/to/yourconfigfile.cfg"
>         and the .cfg file has MORE info like
>                 ....some intro omitted.....
>             network ... (static,dhcp...it can install static
>                               while USING a temp-dhcp installaddr)
>             part .... (disk layout)
>             authconfig  ... ( --enablenis  is my option)
>             nfs --server servername-or-ip --dir /path/releasedir
>             skipx  (no X, dumb terminal consoles best for servers, right?)
>             %packages...
>                 ......
>             % post
>             exec > /KICKSTART.log 2>&1
>             echo "hello..."
>             mkdir /customdir
>             mount nfsserver:/exporteddir /customdir
>                 ( grab things, even edit files in  / ....)
>             chkconfig --level    345  ntpd       on
>             chkconfig --level    345  nfs        on
> ..............and so on.  Tends to be a few hundred lines long.
> PXE does all this, but without the CD...and with more flaky results
>      depending on NIC cards, mostly, i think...I find it
> just complicated enough to confuse me,
> and just odd enough to NOT work in some cases.
> Challenges:  1) can't find the source to the pxe daemon,
>                   which seems to have fallen OFF of the distros.
> I feel "stuck" running a redhat9 binary (which works usually-for-me
>               on a redhat3-or-4 based system, just copying /usr/sbin/pxe
>   and firing it up manually  (it often crashes after getting its job done)
> 2) complex dependencies.  It needs
>        2a)  DHCP server, can be your existing one
>        2b)  TFTP server (this part is NOT complex, after you
>                       learn some of the bootfile/dir layout)
>      as well as the (nfs,ftp,youdecide) server to grab packages from.
> What's confusing is how the PXE daemon and DHCP daemon play together.
> When my boot fails, the error whines about DHCP even when PXE is the
> problem.
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