[ipxe-devel] Testing for sanboot feature on DHCP server

James Peltier james_peltier at sfu.ca
Wed Jun 12 23:31:50 UTC 2019

Why not simply build an iPXE ISO image that is already scripted to do what you need it to do and then have your VirtualBox instance boot that ISO image all the time?

In fact, you don't even need to script it, just make sure that your iPXE binary has all the options you need in order to properly communicate with your DHCP server to get the options iPXE needs.

From: ipxe-devel-bounces at ipxe.org <ipxe-devel-bounces at ipxe.org> on behalf of Johannes Thoma <johannes at johannesthoma.com>
Sent: June 12, 2019 12:23 PM
To: ipxe-devel at ipxe.org
Subject: Re: [ipxe-devel] Testing for sanboot feature on DHCP server

Hi Oliver,

Thank you for your response.

Am 12.06.19 um 20:46 schrieb Oliver Rath:

Hi Johannes!

I see 3 possibilities:

  1.  You can chainload an ipxe variant, which supports. You can build an undionly.kpxe or (for uefi)  ipxe.efi image with the needed code. The ipxe code of virtualbox is made as much as possible to work like pxe, so the dhcp filename option (for tftp load) should work

I already did that but I had to type the commands over the keyboard .. what I
wanted to do is to automate this via DHCP. In order to do so I need to
tell the VirtualBox iPXE (without sanboot) from my iPXE (with sanboot and
some other options). Else there is either an error message from the VirtualBox
iPXE (because it does not understand sanboot) or an endless boot loop
(iPXE loading my self-compiled iPXE in a loop).

  2.  You could try to replace the ipxe code of virtual box, but there seems to be a size issue

I think I will try that. The solution is then specific to VirtualBox, but so is the problem,
so I think "it works for me" ;)

  1.  You can change to qemu (qemu-system-x86_64). Qemu has already an ipxe version on board, which supports http-boot.

Good to know. That will make things much easier for those running WinDRBD
with a Linux Server.


Yes it did,

Best wishes,

- Johannes


Am 12.06.19 um 18:31 schrieb Johannes Thoma:
Dear iPXE list,

I am using VirtualBox in order to boot diskless clients via WinDRBD
(www.github.com/LINBIT/WinDRBD<http://www.github.com/LINBIT/WinDRBD>). Virtual box has a built in iPXE
variant which does not support sanboot. We need sanboot in order
to boot and load Windows drivers until WinDRBD takes over. This
is currently done via http and a small cgi script on the server that
basically does a dd (disk dump) to stdout.

Is there a way to test if a iPXE variant supports sanboot?: what I would
like to do is something like (in /etc/dhcpd.conf):

if exists ipxe.sanboot-feature {
# sanboot enabled iPXE already running
        filename "";
        option root-path ""<>;
} else {
# sanboot enabled iPXE not running yet, load it via boot command
        filename ""<>;

However all features I've tried are either disabled on both iPXE builds
or enabled in both iPXE builds, thereby I can't distinguish between

I am using isc-dhcp-server on Linux. The DHCP server that comes with
VirtualBox is disabled.

Thanks for any insights,

Kind regards,

- Johannes

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