[ipxe-devel] Compatibility Between iPXE and Microsoft WDS

RAMSEY, ROBERT T II CTR USAF AFMC AFLCMC/EBO, Armament Operations robert.ramsey.10.ctr at us.af.mil
Fri Nov 30 16:59:32 GMT 2018


Hello,

 

I've been trouble-shooting an issue were I was unable to PXE boot/install
Windows 10 in a RHEL 7.4 KVM VM from a Server 2016 WDS.  Note that RHEL
7.4's KVM VM uses iPXE v1.0.0+ for its PXE boot loader.  

 

After many hours of trouble-shooting, I finally came up with a work-around
that allowed an unattended iPXE boot/install within the KVM VM.  I had to
change the (DHCP Server Option 67) "Bootfile Name" on the WDS from this:

 

C:\RemoteInstall\boot\x86\wdsnbp.com

 

to this:

 

boot\\x86\\wdsnbp.com

 

I've attached screen captures of the healthy KVM iPXE boot process and WDS
server "Bootfile Name" setting.

 

Although the solution I came up with was to make a modification on the WDS
server, that doesn't make it a Microsoft/Windows problem.  The WDS
configuration change is a work-around specifically for iPXE compatibility.
The "C:\RemoteInstall\boot\x86\wdsnbp.com" syntax previously used works fine
with a multitude of other PXE boot loaders.

 

A friend and I just spent 60+ labor hours trouble-shooting this issue that
seems to only exist between iPXE (used in KVM) and Server 2016 WDS.  Any
chance you could add some compatibility information to your website
concerning this issue (to help others with a similar issue)?  Any chance
you'll release a version if iPXE that is more compatible with or tolerant of
possible WDS "Bootfile Name" syntax?

 

Thanks,

 

Rob

 

RHEL7.4_KVM_iPXE_Boot_Screen_00.png

iPXE startup in KVM

 

RHEL7.4_KVM_iPXE_Boot_Screen_01.png

Successful use of the Bootfile Name value

 

RHEL7.4_KVM_iPXE_Boot_Screen_02.png

Proper transition to TFTP for initial Pre-installation Environment (PE)
download

 

RHEL7.4_KVM_iPXE_Boot_Screen_03.png

Initial PE menu - Post-iPXE boot

 

Server_2016_WDS_Bootfile_Name.png

Server 2016 WDS "Bootfile Name" configuration

 

*********************************

Rob Ramsey

Network Engineer / Unix System Admin.

Paragon Solutions Inc./EPASS

Office: 850-883-4034

Cell: 719-201-2362

Robert.Ramsey.10.ctr at us.af.mil

*********************************

 

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