[syslinux] Strange behavior

Gene Cumm gene.cumm at gmail.com
Wed Nov 16 13:04:53 PST 2011

On Nov 16, 2011 3:35 PM, "Roy Marantz" <roy.marantz at vonage.com> wrote:
> I'm using syslinux 4.04 with dynamically generated menus configuration
> on info found in various web pages.  I'm doing my testing using a vCetner
> 4.10 Vmware virtual machine.  This works some of the time, but not always.
> I just copied the prebuilt modules from the syslinux 4.04 distribution for
> gpxelinx.0, menu.c32, reboot.c32, and pxelinux.0

There's a race condition with at least some VMware products that I solved
last month.  HPA committed the fixes to the lwip branch but I don't believe
he's released a new 4.10 prerelease yet.

> When I boot a machine dhcpd says to boot gpxelinux.0 with
> pxelinux.pathprefix "" and
> pxelinux.configfile "menu.pl" so that menu.pl generates the real
> configuration information for the chain loaded pxelinux.0.
> I see the startup messages from gpxelinux.0 and pxelinux 4.04, a message
> saying that menu.pl was loaded OK, and the output of  a SAY statement in
> generated configuration.
> In the generated configuration is a UI menu.c32 line and a few LABEL
> stanzas.
> I'm watching the logs from my apache server and see that sometimes it get
> requests for loading /tftpboot/gpxe/menu.c32.0, /tftpboot/gpxe/
> /tftpboot/gpxe/menu.c32.cbt, or /tftpboot/gpxe/menu.c32.c32 before
> and saying:
> Could not find kernel image: menu.c32
> I can work around that by creating /tftpboot/gpxe/menu.c32.c32 or putting
> "UI menu" in the configuration file, but it still tries to load all the
> other files first.
> What might cause menu.c32.{0,com,cbt,c32} to be requested?

Default name fallback mechanism.  If it can't find the specified file,
attempt appending certain extensions.

> It seems to take a "long" time (say 30 seconds) between the time the SAY
> messages shows up and the menu is displayed?  Why?  That seems to be when
> is trying to load all the difference menu.c32 files.

It takes a while for it to fail.

> BTW, I have a LABEL setup to use reboot.c32 and while that causes the boot
> process to restart, it only tries to load menu.0 and menu.com.  I'll worry
> about this later thought.
> Thanks for any help or ideas.
> Roy

Hope this helps.


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