[syslinux] pxelinux problem

Eric P. McCoy ctr2sprt at cox.net
Wed Jul 17 13:14:05 PDT 2002

"H. Peter Anvin" <hpa at zytor.com> writes:

> >>What gave you the impression that they were "Linux" tftpds?  tftp-hpa,
> >>in particular, should run on anything vaguely Unixlike.

> > *shrug* It wasn't in the FreeBSD ports collection, and most software
> > that runs on FreeBSD is in there somewhere.  But tftp-hpa does indeed
> > compile and run fine.

> Good.  Want to put it in there?  :)

Sure, I'll look into it.  I know nothing about the FreeBSD ports
submission process, though.

> There is something more fundamentally bizarre going on.  Normal
> behaviour is that it prints an error message, waits 5 minutes, then
> reboot (otherwise an unattended machine might be waiting forever due to
> a temporary server failure.)  I'm guessing the BIOS clock on your
> machine is broken somehow, and that those "5 minutes" take no time at all.

I don't _think_ that's the problem, but unfortunately I can't rule it
out.  I have had bad clock skew problems on this machine in the past,
but they seemed to be tied both to the onboard NIC (which isn't the
one pxelinux is using) and Linux.  FreeBSD was able to use the onboard
NIC with no skew problems.  Some limited correspondence with
kernel-related people suggested that it was a Linux issue, not a
hardware one: basically, the system timer interrupt handler was
getting called every time an interrupt arrived on the NIC (and yes,
they did have different IRQs), which meant the system clock was
getting boosted by 1/100 sec every time the NIC generated an

So it's possible that's the problem, but I think it's unlikely.  Also
the prompt (which now appears correctly) does indeed stay around for
about 30 seconds (which is what I have it set to do) before going with
the default.

Eric McCoy (reverse "ten.xoc at mpe", mail to "ctr2sprt" is filtered)

"Last I checked, it wasn't the power cord for the Clue Generator that
was sticking up your ass."	- John Novak, rasfwrj

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