[syslinux] Failing to get pxechain.com working, SYSLINUX 3.86.

Andrew Stuart andrew at shopcusa.com
Tue Jul 26 20:15:55 PDT 2011

On 7/26/2011 6:54 PM, Gene Cumm wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 21:15, Andrew Stuart<andrew at shopcusa.com>  wrote:
>> To start, I know I need to upgrade SYSLINUX, but since we are using the
>> CMenu's it's not that easy of an upgrade. I have been (slowly) working on a
>> new iPXE/pxelinux 4.04 install that I am migrating to.
> cmenu rather than menu.c32/vesameu.c32?  Have you tried just
> rebuilding it in the new version?
Correct, it's been around for a while, and at that time 
menu.c32/vesamenu.c32 had a bunch of issues (for us) with video 
lockups/etc. I tried straight copy/modify/compile and failed, haven't 
had a chance to figure out why.

>> However, I have an interesting problem. Using any of the examples I have
>> seen, I can not make pxechain.com work.
>> "pxechain.com ::/path/pxelinux.0"
>> "pxechain.com ::path/pxelinux.0"
>> "pxechain.com"
>> "pxechain.com"
>> Having seen a thread where it appears pxechain.com is interchangeable, I
>> tried the one from 4.04, with no difference.
> The reason for this is that it only interprets the command line then
> makes a PXE API call.
>> I escape from my CMenu to the boot prompt:
>> boot: pxechain.com
>> and it appeared nothing happened, assuming it was a vmware issue, I tried on
>> a few hardware based systems with the same results.
> 1) Could you reference "a few hardware based systems" (including
> applicable BIOS/firmware)?
Intel 945gtp, msi 915gm, acer H340, Dell Ins 1525. I'll need to get back 
to you on the bios but some machines have already left, so I'll need to 
try a few others

> 2) Which VMware product?  Which NIC?

Esxi v41u1 E1000, and default
Workstation 7.1.4, same nics

> 3) Could you try without loading your CMenu system in case it's
> corrupting something?

Sure, I'll have to try it tomorrow.

>> Now, for the interesting part:  I got distracted, walked away for 15
>> minutes, came back and found:
>> boot: pxechain.com
>> Could not find kernel image:
>> boot:
>> Booting from local disk ...
>> (etc)
>> I have repeated this with all the above examples, it takes roughly 10
>> minutes before getting that response. in tftpd's xferlog nothing is logged
>> until it gets the above, then it logs pxechain.com
>> I'm running hpa's tftpd on FreeBSD 8.2 x86, this is an old working setup,
>> all other apps working great, I just have one specific app that needs to be
>> launched with it's own path, I have tested this specifically with pxelinux.0
>> from 3.86/4.04 in path/ to verify it wasn't the programs fault. also server
>> address is, and is not multihomed
>> Now, is opendns' landing page for all their redirects for
>> invalid domains/etc. Anyone have any clues as to whats going wrong here? Why
>> is opendns' landing page coming up? is pxechain attempting to do a dns
>> lookup that is failing? I do have opendns' servers setup as
>> forwarders for my local dns servers.
>> I haven't tried to rebuild pxechain.com with debug support as I don't know
>> anything about assembly, and I'm not sure compiling it under FreeBSD is
>> going to work (assuming it should?!?!)..
>> Besides sniffing/debug build of pxechain, any other suggestions? I will work
>> on trying to get something setup to do this in case it's the only response.
> Another is pxechn.c32.  I've implemented basic functionality however I
> haven't received any feedback.  By default, it manipulates the
> parameters in memory and loads the new NBP without the PXE RESTART
> call but with an extra parameter can be a larger replacement for
> pxechain.com.

Yeah, Gene, that may be because it's hard to find?!?! I remember it, and 
went looking for it, but while I can find references to it, I can't find 
the file itself (or the source), I must be missing the git repo or 
something in my google searches. I'd gladly try it otherwise. Or blind?


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