[ipxe-devel] PXE in a large corporate environment

Michael Brown mbrown at fensystems.co.uk
Mon Apr 18 12:21:36 UTC 2011

On Monday 18 Apr 2011 12:39:45 Mark.Bannister at rbs.com wrote:
> I posted some suggestions for improvement to the PXE specification to the
>  DHC mailing list earlier this month:
> http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/dhcwg/current/msg11581.html
> I'm interested to know if the problems I'm trying to solve can be addressed
>  in iPXE?

Several of them can be addressed quite easily.

The system UUID is already transmitted by iPXE (and by any compliant PXE 

The "PXE environment" field that you describe is functionally equivalent to the 
DHCP user class, which is already supported by iPXE and by most DHCP servers.  
For example: in iPXE:

  iPXE> set user-class fileserver
  iPXE> autoboot

and in /etc/dhcpd.conf

  if option user-class = "fileserver" {
    ... boot options for "fileserver" class of machines ...

Both ISC dhcpd and the Microsoft DHCP server already support per-user-class 
configuration, so there would be no additional programming required.

On network cards that support non-volatile stored options, you can configure 
the user class semi-permanently using either the "config" UI, which is 
(partially) documented at


or using the command line:

  set net0.nvo/user-class fileserver

Another possibility is to use values extracted from SMBIOS, such as the system 
asset tag, e.g. by setting the boot filename to



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