[ipxe-devel] building for use virtualbox

Robin Smidsrød robin at smidsrod.no
Tue Jan 29 12:45:50 UTC 2013

On 28.01.2013 17:01, Klaus Espenlaub wrote:
> Actually it's not really intentional that VirtualBox ships iPXE, because
> the "switch to iPXE" project isn't complete yet. The intended "free" PXE
> ROM in the VirtualBox base package would be some reasonably dated
> Etherboot (derived from "almost" 5.4.3). Seems to have slipped into
> 4.2.0 :)

Interesting to hear. I noticed that there was a gpxe subdir in the vbox
source code, but it wasn't really the one that was part of the binary
build you can download. Let's hope this is settled soon, so that the
source code and the binary build matches.

> Telling VirtualBox to use a different PXE ROM is quite easy, you just
> have to make sure that the ROM image meets the size requirements. 56KB
> max (to spell it out: 57344 bytes), anything bigger will be silently
> ignored and the internal fallback will kick in again.
> You have to be rather selective with the features, otherwise it won't
> fit. It's so easy to pick too many iPXE features :)

Are you able to build one ROM file that supports all the NICs vbox
supports? I currently build intel--virtio-net--pcnet32.dsk and boot
using a floppy to get support for all the hardware. That is obviously
not the best solution.

I also tried building bin/10222000.rom, bin/1af41000.rom and
bin/8086100e.rom, but I'm not sure if it is possible to combine them all
together and still get below the 56KB limit. That would make it so much
easier than having to twiddle the NIC ROM for each VM based on what
network card is configured. Then I could just replace the global PXE ROM
and be done with it. The non-free Intel PXE ROM works well, but it only
supports the Intel adapter, as far as I can tell. Would be nice to have
PXE support for the others as well.

It would be super-helpful if you could post the config used to build the
vbox-bundled iPXE ROM. I assume you have access to it, considering you
work at Oracle...

-- Robin

More information about the ipxe-devel mailing list