Top Forums UNIX for Dummies Questions & Answers Network Install PXE/BootP/TFTP Post 52006 by TioTony on Tuesday 8th of June 2004 12:14:07 AM
Old 06-08-2004
Trying to explain it all in a forum post is going to be very difficult but I will try to get you going in the write direction and give you some pointers.

First, understand how kickstart works. Redhat and other sites have plenty of docs on this subject.

Make sure you don't have a competing dhcp/bootp server on that segment of the network. If you do, you will never be able to guarantee your PXE clients get an address and boot from your server.

If you install RedHat, /root/anaconda-ks.cfg is a complete kickstart file based on the system you just installed. It's a helpful starting point

Once you have mastered that stuff, figure out how dhcp and tftp work. Not too difficult. I can't remember off the top of my head but certain tftp programs work better then others. Look at the PXE docs to see what is recommended.

H. Peter Anvin (spelling?) - you know the guy who's name pops up when ever you start linux - has some pretty detailed docs on the vmlinux and initrd stuff. I think there is a link off He also has a home page somewhere with tons of usefull stuff on building boot images (you know, for your PXE clients). Just search for his name.

At this point you should be ready to put all the pieces together. This is the hardest part. You have to build some images and serve them up. Basically you create a conf file that looks at the incoming DHCP/bootp request, decides if it should server out a menu or just grant an address, then "pushes" the image to the client.

I know this is not a step by step procedure but that would be pages and pages of material. Get started and when you hit a roadblock just post it and someone will be able to help you. There is a lot of trial and error in setting up a PXE server, but that is how you learn.

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DHCP-HELPER(8)						      System Manager's Manual						    DHCP-HELPER(8)

dhcp-helper - A DHCP/BOOTP relay agent. SYNOPSIS
dhcp-helper [OPTION]... DESCRIPTION
dhcp-helper is a DHCP and BOOTP relay agent. It listens for DHCP and BOOTP broadcasts on directly connected subnets and relays them to DHCP or BOOTP servers elsewhere. It also relays replies from the remote servers back to partially configured hosts. Once hosts are fully config- ured they can communicate directly with their servers and no longer need the services of a relay. OPTIONS
The only required option is at least one DHCP server to relay to. The simplest way to configure dhcp-helper on a router is just to give the interface to the network containing the DHCP server with a -b option. All the other interfaces present on the machine will then accept DHCP requests. On a machine which does not have an interface on the network containing the DHCP server, use a -s option instead. -s <server> Specify a DHCP or BOOTP server to relay to. The server may be given as a machine name or dotted-quad IP address. More than one server may be specified. -b <interface> Relay to a DHCP or BOOTP server using broadcast via <interface>. This eliminates the need to give a server address. <interface> is automatically added to the list of interfaces which will not receive DHCP requests. -i <interface> Specify which local interfaces to listen on for DHCP/BOOTP broadcasts. If no -i flags are given all interfaces are used except those specified by -e flags and those specified by -b flags. -e <interface> Specify which local interfaces to exclude. -p Use alternative ports (1067/1068) for the DHCP client and server. -v Report the software release version and copyright information. -d Debug mode, do not change UID, write a pid-file or go into the background. -r <file> Specify an alternate path for dhcp-helper to record its process-id in. Normally /var/run/ -u <username> Specify the userid to which dhcp-helper will change after startup. The daemon must normally be started as root, but it will drop root priviledges after startup by changing id to another user. Normally this user is "nobody" but that can be over-ridden with this switch. NOTES
Dhcp-helper requires a 2.2 or later Linux kernel. The "Linux packet filter" and "packet socket" facilities are not required, which is the chief advantage of this software over the ISC DHCP relay daemon. AUTHOR
This manual page was written by Simon Kelley <>. DHCP-HELPER(8)

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