I'm in the process of trying to convert some computers at my local school to be diskless browser stations. We've identified PCLinuxOS as the OS we'd like to use due to it's easy interface for creating custom ISO images (we need WINE and some custom apps installed also, as well as FireFox). I've been having problems figuring out how to get an ISO to boot via PXE. In our network, I only have access to TFTP and HTTP, so I cannot use NFS. The machines all have enough memory (4 gigs) that they could use a ram drive to hold the ISO image, if that helps.

Currently I've been looking at GPXE with GRUB/MEMDISK, but I don't know if that's the right solution, or even where a good resource is for setting it up. Searching the web has proved fruitless, as most of the information is either NFS-specific or out of date. The other students and I would appreciate any help! :)


1 Answer 1


PXE boot does use TFTP to transfer the image, while TFTP bases on UDP which has alot of disadvantages.

Modern GPXE does use HTTP or FTP to transfer the image which much more better speed.

To satisfy your demand, all you need is a working GPXE server and Grub4dos bootloader.

Diskless client will request IP by DHCP, then download the gpxe module, then download grub.exe and iso image.

Grub.exe will load the image by mapping it to (0xff) memory.

I have wrote a detail tutorial here : http://www.linuxbyexamples.net/2012/08/boot-iso-image-from-http-server.html

Hope it can help you.



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