[ipxe-devel] 486 with a Realtek 8139

Michael Brown mcb30 at ipxe.org
Sun May 16 10:09:51 UTC 2021

On 16/05/2021 10:00, Nikolai Zhubr wrote:
> I have to correct myself. The documentation does exist (online), however 
> for me as a user it is arranged in a very unexpected manner, and it 
> confuses to a surprisingly high degree. First, the material goes all 
> upside-down: command line goes before build options, architecture of 
> wimboot goes before build targets. One could suppose it does not matter 
> (as long as the links are within a single page anyway), but yes it does 
> matter quite a lot. Second, it is presented in way that somehow 
> discourages long sequential reading (by "long" I mean more than 3 
> lines), very much pushing the idea that as a user you only need to 
> comprehence "cd src; make" at most, which is not always good enough.

To be fair: "cd src ; make" would have built you the exact bin/ipxe.pxe 
target that I already suggested using.

Debug builds are fairly specialised (and not something that most users 
will need), debugging a hang at this stage of operation is even more 
specialised, and getting iPXE working on a 30-year-old CPU is definitely 
well into the depths of obscure corner cases.

I personally dislike reading documentation that is polluted with corner 
cases and historical arcana.  The overriding goal of any documentation 
that I write is to make it easy for the reader to get the basic use case 
working as quickly as possible and with zero distractions.

For your testing: I would first suggest trying to boot iPXE from a 
storage medium such as a USB key (or floppy disk, given that you're 
talking about a 486-era system).  Both bin/ipxe.usb and bin/ipxe.dsk 
will also already be built by "cd src ; make".

I'm asking for this testing in order to eliminate problems potentially 
caused by interaction with your Etherboot ROM.



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