How can I remotely install CentOS 5.5 from my laptop running Windows 7 to a system with an empty hard drive. I've enabled PXE, Ethernet boot on the the new system, and I've got a tftp and dhcp server running on the Windows 7 laptop. What next? Any sort of guidelines will help.

EDIT: So far...

The remote system is being correctly assigned an ip from dhcp server on windows 7

Setup TFTP server:

  • Enabled PXE Compatibility
  • Set pxelinux.0 as boot file in DHCP settings
  • Copied the following files from syslinux for centos 5.5 64bit to tftp basedir :chain.c32 mboot.c32 memdisk menu.c32 pxelinux.0
  • Created configuration file on basedir pxelinux.cfg


default menu.c32
prompt 0
timeout 300
LABEL CentOS 5.5 64bit NO KS eth0
MENU LABEL CentOS 5.5 64bit NO KS eth0
KERNEL images/vmlinuz
APPEND ks initrd=images/initrd.img ramdisk_size=100000 ksdevice=eth0

But I get the the following errors on boot after DHCP address assignment.

PXE-E11: ARP timeout
PXE-E38: TfTP cannot open connection
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM.

Boot Failure

You almost got it working! :) your problem right now is the tftp server not being accessible from the machine you're trying to install.

Check the following to make sure it's working

  • Check that the next-server parameter in DHCP points to your laptop IP
  • Check that the tftp server is not firewalled (you need to open tcp and udp port 69)
  • Check that you can recover files from the tftp server using a tftp client

If all those checks work and you assigned an IP to your CentOS install in the same network as your laptop the install should go fine

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