[syslinux] syslinux PXE boot version upgrade, network no longer working

Adan Calderon adancalderon at gmail.com
Thu Oct 4 16:05:37 PDT 2018

Hi All,

I had some issues with keeppxe and also found a solution after much
trial and error.  I would have not mind trying out “experimental”
binaries but it was not clear where to find them.  I use a stock a
stock install of slackware64 current for my tftp server.  I use
pfsense to point to the tftp server under the dhcp boot options.  I
upgraded from Syslinux 6.03 to 6.04 pre1 and was still unable to keep
the UNDI API.  I am glad I subscribed to this list, because otherwise
I would have not even known that there were issues with keeppxe.

The solution for me was to chain load version 4.07.  I already did
this for a menu to help me load VMWare ESXi 5.5, as they use their own
version of mboot.c32 that only works with syslinux before 4.07.

My tftp directory (tftpboot) essentially has a subdirectory named dos.
I use “MENU INCLUDE pxelinux.cfg/dos.cfg” inside of the default
file(tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default).  The dos cfg file looks as

KERNEL pxechn.c32
append ::/dos/pxelinux.0

Inside the dos subdirectory, I have 3 files (pxelinux.0, memdisk,
FreeDOS.img.gz) and another pxelinux.cfg subdirectory.  The file
tftpboot/dos/pxelinux.0 and tftpboot/dos/memdisk come from syslinux
4.07.  There is another default file located inside dos/pxelinux.cfg
that looks as follows:

KERNEL memdisk
APPEND keeppxe initrd=FreeDOS.img.gz raw SERVERNAME=DATASERVER

This made it possible for me to pxe boot Free DOS 1.2 and use the
Intel Universal NDIS Driver v2.11 981212 with the Microsoft 3.0 Net
Client.  Finding the NDIS.DOS file for DOS proved difficult but I
ended up finding them by doing ftp searches online for pxe20-sdk.exe,
pxe20-pdk.exe, pxe_pdk.exe.

I hope this information also helps someone else and I hope a newer
release of syslinux eventiually fix the keeppxe parameter which I also
discovered has to come after an append statement and is case

Best Regards,

Adan Calderon

On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 5:58 PM David McDowell via Syslinux
<syslinux at zytor.com> wrote:
> Ah! I was only searching in 4.07 and didn’t think to search in the 6.03 for that. Thank you for steering me down the right path Lukas!
> > On Feb 6, 2018, at 5:20 PM, Lukas Schwaighofer <lukas at schwaighofer.name> wrote:
> >
> > Hi David,
> >
> > On Mon, 5 Feb 2018 18:09:51 -0500
> > David McDowell via Syslinux <syslinux at zytor.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Thanks for the suggestion Lukas. Is lpxelinux.0 [1] a fork of this
> >> distro or a completely different open source option?
> >
> > The file is part of syslinux (pxelinux) and exists since version 5.10.
> > So neither a fork nor a different project ;) .  According to the link I
> > had provided:
> >
> > Since version 5.10, a special PXELINUX binary, lpxelinux.0, natively
> > supports HTTP and FTP transfers, (...)
> >
> > You probably already have the required file and only need to
> > change your dhcp configuration to point your clients to a
> > different boot file (and make sure it's accessible via tftp).
> >
> >> I can vouch that running 4.07 fixed my issue with older model laptops
> >> I mentioned. I’m still waiting on tests with bleeding new demo models
> >> we have to see if the network loads those as well. I might try an
> >> early 5.x release if I have troubles with the newest hardware.
> >
> > Glad you found an option that works for you.
> >
> > Regards
> > Lukas
> >
> > [1] http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php?title=PXELINUX#HTTP_and_FTP
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