More PXE Magic
Multi-OS PXE Menu
If all you were interested in was PXE booting a single version of Ubuntu or Debian, you would be done. Of course, what if you wanted the choice of either the 32- or 64-bit versions of a particular release, or what if you wanted to choose between a few different releases? Although you could just overwrite your tftpboot directory every time you wanted to change it up, with only a few extra tweaks to the config, you easily can host multiple releases with the same menu.
Move Precise to a Submenu
To get started, let's clean out any existing files in the /var/lib/tftpboot directory. Let's use the i386 Precise netboot.tar.gz to begin, but let's tweak how the files are organized by isolating precise in its own directory:
$ cd /var/lib/tftpboot $ sudo mkdir precise $ cd precise $ sudo wget http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/precise/ ↪main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/netboot.tar.gz $ sudo tar xzf netboot.tar.gz
All of the interesting PXE configuration can be found inside the ubuntu-installer/i386 directory, so make a copy of those files back in the root tftpboot directory so you can edit them:
$ cd /var/lib/tftpboot $ sudo cp -a precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/boot-screens ↪precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/pxelinux.0 ↪precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/pxelinux.cfg .
Unfortunately, all of the configuration files under the boot-screens directory you copied reference ubuntu-installer/i386/boot-screens, when you want them to reference just boot-screens, so the next step is to run a quick Perl one-liner to search and remove any instance of ubuntu-installer/i386/ found in the config file:
$ cd /var/lib/tftpboot/boot-screens $ sudo perl -pi -e 's|ubuntu-installer/i386/||' *
The specific pxelinux configuration that points to the Ubuntu Precise kernel and initrd can be found under precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/boot-screens/txt.cfg. If you were to look at that file, it would look something like this:
default install label install menu label ^Install menu default kernel ubuntu-installer/i386/linux append vga=788 initrd=ubuntu-installer/i386/ ↪initrd.gz -- quiet label cli menu label ^Command-line install kernel ubuntu-installer/i386/linux append tasks=standard pkgsel/language-pack-patterns= ↪pkgsel/install-language-support=false vga=788 ↪initrd=ubuntu-installer/i386/initrd.gz -- quiet
What you want to do is make a copy of this config file under your root-level boot-screens directory, but because you extracted the tarball into a directory named precise (instead of the root directory), you need to do another search and replace, and add precise in front of any reference to the ubuntu-installer directory. Otherwise, the paths to the kernel and initrd will be wrong:
$ cd /var/lib/tftpboot/boot-screens $ sudo cp ../precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/boot-screens/txt.cfg ↪precise-i386.cfg $ sudo perl -pi -e 's|ubuntu-installer|precise/ubuntu-installer|g' ↪precise-i386.cfg
When you are done, the /var/lib/tftpboot/boot-screens/precise-i386.cfg file should look something like this:
default install label install menu label ^Install menu default kernel precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/linux append vga=788 initrd=precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/initrd.gz ↪-- quiet label cli menu label ^Command-line install kernel precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/linux append tasks=standard pkgsel/language-pack-patterns= ↪pkgsel/install-language-support=false vga=788 ↪initrd=precise/ubuntu-installer/i386/initrd.gz -- quiet
Kyle Rankin is a director of engineering operations in the San Francisco Bay Area, the author of a number of books including DevOps Troubleshooting and The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and is a columnist for Linux Journal.
Free DevOps eBooks, Videos, and more!
Regardless of where you are in your DevOps process, Linux Journal can help!
We offer here the DEFINITIVE DevOps for Dummies, a mobile Application Development Primer, and advice & help from the expert sources like:
- Linux Journal
- March 2015 Issue of Linux Journal: System Administration
- High-Availability Storage with HA-LVM
- Localhost DNS Cache
- Real-Time Rogue Wireless Access Point Detection with the Raspberry Pi
- DNSMasq, the Pint-Sized Super Dæmon!
- Days Between Dates: the Counting
- The Usability of GNOME
- February 2015 Issue of Linux Journal: Web Development
- You're the Boss with UBOS
- Linux for Astronomers