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Old 06-16-2011, 06:20 AM   #1
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PXE booting RHEL6 via Windows SCCM server, kernel problems


I'm currently trying to deploy a cross-platform PXE boot service. By all accounts, the recommended way to do this is using the Windows SCCM server and replacing its PXE subsystem with pxelinux.

I've successfully managed that, we can install Windows and I have a pxelinux menu which allows me to create Linux boot options.

I've added an Ubuntu image to the system and that works perfectly. The problem is that I can't get it to work with RHEL6.

When you pick the RHEL6 boot option, it prints "Loading vmlinuz....." then hangs. As I understand it, this means it's not even successfully decompressing the vmlinuz kernel image. I'm at a loss of what to try next. Obviously, no amount of debug options to the kernel will help, since it's not getting far enough to even boot.

First question, is it possible to decompress it back to a vmlinux image? If so, that might be worth trying. Failing that, does anyone have advice on further debugging steps I could take to see what's going on.

For the record, the exact same vmlinuz image works just fine on our old Linux-based PXE boot service. I've copied the file three or four times from different locations, just to rule out file corruption.

Any advice gratefully received. Thanks!
Old 06-17-2011, 10:13 AM   #2
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If you have built a kernel (of any description, for X86), I am pretty sure that there will be a an uncompressed version left over in the build tree. You should probably be able to get any uncompressed kernel and try that, even if it isn't compatible with your system or the rest of your OS installation. It is possible to extract the uncompressed kernel from the compressed binary, but it is not as simple as running a decompression tool on it. The binary image is prefixed with the built-in decompressor, and this has to be extracted from the blob, and the remainder can then be decompressed. There is somewhat of a recipe for this procedure at CodeGuru Forums > Visual C++ & C++ Programming > C++ (Non Visual C++ Issues) > convert vmlinuz to vmlinux.
--- rod.
Old 07-21-2011, 05:13 AM   #3
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I'm still not sure what went wrong here. As things turned out, RHEL 6.1 came along before I had time to look at this further and it worked without problems. It bugs me a little that I don't understand what went wrong, but at least it works now.


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