PXE daemon install
1) If you have a bootp/dhcp daemon installed and running, skip to step 2. If
you have not, download the boot daemon from a sunsite mirror, it is under:
Follow the install instructions in the bootp package.
2) Download and install PXELINUX from here: http://syslinux.zytor.com/pxe.php
My setup for this looks something like this:
in /tftpboot/X86PC/linux I have the PXELINUX bootstrap (linux.0)
and the kernel I am going to boot from (bzImage)
Make a directory here called pxelinux.cfg, inside are a series of files
which are named after the hex IP addresses of the machines. ie:
You may also need to update your tftp daemon for this as PXELINUX requires
an options not present in many versions eg the Solaris tftpd. Details of
this are on the PXELINUX page.
3) Run the configure script in this directory.
There are several option that can be used in this:
--disable-setuid => Disable the daemon from setuiding to a low privilaged user.
--with-setuid=user => Set the username to setuid to.
--with-config=file => Set the location of the config file.
--with-log=file => Set the location of the log file.
4) Check config.h to make sure of things, most things should be ok,
however you may wish to change the location of the log file and/or the
5) Type 'make' in this directory. If this fails, please send me an email and
I will try and fix it, however it is most likely to be a header clash or
6) Type 'make install', this will install the pxe daemon and it's config file.
7) Edit /etc/pxe.conf and set up the appropriate entries.
set the interface line to be the interface on the machine to bind to. If
you enter an invalid interface, the daemon will bind to all available
It is mandatory to set the default_address address to the default interface
of the machine. This is because the PXE protocol is a bit dumb, it sends
multicast packets to the bootserver, then uses the server address in the
bootp server field for the tftp transfer procedure. 3Com cards are
particularly prone to this stupidity.
I have not fully tested broadcast capability as yet, there may be some
problems with it, however PXE prefers multicast over broadcast, and that
has been tested.
Most of the other directives are fairly self-explanatory, and you should not
need to change them. The menus however do need to be set up.
As the config file stands, the first service is a local boot, and the second
is a network boot/remote install. The format of the service line is:
service=<CSA>,<min layer>,<max layer>,<basename>,<menu entry>
The CSA is one of several Client System Architectures, most PXE platforms are
X86, so this should be left as 'X86PC' however other platforms are supported
by inserting the appropriate CSA.
The min and max layers are the starting and finishing layers in the boot
protocol, most commonly these are:
Layer 0: The bootstrap code.
Layer 1: The kernel.
Layer 2: The initrd.
To use a ramdisk, please refer to the PXELINUX config.
The basename defines how the filename is built, see below for an example.
The Menu entry is the string that should be printed on screen when a menu
There is one special case for all architectures, when the basename is
"local" the layers will be ignored and a local boot performed.
This defines a service for an X86 PC, starting at layer 0 and ending at
layer 1. The basename (filenames below) builds the filename, and
"Linux Install" will be displayed on the boot menu.
When more than one service is configured, the menu order is implied by the
service description order. If no key is pressed within the prompt_timeout
time, the first item from the services list will be selected.
8) Before you are ready to go, make sure you have the following lines in
your inetd.conf file (or equivalent):
in /etc/bootptab, make sure every system you intend to boot via PXE has
in it (This is case sensitive). Otherwise the PXE ROM on the network card
will not use the PXE protocol. Also make sure the bootptab has a correctly
set tftp base directory and has no boot filename.
for ISC dhcpd 3.0 users, just add
option vendor-class-identifier "PXEClient";
to each class you wish to PXE boot.
tftp dgram udp wait root /usr/sbin/in.tftpd in.tftpd -s /tftpboot
bootps dgram udp wait root /usr/local/sbin/bootpd bootpd -i -c /tftpboot /etc/bootptab
BSD users may want something like:
tftp dgram udp wait root /usr/libexec/tftpd tftpd -l -s /tft
pboot -u nobody /
If you change your inetd.conf file, make sure to send inetd a HUP signal.
If you do not understand how to so this, please read the appropriate man
pages/One of the Linux HOWTOs.
pxe 4011/udp # pxe
Also make sure you have a route specified for multicast packets, or a default
route. Solaris automatically defines a route for multicast packets however
you may need to change the binding interface.
to enable a default route, as root type
route add default <interface>
where <interface> is the name of your interface, eg eth0, le0, hme0, ...
on some versions of linux you can type to route multicast packets
route add 188.8.131.52 netmask 240.0.0.0 dev <interface>
9) as root type "pxe" (otherwise the daemon will not set UID to another user.
10) go play.
If you have problems with this daemon, please make sure it is repeatable,
and send any core dumps/packet dumps to me. If you compiled the daemon
without debugging, please don't send the core dumps.
Tim Hurman. Feb 2003