[syslinux] Network boot for syslinux

Gene Cumm gene.cumm at gmail.com
Mon May 9 07:39:26 PDT 2016

On Sun, May 8, 2016 at 3:56 AM, Tomas M via Syslinux <syslinux at zytor.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> I would like to achieve this goal:
> - start bootloader using syslinux or isolinux from hard drive or CD (not pxe)
> - init network, get IP address somehow from DHCP
> - download kernel and initrd from FTP server (hosted on public internet)
> - boot it
> Is this currently possible with syslinux or isolinux?

Directly, no, because the underlying PXE stack and network card
haven't been initialized by the underlying BIOS or a full network card

> I can do it when I boot over PXE from network, using PXELINUX.
> But I would like to have the bootloader on disk for example, and load
> vmlinuz+initrd "from network", to avoid the need for pxe server at
> all.

Your closest bet is with iPXE/gPXE, likely loaded from
SYSLINUX/ISOLINUX and either directly loading the kernel/initrd or
loading PXELINUX off of a remote server.  Several organizations have
mini ISOs like this.

https://boot.fedoraproject.org/ is an example


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