[ipxe-devel] Size limit in iPXE

Pedro Goncalves pedro at thousandeyes.com
Fri Mar 18 17:12:06 UTC 2016

Hi Michael and Gene,

Thank you very much for your answers. That explains everything.

We wanted to get the ISOS working with iPXE because it’s so convenient and we already use iPXE for bootstrapping all of our servers (using the initrd+kernel). But this is very particular situation, so it’s fine that it doesn’t work, we’ll just put the firmware updates for the servers in USB pens. We just wanted to understand what was going on and why it was failing.

Thank you again for your answers.

Best Regards,
Pedro Rocha Goncalves  |  Systems Engineer  |  www.thousandeyes.com <http://www.thousandeyes.com/>  

Watch ThousandEyes Product Intro (60 Second Video) <https://www.thousandeyes.com/lp/product-intro-video>

> On Mar 18, 2016, at 3:20 AM, Michael Brown <mcb30 at ipxe.org> wrote:
> On 16/03/16 17:59, Pedro Goncalves wrote:
>> We are trying to use iPXE to boot a firmware update ISO provided by Dell
>> to update our Dell Poweredge servers, but iPXE fails to fetch the iso
>> with the error “Error: No space left on
>> device”(http://ipxe.org/err/341820). The size of the iso is approx. 2GB.
>> So we wanted to ask you if there is a size limit hardcoded somewhere. If
>> not, why are getting this error message? Our server has 128GB of RAM, so
>> that can’t be the issue.
> How are you trying to boot this ISO?
> Downloads are placed in the 32-bit address space (i.e. below 4GB).  It is very plausible that a large chunk of this address space is allocated for PCI BARs, and so you may have only ~2GB of actual RAM within this address space.
> You can try SAN-booting your ISO instead, which will not require it to first be downloaded into RAM.  For example:
>  sanboot http//
> However, most ISOs are not amenable to network booting anyway.  You generally have to unpack the contents of the ISO, expose those contents via a web server, use iPXE to boot the kernel+initrd directly from the web server, and pass in command line arguments so that the initrd can locate the web server to load the remainder.
> Michael

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