[syslinux] PXE Boot Solution

Andrew Stuart andrew at shopcusa.com
Tue Jun 2 14:12:43 PDT 2009

Matthew Holevinski wrote:
> Once again I feel horrible for asking something I feel is completely
> off topic for this group but everyone is so extremely helpful :(
> In my organization, we basically use Windows PE disks, to do our
> re-images, after some time and a lot of help from this group
> I was able to get a thumb drive to successfully work as a Windows PE
> bootloader, as well as some other utilities like wiping the
> hard drive, and what not.
> Honestly, it would be great, if i could reboot say 20 machines, have
> them all pxe boot from my machine and then sit back and watch my
> machine
> multicast out an image to all of them. Not really sure what I'm
> talking about so be gentle.
> Matthew Holevinski

I really hate to suggest this.. I mean I really really hate to suggest 
this.. I think it would be in your best interest to look at microsoft's 
deployment services (WDS).

I stay as far away from it as I possibly can (because I don't like being 
locked in). I much prefer the system I have setup with syslinux, but 
alas it doesn't support multicast (nor do I need it to).

I haven't used it since it's early days (pre multicast), so I have no 
idea if what they claim is supported, or what magic / licenses / etc you 
need to make it work.

Take a look at the following link: 

I think this is readily available now, but I am not positive. I know 
they were going to be expanding this with the Windows 7 Waik.

The plus side, is someone put up a nice tutorial for adding pxelinux to 
WDS. Which should give you the other boot abilities of your usb drive. 

At least if you follow this setup, you should be able to get microsoft 

Alternatively, there are things like udpcast that may be able to be 
hacked to do as you desire.. if you have any luck on these, or if anyone 
else has any stories.. I would personally love to hear them.

 From my brief look at the technology / recalling from memory. I believe 
their multicast deployment still boots WinPE to run the client, which 
can easily be added to a pxelinux environment.

Recently there was a post to this list about a project that allows 
webbased administration of pxelinux configuration, which would probably 
fill your need of selecting 20 machines and have them be imaged.. If I 
am correct about the above winpe requirement for multicast.

I think it will allow you to select the machines via MAC address.

link: http://twyna.sourceforge.net/

Hope this helps..


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