[syslinux] pxelinux and WDS

Jeffrey Hutzelman jhutz at cmu.edu
Thu Jan 21 13:19:23 PST 2010

--On Thursday, January 21, 2010 09:01:45 PM +0100 Julien Garet 
<julien.garet at inria.fr> wrote:

> Hello,
> We are trying to set up a configuration with pxelinux on a linux machine
> and WDS, allowing us to be free to boot linux netboot installers from the
> tftp server. We have validated that pointing our dhcp server to the wds
> server works perfectly.  Our idea was to use pxechain.com to launch the
> wdsnbp.com kernel as below : label windows
>         KERNEL pxechain.com
>         APPEND <ip address>::\Boot\x86\wdsnbp.com
> wdsnbp.com loads perfectly from the WDS server but our problem is that
> WDS uses dhcp to find which is the next server to load the next part of
> the WDS boot process (pxeboot.com) and as the dhcp next-server points to
> our linux server it does not work, there's a loop. I thought that it was
> the work of pxechain (i.e. rewrite the next server in memory to prevent
> making those kinds of loops).

Yes, that's exactly PXECHAIN's job.  As you note, it rewrites the response 
in memory, but of course it can't affect the response the DHCP server will 
send if some later part of the boot process does a new DHCP request (for 
example, most OS installers will do this eventually).

We've been using it to start WDS for some time, using configuration nearly 
identical to yours.  You shouldn't need any special configuration on the 
DHCP server, but I'm not sure if there's anything unusual that has to be 
done on the Windows side to make this work.

-- Jeff

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