I have been tasked with the project of making Windows Server 2012 r2 PXE boot live Linux distributions using WDS and I'm having trouble. I have a Blade server acting as the WDS, a Sonicwall handling DHCP and acting as a firewall (I do not have access to the Sonicwall) and a lab full of computers to PXE boot. I've followed the instructions I could find from multiple sources online. I have used the necessary files from Syslinux 5.01 (pxelinux, vesamenu, and chain) and renamed them as suggested, I have created the NFS share folder as suggested and created a TFTP server as found in other guides to serve the filesystem.squashfs file when NFS failed to boot. I believe that the error is in my default file (below) but I have no idea what it would be. Neither option (NFS for Ubuntu or TFPT for Kali) boots successfully. NFS gives me an error about needing a path, yet the path points exactly where the guides say to, and the TFTP errors out with no live filesystem found, but filesystem.squashfs is the live filesystem.

Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

Sources: Combining PXELinux with WDS How to PXE boot live Linux CD

DEFAULT      vesamenu.c32


MENU TITLE PXE Boot Menu (x64) MENU INCLUDE pxelinux.cfg/graphics.conf MENU AUTOBOOT Starting Local System in 8 seconds

Option 1 - Exit PXE Linux & boot normally

LABEL bootlocal

  menu label ^Boot Normally
  menu default
  localboot 0
  timeout 80

Option 2 - Run WDS


 MENU LABEL ^Windows Deployment Services
 KERNEL pxeboot.0

LABEL kali

 MENU LABEL ^Kali 2.0
 # Load the correct kernel
 kernel /Linux/Kali/live/vmlinuz
 # Boot options
 append priority=low vga=normal boot=live initrd=/Linux/Kali/live/initrd.img fetch=tftp:// 

LABEL ubuntu

 # Load the correct kernel
 kernel /Linux/Ubuntu/casper/vmlinuz.efi
 # Boot options
 append root=/dev/nfs priority=low vga=normal boot=casper netboot=nfs initrd=/Linux/Ubuntu/casper/initrd.lz nfsroot=

Option 3 - Exit PXE Linux

LABEL Abort MENU LABEL E^xit KERNEL abortpxe.0

2 Answers 2


append this nfsroot=

to this nfsroot= Note the full colon after the IP address

  • I'm using the nfs root method for Kali as well and cannot get the filesystem.squashfs to load either. I have Ubuntu and Centos deploying after some work LABEL Linux MENU LABEL Deploy Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop Linux x64 Kernel Linux/ubuntu/Ubuntu-16-04-Desktop-x64/linux append initrd=/Linux/Ubuntu/Ubuntu-16-04-Desktop-x64/casper/initrd.lz ramdisk_size=65536 root=/dev/nfs boot=casper netboot=nfs nfsroot=
    – christo
    Jul 11, 2016 at 21:33

Long dead thread, but I did find the solution. The system loaded correctly, however, there were no video drivers so it appeared as a completely blank screen and seemed to be hung. Simply launch a tty terminal (ctrl+f3) and load drivers, then swap back (ctrl+f1) and bingo! You're in the GUI.

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