[syslinux] PXE, Intel, and FC4 problems

Kevin G. J. Freels kevin at westies.com
Wed Aug 1 09:28:17 PDT 2007


I am currently building a PXE distro server for a company that I'm 
contracting for, but I'm having some problems. Here's the scoop:

Some of the clients I want to install on are Angstrom blades with Intel 
e1000 NICs. Using the pxelinux.0 file on the FC6 distro, I can install 
FC6 just fine. However, FC4 bombs. The system pulls it's DHCP address 
just fine, and then loads the kernel and initrd.img. However, at that 
point, the NIC goes dead, and the install then requests the CDROM and/or 
user input for the rest of the install (defeating the purpose of the 
unattended install). As I said, the FC6 install works just fine.

After many hours of research, I summised that the e1000 drivers buried 
in the FC4 initrd are downrev'd for that card, so I tried a *bunch* of 
things to get this to work:

-- Downloaded and built the latest e1000 driver and added to the initrd 
for FC4, wouldn't load, same result,

-- Tried using the FC6 vmlinuz/initrd (also FC5), wouldn't work because 
the FC6 install moved to yum and the trees are different,

-- Built new vmlinuz kernel with the e1000 driver built in, but it came 
back on the load as "Invalid or corrupt kernel" (needs to be an 
x86_boot_sector image and not a UNIX ELF executable, how do you build 

-- Tried the FC6 pxelinux.0, but was dumped back to the CRDOM prompt again.

After a week and a half of trying everything but waving a dead chicken, 
one of my co-workers found a way to load the FC4 image, and then load 
the new e1000 driver manually, but, again, this defeats the purpose of 
the unattended install. My FC4 PXE install works just fine for the 
Broadcom NIC.

I only saw one item about the Intel e1000 NIC on the SYSLINUX/PXELINUX 
mailing archives at:


but the solution (from Mr. Cody) didn't work for me.

Any ideas, advice, or wisdom?

Thanks, as always.


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