[syslinux] Context: launching FreeBSD "pxeboot" from PXELINUX is the Very L ast Bug.

McMahon, Chris CMcMahon at loronix.com
Mon Nov 17 08:02:10 PST 2003

	Last week I demonstrated a problem with PXELINUX's ability to launch
the FreeBSD "pxeboot" program.  Mr. Anvin suggests that this can be fixed.
I'm glad, because this PXELINUX/pxeboot problem is the very last technical
issue for a project on which I've been working since September. 
	My company has a proprietary disk-imaging system that they would
like to replace.  My company is also an all-Windows shop.  I proposed that
we try to use the "Frisbee" disk-imaging system from the University of Utah,
with the understanding that the project could fail at any point.  I proposed
Frisbee because I was impressed with this paper:
http://www.cs.utah.edu/flux/papers/frisbee-usenix03-base.html .
	The project is still alive, and enthusiasm is growing.  Frisbee
works really, really well, and FreeBSD has some features that I rely on.
Porting the entire system I've built to Linux would probably be possible,
but would be extremely inconvenient. 
	But the system to be replaced has another feature I was unaware of
until recently: the ability to load and execute code from an image of a
bootable floppy disk.  PXELINUX can do this; but pxeboot can't.   
	Therefore, if we can get a PXELINUX that can invoke pxeboot, I can
give my users the ability to run Frisbee or to run DOS floppy images, and I
can completely replace, feature-for-feature, our existing (expensive yet
buggy) Windows application with a combination of Frisbee-on-FreeBSD and
	Having this working would also solve a problem for the
Frisbee/Emulab team, so they are also very interested.
	I hope to hear something about a way to fix the PXELINUX/pxeboot
issue soon. Actually, I'm on edge of my seat...   =) 

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