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This is setup to use ethernet cards "boot on lan" feature with Debian netboot.
It is shamefully based on
and advertised at
To set this up:
On the server (you have a home server, right? *plonk*), assuming your network is 192.168.1.?
Put this directory somewhere clever, like /srv/pxe for instance (yes, that's what I did; but you can put it in /opt/my/too/long/path/i/cannot/remember if you really really want).
(Note: if you are using a dpkg-based distribution, you can get this with apt-get instead of git. Read and get stalag13-utils-pxe)
Run the main script. It will build up ipxe-boot config files and (by default) download GNULinux kernels and initrd.
(It will run any additional that you may add in subdirectories. See the one in GNULinux as example)
You may add a symlink to this script inside /etc/cron.monthly so you keep stuff up-to-date.
Then, you must install a "Trivial FTP Daemon" on you local server which will, in the context of PXE (Preboot Execution Environment), serve these files you just got:
apt-get install tftpd-hpa
update-rc.d tftpd-hpa defaults
Edit /etc/default/tftpd-hpa, especially TFTP_DIRECTORY setting (you know, /opt/my/what/the/...).
We'll, instead of using the basic PXE stuff, use iPXE by chainloading it.
(We could apt-get ipxe but the current version in Debian does not support useful commands like menu or cpuid) We'll simply do:
cd /srv/pxe
Finally, you must update your DHCP Daemon so it advertises we're running PXE (filename and next-server options). With ISC dhcpd, in /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf, for my subnet, I have now:
subnet netmask {
# iPXE
if exists user-class and option user-class = "iPXE" {
filename "ipxe-boot";
} else {
filename "undionly.kpxe";
Obviously, you wont forget to do:
invoke-rc.d isc-dhcp-server restart
invoke-rc.d tftpd-hpa start
To use it:
On your client,
Go in the BIOS, look for "boot on lan" and whatever crap it may be called (it varies greatly), activate it. Then boot. It'll do some DHCP magic to find the path to the PXE and the menu should be printed on your screen at some point.
You can decide to use http instead of tftpd for faster file transfer once
iPXE is loaded (which means tfpd will still be necessary though), assuming you have an http server like nginx running.
With the default setup, you first need to add a symlink from /srv/pxe to /var/www/pxe
Then, for instance, you can run
export PREFIX=http://URL/pxe/
before starting the script.
(you should also edit /etc/cron.monthly/pxe accordingly)