[ipxe-devel] Booting a Mac into WDS with ipxe.usb

Yadin Flammer yxf4 at psu.edu
Wed Jun 19 21:23:30 UTC 2013

On 6/19/2013 4:19 PM, Robin Smidsrød wrote:
> Well, you're writing directly to the block device instead of using 
> high-level file routines. It's understandable that you need to flush 
> the device cache for that kind of activity.

Understandable to one who understands all the intricacies of what is 
happening perhaps  ;)

> Can you give us a screenshot/picture of what's going on? My guess is you
> might be dealing with a driver strangeness, especially if you're using
> the existing bnx2 (Broadcom) driver. I'd recommend you try to build with
> DEBUG=bnx2,tg3 to see if you get any more info out of it. Also, when you
> boot up iPXE, what value do you have for "chip" when using the "config"
> command?

Again, not understanding all the inner workings of this, I need 
something more to work with here.
Are you saying I should delete the ipxe directory, git clone again, and 
then "make DEBUG=bnx2,tg3" then dd the ipxe.usb built from that?
I found the ipxe command line and pulled the config on 3 of the systems 
I'm working with most.  Their chip values are:
Dell: 82566dm-2 (Intel gig ethernet?)
MacBook Pro: ar5416  (Atheros?  I think it's listing the wireless 
instead of the ethernet since it seems to go through these in the 
"wrong" order?  Not sure how to pull "chip2" as it were...)
Mac Mini: 14e4-16b4  (broadcom?)

> The first thing is to start showing us what you're actually doing
> instead of just talking about it. Details, details, details! To be able
> to debug remotely we need logs, hardware details and descriptions of
> your setup and what you're trying to do. It would also be useful to
> understand what your end goal is, maybe you're going about it in the
> wrong, or unoptimal, way.

Short of getting a camera and uploading a photo documentary somewhere of 
what I'm doing, I'm not sure what you're asking for here (I can do that 
if need be, just take a bit).  I thought I had in my "talking" given a 
lot of details about what I'm doing and working with, sorry if it's not 
what you're looking for, it was all I knew to say.  With such a low 
level thing, and no readable file system, how are there any logs that I 
could send and where are they?  If you have specific questions (like the 
chips above) or can tell me things you'd like me to do, I'm happy to 
accommodate.  To review though:

I have a WDS server set up with multiple boot images and restore images 
working as desired when PXE booting Dell systems to deploy a system 
image to them.
I'd like to be able to do this same thing but on our dual boot Mac 
systems.  Because EFI on a Mac has no PXE layer, I can't boot from the 
WDS server natively.  Google led me to gPXE, which works perfectly from 
CD.  So far so good.
To be more convenient, I wanted to use gPXE from a USB key rather than 
have people deal with CDs both in bulk and speed.  Also, some Mac 
systems like the Air have no built in Cd drive.  This is where it all 
gPXE doesn't work from USB as it does from CD.
I have been told to stop trying to deal with gPXE because it's dead and 
I should use iPXE.
iPXE does not work end to end at all on any system (3 different Mac, 2 
different Dell, all of which gPXE from CD works fine) from any boot 
media (CD or USB).  As mentioned, it fails to actually initiate the boot 
image once selected from WDS.

If there is a better way, or some other critical easy to miss info like 
issuing an eject command that would make iPXE work, I'm all ears.  Not 
being any more familiar with iPXE than what is at 
http://ipxe.org/download (and not even fully grasping all that), and not 
being a coder or low level unix guru, exact command walk-throughs would 
be helpful  :)  I wondered if there was something with that EFI note at 
the end I should be concerned about, but there is no supporting 
information to explain what that's all about.


   Yadin Flammer - Systems Administrator
   College of Arts&  Architecture, Penn State University
   228 Borland Building              Office Phone: 814-865-0990
   University Park, PA 16802         Dept. Phone:  814-865-1571
   Email: yxf4 at psu.edu               Dept. Fax:    814-863-6227

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