[syslinux] etherboot vs. pxelinux (was: Windows Remote Install)

Josef Siemes jsiemes at web.de
Thu Jul 10 05:21:00 PDT 2003


"David Ehrmann" <exobyte at bigvalley.net> schrieb am 10.07.03 11:02:54:

> I've been doing that for a while, but I seem to be finding conflicting
> information.  Some sources focus on the boot ROM aspect of etherboot
> while others think etherboot is an alternative to PXE.  Correct me if I'm
> wrong, but it seems like there is etherboot the program and etherboot the
> protocol.

pxelinux is a PXE boot loader, it depends on a PXE-Rom installed in the
network card. This loads the config file, a kernel (or memdisk, etc.) and
the initrd. pxelinux itself is not network card dependent, since the
network card specific code is in the PXE rom.

etherboot is basically a network card rom. It was originally designed to
be burned to the network card rom, replacing anything on the rom 
(including the PXE code). etherboot works with tagged images containing
the configuration, the kernel and initrd in one file, and is usually
created specifically for a network card. One way to boot with etherboot
is also to boot the etherboot code via the pxe rom, and then continuing
as above (basically: Replacing the PXE code with etherboot code, and
continue as if this etherboot code was burned to the network card

So pxe and etherboot have some connections, if you talk about 
pxelinux you should not use anything from etherboot, since this
uses a quite different approach. It's at first quite confusing to see
'etherboot supports pxe' while it only uses pxe as a piggyback to
load itself, and then taking over full control over the network card.

I hope this cleared some things about etherboot vs. pxelinux.


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