If you currently don’t have any structured means of managing deployments of Standard Operating Environments (SOE’s) in your organization, I seriously urge you to read on as learning how to deploy images over a network connection will save you a huge amount of time.
This guide will walk you through setting up a PXE boot server for you to deploy any form of network bootable operating systems.
A bit of background on this topic as to new users this will or is already a very confusing topic.
For starters, there is no such software called a “pxe server”. A PXE implementation is simply a combination of DHCP and a normal TFTP Server. The reason it is called PXE is because this is an acronym for “Preboot Execution Environment”.
In a nutshell, what we need to is the following
1. Install a TFTP server
2. Create our boot environment within our TFTP server
3. Point our DHCP servers to our new TFTP server
4. Enjoy not ever having to use a CD/DVD or USB boot device ever again.
Lets get started.
Install a TFTP server.
If you are using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, do the following
[root@deployment ~]# yum install -y tftp-server
Now we need to start the tftp-server service. Also make sure that the service will start on reboot.
To enable the service run the following
[root@deployment ~]# chkconfig tftp on [root@deployment ~]# chkconfig xinetd on
Lets actually start the service. As tftp is a service that is based on xinetd, we need to make sure xinetd is running. If you start/restart, it will also subsequently start/restart tftp.
To start xinetd, run the following
[root@deployment ~]# service xinetd start Starting xinetd: [ OK ] [root@deployment ~]#
Lastly, we need to open our firewall to allow TFTP requests to come into our server.
[root@deployment ~]# iptables -I INPUT -p udp --dport 69 -j ACCEPT [root@deployment ~]# service iptables save iptables: Saving firewall rules to /etc/sysconfig/iptables:[ OK ] [root@deployment ~]#
Should you chose to use Windows as your deployment servers, you can set up a windows based TFTP server with some freely available open source software called TFTPD32 and TFTPD64.
You can download this from the below link. I recommend you use the service edition installer.
NOTE: Yes windows does have its own TFTP based solution, but what ever you do, please don’t use it. Its a terrible implementation. Its bloated, not very user friendly and a real pain in the backside.