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

Michael Brown mbrown at fensystems.co.uk
Wed Dec 8 19:18:37 UTC 2010

On Wednesday 08 Dec 2010 17:50:47 Vinay Venkataraghavan wrote:
> 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 versatile.

Thank you!  Thanks also to Piotr, who implemented the iPXE-as-a-Linux-
executable functionality, and Joshua, who mentored him for this work.

> 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.

You might find it more convoluted than you expect it to be.  Several PXE NBPs 
rely on configuration options present in the DHCP packet in order to direct the 
boot; simply providing copies of the files won't be enough for these clients.

If your motivation for doing this is to reduce bandwidth pressure on the PXE 
server, then you might want to investigate using a transparent TFTP proxy; 
that should allow you to cache the (large) files as needed, without interfering 
with the operation of DHCP.

Good luck!


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