30.2. Network Boot Configuration

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The next step is to copy the files necessary to start the installation to the tftp server so they can be found when the client requests them. The tftp server is usually the same server as the network server exporting the installation tree.
The PXE boot configuration procedure differs for BIOS and EFI. A separate yaboot configuration procedure is provided for Power Systems servers.


Red Hat Satellite has the ability to automate the setup of a PXE server. See the Red Hat Satellite User Guide for more information.

30.2.1. Configuring PXE Boot for BIOS

  1. If tftp-server is not yet installed, run yum install tftp-server.
  2. In the tftp-server config file at /etc/xinetd.d/tftp, change the disabled parameter from yes to no.
  3. Configure your DHCP server to use the boot images packaged with SYSLINUX. (If you do not have a DHCP server installed, refer to the DHCP Servers chapter in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Deployment Guide.)
    A sample configuration in /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf might look like:
      option space pxelinux;
      option pxelinux.magic code 208 = string;
      option pxelinux.configfile code 209 = text;
      option pxelinux.pathprefix code 210 = text;
      option pxelinux.reboottime code 211 = unsigned integer 32;
      subnet netmask {
              option routers;
              class "pxeclients" {
                      match if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient";
                      if option arch = 00:06 {
                              filename "pxelinux/bootia32.efi";
                      } else if option arch = 00:07 {
                              filename "pxelinux/bootx64.efi";
                      } else {
                              filename "pxelinux/pxelinux.0";
              host example-ia32 {
                      hardware ethernet XX:YY:ZZ:11:22:33;
  4. You now need the pxelinux.0 file from the syslinux-nolinux package in the ISO image file. To access it, run the following commands as root:
    mount -t iso9660 /path_to_image/name_of_image.iso /mount_point -o loop,ro
    cp -pr /mount_point/Packages/syslinux-nolinux-version-architecture.rpm /publicly_available_directory
    umount /mount_point
    Extract the package:
    rpm2cpio syslinux-nolinux-version-architecture.rpm | cpio -dimv
  5. Create a pxelinux directory within tftpboot and copy pxelinux.0 into it:
    mkdir /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux
    cp publicly_available_directory/usr/share/syslinux/pxelinux.0 /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux
  6. Create a pxelinux.cfg directory within pxelinux:
    mkdir /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux/pxelinux.cfg
  7. Add a config file to this directory. The file should either be named default or named after the IP address, converted into hexadecimal format without delimiters. For example, if your machine's IP address is, the filename would be 0A000001.
    A sample config file at /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux/pxelinux.cfg/default might look like:
    default vesamenu.c32
    prompt 1
    timeout 600
    display boot.msg
    label linux
      menu label ^Install or upgrade an existing system
      menu default
      kernel vmlinuz
      append initrd=initrd.img
    label vesa
      menu label Install system with ^basic video driver
      kernel vmlinuz
      append initrd=initrd.img xdriver=vesa nomodeset
    label rescue
      menu label ^Rescue installed system
      kernel vmlinuz
      append initrd=initrd.img rescue
    label local
      menu label Boot from ^local drive
      localboot 0xffff
    label memtest86
      menu label ^Memory test
      kernel memtest
      append -
    For instructions on how to specify the installation source, refer to Section 7.1.3, “Additional Boot Options”
  8. Copy the splash image into your tftp root directory:
    cp /boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux/splash.xpm.gz
  9. Copy the boot images into your tftp root directory:
    cp /path/to/x86_64/os/images/pxeboot/{vmlinuz,initrd.img} /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux/rhel6/
  10. Boot the client system, and select the network device as your boot device when prompted.
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