[ipxe-devel] iPXE working on 486(386?) hardware, hanging on init_librm

Nikolai Zhubr n-a-zhubr at yandex.ru
Thu Jan 27 00:43:05 UTC 2022

Hi Richard,

26.01.2022 13:33, Richard Moore:
> Just wondering if anyone was interested in getting iPXE working on real
> 486(386?) hardware?
> ( Following on from last years thread "[ipxe-devel] 486 with a Realtek
> 8139" https://lists.ipxe.org/pipermail/ipxe-devel/2021-May/007441.html )

For legacy etherboot, here is a fix that works for me:


For iPXE this fix is unnecessary but still last time I tried iPXE would 
hang on 486 for some reason.


> With the recent rise in interest in retro pc's, being able to PXE boot
> and chain to an HTTP site w/software on the internet may be of
> increasing interest to people? (diagnostic tools etc) - or perhaps just
> a challenge for someone here :)
> Unfortunately qemu works when setting cpu to 486 whereas real hardware
> doesn't, so not a helpful tool.
> On my 486 booting from floppy disk image, I have got as far as Loading
> .... (see below) with a hard hang on 'init_librm' from debug
> output.(built with DEBUG=libprefix,dskprefix) so presumably the problem
> is switching from real mode to protected mode?
> https://forum.ipxe.org/showthread.php?tid=17401
> Other pertinent previous posts relating to this;
> https://forum.ipxe.org/showthread.php?tid=10713
> https://forum.ipxe.org/showthread.php?tid=25593
> Booting via ne.zdsk floppy or via 32k ne.zrom burned on a Realtek 8019AS
> boot ROM ISA based card (ne2000 compatible) I have it working at least
> as far as hanging after downloading pxelinux.0 using etherboot 5.4.4 -
> (when the first release of gPXE (0.9.4) came out it was broken,
> seemingly at the point it is still broken at.)
> Happy to do leg work testing iPXE on real 486/386 if anyone is
> interested, afraid the assembly is beyond me!
> Cheers
> Rich
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