PXE Linux booting, the potentials…

What is PXE booting??

PXE stands for Pre-Boot Execution Environment, where capable NICs can boot from the network using DHCP and TFTP server…

It has very useful potentials:

  1. Install new OS on a bare-bone machine, even remotely
      • requires these components: DHCP, TFTP, PXELINUX, Kernel, init Ram Disk, Kickstart, HTTP
  2. Boot a machine with crashed HD, and/or corrupted OS to retrieve the data or trying to fix the problem
      • requires these components: DHCP,TFTP, PXELINUX, Kernel, init Ram Disk, NFS
  3. Run entire OS on a diskless machine, I’ve done this for different purposes:
      • requires these components: DHCP,TFTP, PXELINUX, Kernel, init Ram Disk, NFS
    1. Booting thin client POS (point of sale) from MICROS, and start X-Windows
    2. Boot new server to test performance without installing an OS
    3. Recover data from crashed root filesystem
    4. Create a cluster of mid-end diskless servers

And proudly, I’ve done them all 🙂

I won’t put any howtos here as the internet is over flooded with these how-tos (find them below), however, I may put some config files and some tricks that might help go through the tricky parts, but this will be a bit later, not today…

http://syslinux.zytor.com/wiki/index.php/PXELINUX

http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/PXE/PXE_Setup

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/Netboot

http://www.babytux.org/articles/howto/how2netknoppix.php

http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/PXE/Rescue_PXE

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