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Old 09-23-2011, 06:38 PM   #1
Bradj47
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Registered: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
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Need help setting up my PXE boot server


I work in a computer repair shop and somehow we're having this problem of losing all our bootable disks (Everything from Hirens to Windows). I was thinking I could just extract all the media into directories on a Debian machine we have running here and boot over the network. I would boot into a GRUB menu (or something similar) and choose whatever I wanted to boot. So I was following a Debian how-to guide on how to do this but I hit a snag when I got to the part where I define menu entries. I'm starting with Hirens. Here is the example they give for a Debian Etch menu entry:

Code:
DISPLAY boot.txt

DEFAULT etch_i386_install

LABEL etch_i386_install
        kernel debian/etch/i386/linux
        append vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/i386/initrd.gz  --
LABEL etch_i386_linux
        kernel debian/etch/i386/linux
        append vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/i386/initrd.gz  --

LABEL etch_i386_expert
        kernel debian/etch/i386/linux
        append priority=low vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/i386/initrd.gz  --

LABEL etch_i386_rescue
        kernel debian/etch/i386/linux
        append vga=normal initrd=debian/etch/i386/initrd.gz  rescue/enable=true --

PROMPT 1
TIMEOUT 0
In this example they show these kernel and append commands. I think my main confusion is what those actually are, as in what do they do? What should I put there for Hirens? I'm also confused as to whether this is a GRUB menu I'm configuring or something else. Is it GRUB, syslinux, LILO, or some other thing that tftpboot came up with?
 
Old 09-23-2011, 08:11 PM   #2
jefro
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They are files.

Hirens is a rather complex thing to try to boot to all systems. It may be that you can use a memory part of syslinux to make a small ram disk to then load your iso to. It would take a while even to load that. I think you should try to break that stuff up to smaller choice instead of the entire disk.

Might be that you should go with gpxe/ipxe and boot from a ftp or http or iscsi drive.

Normally you put some pxe bootable files on a server. install and setup dhcp server with some options and a tftp or nfs server.

I might suggest you first start with a knoppix cd. Boot to the cd/dvd (v 3.2 to 6.x). Then start the knoppix terminal server. It does it all for you and you can go and see your created pxe server and files. Then take that info and try to replicate it after you have it working.

Last edited by jefro; 09-23-2011 at 08:13 PM.
 
Old 09-23-2011, 11:10 PM   #3
Bradj47
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Registered: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
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Well I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask if there's a simple program I can get that will allow me to just point at an iso file and have it boot over the network. That would be the easiest way to do it. If not, I guess it'll take a lot more work and I'll have to try what you were saying.
 
  


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