My router serves Debian installer via gPXE

Sunday, 25 July 2010

My Linksys router now serves the LAN with netboot images, allowing the simple installation of Debian GNU/Linux.

I updated /etc/dnsmasq.conf on the router itself to read:

# gPXE sends a 175 option.
dhcp-match=gpxe,175

# serve the "undionly.kpxe" file by default.
dhcp-boot=net:#gpxe,undionly.kpxe

# which will then pull the config via HTTP
dhcp-boot=http://static.steve.org.uk/netboot/gpxe.cfg

Then placed /tftproot/undionly.kpxe in place on the router. This combination of files causes:

  • The machine to netboot via undionly.kpxe (think of this like pxelinux.0.)
  • The file gpxe.cfg to be fetched via HTTP
  • Which in turn loads a simple menu.conf file, again via HTTP
  • At this point the user can select the flavour of Debian installer to run.

I have only one problem - it seems that adding the expected entry to boot locally fails:

MENU TITLE Netboot

LABEL Local.Disk
   bootlocal 0

Update: After a fresh sleep and more trial and error I discovered this works:

LABEL Local.Boot
   KERNEL local/chain.c32
   APPEND -

It gives a temporary warning about invalid sector number - but actually does boot locally by default, on both my EEEPC and my desktop machine.

If you want to snarf my netboot environment you are welcome to mirror :

Why did I do this in the first place? I wanted to install Squeeze upon my EEEPC (now done.)

ObQuote: Nice Cross. How'd you get the blood off?

- Dead Like Me

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