[ipxe-devel] Problem with iPXE in VirtualBox

Michael Brown mbrown at fensystems.co.uk
Thu May 5 18:45:16 BST 2011

On Thursday 05 May 2011 04:09:36 Mircea Vutcovici wrote:
> I am trying to use iPXE in a VM running in VirtualBox. The problem is
> that iPXE can not get DHCP.
> I am using the latest version of iPXE
>  (b6cad3c0eb72e99d8ae5e6944ec8e9b7c5acecfa) VirtualBox 4.0.6 r71344
> Ubuntu 11.4 64bit
> The DHCP/tftp server is OpenWRT Backfire (10.03.1-rc4, r24045)
> dnsmasq --version
> Dnsmasq version 2.55  Copyright (c) 2000-2010 Simon Kelley
> Compile time options IPv6 GNU-getopt no-DBus no-I18N DHCP TFTP
> Here is the dnsmasq configuration (I've removed dhcp-host entries):
> /usr/sbin/dnsmasq -K -D -f -y -Z -b -E --enable-tftp -s lan -S /lan/
> -l /tmp/dhcp.leases -r /tmp/resolv.conf.auto --tftp-root /tftproot
> --dhcp-boot undionly.kkpxe --stop-dns-rebind
> --dhcp-range=lan,,,,12h -2
> 'eth1'
> Attached is the capture made with:
> tshark -w /tmp/iPXE-DHCP-problem.cap -pi eth1 port bootpc or port tftp
> If I boot from a physical computer, I have no problems. I do not
> understand why iPXE is not receiving the DHCP responses.

I can tell from the packet trace that iPXE's DHCP client believes that it 
hasn't received any DHCPOFFERs, since bits 0 and 1 of the "secs" field are 
always zero.  (Inspired by this, I've also just added code that will enable me 
to tell from a packet trace whether or not iPXE has received any packets at 

There are some helpful hints (some of which are new) on the relevant error 


What does "ifstat" show after the failed DHCP attempt?

What happens if you try a static IP address?


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