PXE Booting

In engineering we're using PXELINUX to network boot machines in order to build the OS. It turns out that the version of PXELINUX we're using (TODO replace this with the version from the syslinux rpm and see if it still works) supports booting from http targets. This reduces the loading time from about 60s to under 10s.

commit 45be362cf7b4749f644f62c583c4b9f4b0918190
Author: bduncan/eng.admin@EASE.ED.AC.UK <bduncan/eng.admin@EASE.ED.AC.UK@d7b6154b-7022-0410-a36f-deca04b7da91>
Date:   Wed May 30 12:26:48 2018 +0000

    Use http via PXELINUX for SL7.
    git-svn-id: https://lcfg.is.ed.ac.uk/svn/see_policies@6836 d7b6154b-7022-0410-a36f-deca04b7da91

diff --git a/options/pxeserver.h b/options/pxeserver.h
index 1e25293..c49eec6 100644
--- a/options/pxeserver.h
+++ b/options/pxeserver.h
@@ -71,8 +71,8 @@ pxeserver.initrd_sl6_64       lcfg64/initram.img
 pxeserver.options_sl6_64       nomodeset root=nfs:pxe.see.ed.ac.uk:/nfsroot/lcfg64
 pxeserver.descr_sl7    LCFG SL^7 64 bit install
-pxeserver.kernel_sl7   lcfg64_sl7/vmlinuz
-pxeserver.initrd_sl7   lcfg64_sl7/initram.img
+pxeserver.kernel_sl7   http://pxe.see.ed.ac.uk/lcfg64_sl7/vmlinuz
+pxeserver.initrd_sl7   http://pxe.see.ed.ac.uk/lcfg64_sl7/initram.img
 pxeserver.options_sl7  nomodeset root=nfs:pxe.see.ed.ac.uk:/nfsroot/lcfg64_sl7
 pxeserver.descr_memtest ^MemTest86+

It should also be possible to host the kernel and initrd on www.lcfg.org and boot directly. I didn't test this.

iPXE also supports booting from the web. You can give it a script (e.g. http://boot.ipxe.org/demo/boot.php) which offers kernels and initrds. It can also use menus and seems more flexible and easier to configure than syslinux.

-- Bruce Duncanedacuk - 2018-05-31



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Topic revision: r2 - 2018-06-06 - squinney
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