[ipxe-devel] Using ipxe to only retrieve boot loader and OS image and not install

Vinay Venkataraghavan raghavanvinay at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 8 17:50:47 UTC 2010


Thank you so much for your response. I will definitely give this a shot. Just 
also want to take this opportunity to applaud on the fantastic job that you have 
in implementing so many modules for both gPXE and iPXE and making it so 

To answer your question as to why I might want to do what I propose: I basically 
want my host to act like a PXE proxy. The only role of this host it be able to 
contact and communicate with the PXE server and subsequently just store these 
images on this host. 

Subsequently, other hosts that contact this host can retrieve their OS images 
rather than execute the entire DHCP protocol to retrieve images from the DHCP or 
the PXE server. 

Will try this out and let you know how it goes. Once again, thanks a lot. I 
really appreciate it. 

- Vinay

----- Original Message ----
From: Michael Brown <mbrown at fensystems.co.uk>
To: ipxe-devel at lists.ipxe.org
Cc: Vinay Venkataraghavan <raghavanvinay at yahoo.com>
Sent: Wed, December 8, 2010 4:18:24 AM
Subject: Re: [ipxe-devel] Using ipxe to only retrieve boot loader and OS image 
and not install

On Wednesday 08 Dec 2010 01:09:43 Vinay Venkataraghavan wrote:
> 1. Is it possible use ipxe on an already booted system to just retrieve the
> "network boot program" (i.e boot loader) and the OS image only.
> 2. When built I am assuming ipxe generates an iso image which can be burned
>  onto disk. Is it possible to just have an executable that can be run on a
>  linux system for example.
> My goal is to try to build and modify this system to just use it to fetch
>  images and boot loaders from a PXE server, but not use it to boot the
>  system.

Thanks to Piotr Jaroszyński, you can build a version of iPXE that will run 
under Linux.  For example:

  make bin-x86_64-linux/tap.linux
  ./bin-x86_64-linux/tap.linux --net tap,if=tap0,mac=00:0c:29:c5:39:a1

This is intended to be a developers' aide rather than a general-purpose tool 
for end users, but you should be able to use it for what you describe.  You 
will need to set up a tap0 interface, which you can bridge to your normal 
network interface if you want to download files from a remote server.

I'm not quite sure why you want to do this, but it should at least be 



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