PXE boot requests


I would like to play around with a PXE boot server that will be on top of a xubuntu machine. However I read any many websites that it’s essential to run a “full” DHCP server on the host because “regular” DHCP servers don’t understand PXE boot requests.

How about the IPFire DHCP server? Does it work with PXE and if so, how do I confige it to route to the PXE boot server?


Have you already looked on wiki.ipfire.org ?


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Yes it does. That is what the DHCP entries “next-server” and “filename” are for.


Yeah I know that the field “next-server” will require the IP address of the PXE boot server but what’s about “filename”?

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Yes I did here: wiki.ipfire.org - DHCP Server

But there are no further information how to use this. It’s totally new to me / never have done this before.

Filename is for the name of the pxeimage file that you will be serving.

Have a look in the tftpd addon. It covers doing pxeboot to other machines on your network from a pxe server in IPFire. You will need to change the name of the next-server and the pxeimage filename depending on the specifics of the pxe server you are setting up on your xubuntu machine.


But I don’t want to run this server on the IPFire machine. There is already a tftp server running on the xubuntu host.

My point was that you could see what entries are used in the dhcp page for a pxe server running on IPFire. Then you could use that info to figure out what you need to use from your xubuntu server in their place.

My interpretation is that you need to put the IP address (not FQDN) of your xubuntu pxe server into the next-server box.

The filename needs to be the xubuntu equivalent of the pxelinux.0 filename used in tftpd for the pxe install of SuSE or the undionly.kpxe filename used for the pxe install of IPFire.

The pxe server on the xubuntu machine must have a pxe filename that defines the install that will be done. You will need to figure out how that file is defined and what filename to give it.


Ok thanks for that hint. I will try it tomorrow. I guess it’s that config file that defines the possible boot options (I want to offer more than one PXE boot image)

There is a file created /var/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default which defines the location of the iso that will be used for the pxe install as defuined in the tftpd addon wiki page.

I think that the file doesn’t have to be called default and you create a different name for each image you want to install. However I am not certain on this.

I have also never done any of this, just read up a bit on it as I intend to play about with it sometime in the future.

I think this site about PXELINUX is probably worth a look through as well.

Good luck with your experimentation.


This link looks like it could be of use. Note that it is based on a very old version of Ubuntu but the essence of the steps used and the multiple entries in the default file to allow different OS’s to be installed should be able to be used in your setup work.

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I use this.

In a docker . It is noob friendly.
Would love to be able to boot into my own image file.
But that is for a different day.
Good luck. I’m sure you can get it working.