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Old 04-19-2015, 12:28 PM   #1
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Distribution: Debian 7.8, Debian 8
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PXE won't boot


I don't know if this forum is the correct one to ask about this problem. Feel free to move it to another forum.

I am running PelicanHPC, a Debian-live based clustering distro.
It sets up a DHCP server, and offer PXE boot to other machines in a network.
I have switch off the DHCP server in my router.

Problem is that when I boot from this computer through the network, it displays a message for a split of a second: Succeed download. I guess that it is downloading the NBP correctly. But then, it's just returning to BIOS and/or booting my OS normally.

The other computer is offering a non-EFI image, and this computer boots: UEFI: PXE IPv4. Maybe there is a mismatch, but I have no idea on how to fix this.

What can I do to boot it correctly?

If you need more information, just ask me about it.

Thank you
Old 04-19-2015, 08:03 PM   #2
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Usually PXE-booting Linux requires that a config file be set up for each client (the config files are named based on the MAC address of the client machine or the IP if statically assigned by the DHCP server). I am not sure if Pelican sets up this configuration for you, but if so, you'll need to identify the clients to it somehow. I work with HPC bnut have never used Pelican, so you'd need to consult its documentation of how to do define compute nodes.

It looks like PelicanHPC is Debian-based, so you can look at log entries from the TFTP server (they should be in /var/log/syslog IIRC on a Debian-based distro) on the head node. These should tell you what kernel and initrd the clients are requesting when they try to boot, which may help debug the issue. Also, you might want to look at the dhcpd logs (I forgot if they're in /var/log/syslog or another file; in any case you can consult the leases file to see active leases) to make sure that clients are getting leases correctly.

I might add that, although not super-difficult, setting up a small HPC and running parallel MPI codes over it is not really a newbie task either. Do you have a specific use in mind for the cluster?
Old 04-20-2015, 02:43 AM   #3
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Registered: Mar 2015
Distribution: Debian 7.8, Debian 8
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Thank you btmiller, I will see the logs.

What distro are you using? This one?

Originally Posted by btmiller View Post
Do you have a specific use in mind for the cluster?
No. I'm new to GNU/Linux. I'm installing a home-cluster to simply try how it works.

Last edited by jesus92gz; 04-20-2015 at 02:51 AM.
Old 04-20-2015, 03:06 PM   #4
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So, we need to split out the suspects.

One is server setup. Unfortunately you haven't reported it to work on any system is that correct?

Two is clients. You'd have to take a known working pxe server and some good image to test. I like to boot to a knoppix 3.x to 5.x live media. I think all of those except one or two offerings did fully work with knoppix terminal server. (pxe)

Part of the client is that you'd need to have support for the nic. Pxe can start but a supported nic has to take over.

Lastly is this image you are sending.

You will have to set up some tests to get some set working.

I would not start on uefi pxe. That whole deal is a mess.

It may be possible to test with gpxe/ipxe or from sites like or using slitaz boot disk to a local source.

Some people set up a virtual machine cluster, the vm hardware is generally well supported as it is really rather generic. (in most cases)

Last edited by jefro; 04-20-2015 at 03:08 PM.


pxe, pxe boot

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