[syslinux] Syslinux 5.x and VMware ESXi mboot.c32

Shantanu Gadgil shantanugadgil at yahoo.com
Wed May 22 13:13:03 PDT 2013

--- On Fri, 5/17/13, Gene Cumm <gene.cumm at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, 15 May, at 10:32:01PM, Shantanu Gadgil wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have had a VMware ESXi network boot setup for quite some time now.
>> After upgrading from 4.06 to 5.01 (or 5.10-pre3) the network boot fails with the following error:
>> --- snip ---
>> Failed to load COM32 file esxi/5.1.0/mboot.c32
>> boot:
>> --- snip ---
>> This error is seen for the ESXi bootup only.
>> The default mboot.c32 from syslinux itself doesn't work and this setup has been working with Syslinux 4.06.
> Did you also upgrade mboot.c32 to the corresponding 5.01 (or 5.10-pre3)
> version?
> SG> Yes, I did. This wouldn't matter though, right? The mboot.c32 being loaded is the one which ships with ESXi 5.
> (I have the ESXi ISO loopback mounted and the data accessed directly, instead of wasting disk space :) :))

This won't work as ESXi-5.0 uses Syslinux-3.86 components.  You need
to use Syslinux-5.01 components.


Thanks, I understand; read up about the format change of the COM32 modules.
> Are there are any other messages printed before the "Failed to load.."
> one above?
> SG> None that I can see in the small amount of time :(

Ideally, this error should be more descriptive (why the load failed,
ie wrong COM32 type) however it is sufficient to indicate the issue.

I tried a PAUSE+ENTER+PAUSE+ENTER trick to slow down the boot, but no luck.
Is there any way to capture the messages (if any) ?


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