[ipxe-devel] [gPXE] gpxe on USB or HD

Michael Brown mbrown at fensystems.co.uk
Fri Jun 14 00:17:30 UTC 2013

Yadin Flammer <yxf4 at psu.edu> wrote:

>Thanks for the response.  I have tried ipxe and it also does not work. 
>Trying to dd it to a drive under ubuntu 12 LTS results in a blank 
>drive.  Copying the files from the ISO to the USB results in booting to
>a black screen with GRUB and a flashing cursor and nothing else.  I 
>tried posting to the ipxe forums but they appear to not be working as
>post happens and no error is given as to why.
>Any advice on getting a USB drive to work with ipxe, as well as getting
>the forums to work so I can reach a wider audience, are appreciated.
>On 6/13/2013 1:01 PM, Michael Brown wrote:
>> On Thursday 13 Jun 2013 17:14:49 Yadin Flammer wrote:
>>> I've been trying to get gpxe to boot from a USB drive, and even an
>>> internal hard drive, but no luck.  Using the ISO for a CD works
>>> perfectly, but a USB key would be much more convenient.  The .usb
>>> .dsk files that download appear to be corrupt every time as no
>>> application can open them (winimage says they are corrupt), or the
>>> contents when dd to a disk under linux are corrupt.  Copying the
>>> contents of the .iso to a USB drive or internal HD does not result
>in a
>>> bootable system regardless of the format or setup of the drive.
>>> Has anyone managed to make a bootable USB key or internal drive with
>>> gpxe environment and if so precisely how?
>> gPXE has not been maintained for several years.  Please upgrade to
>iPXE, which
>> is the replacement for gPXE.
>> You won't be able to open the .usb image, since it doesn't contain a
>> filesystem.  It's a raw disk image; you need to transfer it to the
>USB key
>> using dd (or equivalent).  Be aware that this will erase all existing
>> of the USB key.
>> Michael

Use dd to transfer the iPXE .usb image to the USB key, then boot from that USB key.  For example, assuming your USB key is /dev/sda, then use

  dd if=bin/ipxe.usb of=/dev/sda

(Warning: /dev/sda is probably your main system disk. Find out which device represents your USB key and use that instead.)

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