source: trunk/README-pxemenu @ 106

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Added pxemenu config files and updated some info

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1
2PXE-menu tools README file
3--------------------------
4
5Author: Ole Holm Nielsen
6        Dept. of Physics, Technical University of Denmark
7        E-mail: Ole.H.Nielsen@fysik.dtu.dk
8
9Version: 1.1
10Date: 01-Oct-2007
11
12Summary
13-------
14
15The PXE-menu tools are used to control the booting of networked computers
16directly from the computer's console at the BIOS level before any operating
17system has been loaded.  This is extremely useful for diagnostic purposes,
18or for selecting an operating system installation method, of an individual
19computer.  If you need to do the same operation on many computers, it is
20better to use the pxeconfig tools (https://subtrac.sara.nl/oss/pxeconfig)
21to control the booting from your network's DHCP/TFTP server.
22
23Additional information
24----------------------
25
26We provide further details on our Linux cluster's homepage:
27https://wiki.fysik.dtu.dk/niflheim/PXE-booting
28
29Prerequisite software
30---------------------
31
32We use some of the SYSLINUX tools for providing the PXE menus in this package, see
33http://syslinux.zytor.com/pxe.php
34For your convenience the binary files are included with this package, but you can
35also build them yourself by following the instructions in the
36https://wiki.fysik.dtu.dk/niflheim/PXE-booting web-page.
37
38We include the SYSLINUX documentation files in the syslinux-doc/ directory,
39since this documentation is not available on the SYSLINUX web-pages.
40
41What's included
42---------------
43
44The pxemenu/ directory tree should be copied to your DHCP/TFTP server's
45/tftpboot directory (or wherever your TFTP server has its root directory).
46Please see the file INSTALL-pxemenu for detailed installation instructions.
47
48When your computer has been configured to do a PXE boot, it will automatically
49download the file pxelinux.0 by TFTP and execute it, and pxelinux.0 will
50download configuration files from the pxelinux.cfg/ subdirectory.
51In the pxelinux.cfg/* configuration files are references to files that
52should be downloaded by TFTP, and these files are all relative to the
53top-level TFTP directory.
54
55Here we assume that the file named "default" in pxelinux.cfg/ is a soft-link to
56the default.menu file so that the PXE menus will be loaded.  You could also let
57default.menu be one of the options which you configure by using pxeconfig.
58
59The most important files included in the pxemenu/ directory are:
60
61  pxelinux.0 memdisk com32/menu.c32 com32/chain.c32: Binary files from the
62         SYSLINUX project which are needed for the usual booting methods.
63  com32/*.c32: All SYSLINUX 3.52 COM32 files, see the SYSLINUX comboot.doc.
64  pxelinux.cfg/default.menu: The main PXE menu configuration file which
65         loads all the other PXE menus listed below.
66         The default.menu has a timeout of 5 seconds configured so that you
67         may use the arrow buttons to select options; otherwise the default
68         boot from harddisk will be selected.  This is most likely what you want
69         to do on a Linux cluster for unattended operation, but for other uses
70         the timeout can be commented out so that the menus will wait forever.
71  syslinux-doc: Documentation files from the SYSLINUX source.
72         You may want to read the files README.menu, and for further details
73         also syslinux.doc and pxelinux.doc.
74
75Example PXE menu files
76----------------------
77
78In the pxemenu/ directory are a number of examples that you may find useful
79for customizing your own PXE menu configurations.  They are:
80
81  x3455/: Example of PXE menus for an IBM X-series x3455 server.
82  mysystem/: Example of PXE menus for a generic server.
83          Copy this example and modify it for your particular server.
84          IMPORTANT: Always keep all images related to one type of hardware
85          in the same subdirectory so that you don't mix up different hardwares !
86  ghost/: Example of some Norton Ghost 2003 DOS boot diskette images.
87  Tools/: Example of some diagnostics tools, including Memtest86.
88          The vendor disk diagnostics tools you must download yourself
89          (usually copyrighted), see links in tools.conf.
90  centos.conf: Start a CentOS Linux installation.
91
92SystemImager installation with PXE menus
93----------------------------------------
94
95SystemImager installation can be started as shown in the x3455/x3455.conf
96example file.  Each type of hardware is supported in SystemImager by a
97specially generated UYOK (Use Your Own Kernel) vmlinux kernel and
98initrd.img RAM-disk, see http://wiki.systemimager.org/index.php/UYOK.
99
100Therefore you must copy kernel and initrd.img from
101/var/lib/systemimager/images/<IMAGENAME>/etc/systemimager/boot/
102to the subdirectory for your hardware (pxemenu/x3455/ in the present example).
103
104
105What you must supply yourself
106-----------------------------
107
108The simple PXE menu tools included in this package are just simple but useful
109examples that have proven useful in our Linux cluster and desktop environment.
110You should provide boot images for the tools that you want to run, such as
111vendor firmware upgrade diskettes or Linux installation kernels, for example.
112
113If you want to add a physical DOS boot diskette of your own to the PXE menus,
114you can create an image of the physical diskette by:
115
116  dd if=/dev/fd0 of=myimage.img
117
118(assuming that the diskette drive on your Linux PC is /dev/fd0).
119
120Ultimate Boot CD tools
121----------------------
122
123If you want a huge selection of boot disks, you may want to look at the
124Ultimate Boot CD (UBC) project, see http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ for
125information about this project.
126
127All of the UBC tools can be made available within the PXE menus, see
128https://wiki.fysik.dtu.dk/niflheim/PXE-booting#boot-images-from-ultimatebootcd-com
129Basically, just copy the contents of the UBC CD to /tftpboot and use the menu entry
130in pxeconfig.cfg/default.menu to use the UBC tools from the PXE menus.  It's
131that simple !
132
133What doesn't work
134-----------------
135
136Many people have asked on the SYSLINUX mailing list how to boot ISO CD
137images using SYSLINUX or PXELINUX.  The short FAQ answer from the SYSLINUX
138author H. Peter Anvin is that it's impossible because of the ways CD-ROM drives
139are implemented in BIOSes.  See for example
140http://syslinux.zytor.com/archives/2006-December/007818.html
141
142Special hardware issues
143-----------------------
144
145Broadcom network adapters:  It is known that certain Broadcom Ethernet
146adapters are buggy.  If your system hangs while you move up and down the
147PXE menus, then you've probably been hit by this.  Please upgrade the
148firmware on the Broadcom adapter to the latest release.
149
150In the case of IBM X-series servers, you MUST upgrade the Broadcom firmware
151to at least release 2.0.0.
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