[syslinux] Chain loading to another PXE server?

Carl Karsten carl at personnelware.com
Mon Apr 24 23:18:37 PDT 2006

H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> Mike Dorman wrote:
>> Is it at all possible to chain load to another PXE server using
>> pxelinux?
>> I'm wondering because we are getting ready to roll out a new dedicated
>> server provisioning system at the datacenter where I work.  In the past
>> we've used pxelinux to network boot the Linux installations (e.g.
>> anaconda.)  We also use it to network boot to rescue mode, memtest86,
>> etc.
>> But we are moving to a new product called Snap Deploy from Acronis.
>> It's an imaging tool similar to Ghost which will allow us to provision
>> servers by applying an image to them, rather than having to wait for
>> Linux or Windows to install and then manually doing all the
>> configuration.
>> The drawback is that it only works with its own (proprietary) PXE
>> server.  But we still want to keep our pxelinux system around for
>> booting resuce mode, etc.
>> What I'd like to do is have one boot option in pxelinux be "Boot to
>> Acronis Snap Deploy" which would then direct the machine to the Snap
>> Deploy PXE server and boot with that one as normal.
>> But from what I've seen, there is no way to do this.  Is that correct,
>> or am I missing something somewhere?
> There is no way to do this.  There isn't really any meaningful way this 
> could be done (because of the discovery phase), except possibly via vlans.

label Acronis
         kernel memdisk
         append AcronisBooter.img

where AcronisBooter.img is made from


USE_STATIC_BOOT_INFO Use static ip insted of dynamic protocolsWhen 
USE_STATIC_BOOT_INFO is defined, the following
must also be defined:


  	Define a default bootfile for the case where your DHCP server does not 
provide the information. Example:
If you do not specify this option, then DHCP offers that do not specify 
bootfiles will be ignored.

I think the DEFAULT_BOOTFILE is all you need.  btw - the syntax of th eexample 
confused me - it is really tftp://, or you can try 
DNS_RESOLVER  	Support for resolving hostnames in bootfile name (experimental)
and tftp://tftpservername/optionaldir/kernel

I am sure you have more than one nic type, so you probably need to use:

" make bin/etherboot-pci.zdsk  Which would generate an image with all the PCI 
ethernet card drivers that Etherboot knows about compiled in in CD or floppy 
format, respectively. I hope this is of some help." 

Good luck getting all these pieces to work together - I just got an error trying 
to build etherboot-pci.zdsk, but it is the first time I tried.  I did get 
DEFAULT_BOOTFILE to work a week ago.

Carl K

More information about the Syslinux mailing list