Network PXE Boot

Photon OS supports the Preboot Execution Environment, or PXE, over a network connection. This document describes how to set up a PXE boot server to install Photon OS.

Server Setup

To set up a PXE server, you will need to have the following:

  • A DHCP server to allow hosts to get an IP address.
  • A TFTP server, which is a file transfer protocol similar to FTP with no authentication.
  • Optionally, an HTTP server. The HTTP server will serve the RPMs yum repo, or you can use the official Photon OS repo on Bintray. Also, this HTTP server can be used if you want to provide a kickstart config for unattended installation.

The instructions to set up the servers assume you have an Ubuntu 14.04 machine with a static IP address of

DHCP Setup

  • Install the DHCP server:
    sudo apt-get install isc-dhcp-server
  • Edit the Ethernet interface in /etc/default/isc-dhcp-server to INTERFACES="eth0"
  • Edit the DHCP configuration in /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf to allow machines to boot and get an IP address via DHCP in the range - ``` subnet netmask { range; option subnet-mask; option routers; option broadcast-address; filename "pxelinux.0"; next-server; }
* Restart the DHCP server:

sudo service isc-dhcp-server restart

## TFTP Setup
* Install the TFTP server:

sudo apt-get install tftpd-hpa

* Enable the boot service and restart the service:

sudo update-inetd --enable BOOT sudo service tftpd-hpa restart

## Optional: HTTP server setup

This step is only needed if you are planning to serve the ks (kickstart) config file through this server; refer to [Kickstart support]( for details.
* Serving your local yum repo.
You can install apache http web server

sudo apt-get install apache2

Mount the Photon iso to get the RPMS repo and sample ks config file.

mkdir /mnt/photon-iso sudo mount /mnt/photon-iso/

Copy the RPMS repo.

cp -r /mnt/photon-iso/RPMS /var/www/html/

To support ks, you can copy the sample config file from the iso and edit it; refer to [Kickstart support]( for details.

cp /mnt/photon-iso/isolinux/sample_ks.cfg /var/www/html/my_ks.cfg

## PXE boot files setup
* Mount photon.iso to get Linux and initrd images:

mkdir /mnt/photon-iso sudo mount /mnt/photon-iso/

* Setting the PXE boot files:

wget tar -xvf syslinux-6.03.tar.gz pushd /var/lib/tftpboot cp -r /mnt/photon-iso/isolinux/* . cp ~/syslinux-6.03/bios/com32/elflink/ldlinux/ldlinux.c32 . cp ~/syslinux-6.03/bios/com32/lib/libcom32.c32 . cp ~/syslinux-6.03/bios/com32/libutil/libutil.c32 . cp ~/syslinux-6.03/bios/com32/menu/vesamenu.c32 . cp ~/syslinux-6.03/bios/core/pxelinux.0 . mkdir pxelinux.cfg mv isolinux.cfg pxelinux.cfg/default

* Update repo param to point to http yum repo; you may pass official photon bintray repo.

sed -i "s/append/append repo=http:\/\/\/RPMS/g" menu.cfg popd ```

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