[nSLUG] Offering PXE boot without offering DHCP

Peter Cordes peter at cordes.ca
Mon Nov 1 17:34:59 AST 2004

On Wed, Oct 27, 2004 at 11:13:56AM -0300, Donald Teed wrote:
> Perhaps someone has knowledge/experience in this area...
> I have a working PXE boot set up, working with the
> PXES project:
> http://pxes.sourceforge.net/
> (unlike LTSP, no NFS required)
> An existing PXE server on Windows (by StorageSoft) can
> provide floppy images but I doubt it can handle larger stuff.
> One nice feature is does have is the ability to respond to
> bootp requests without providing IP addresses.  It has some
> feature called DHCP proxy that allows it to have
> the real DHCP server handle the assigning of IP, etc.
> I've looked at ISC DHCP configuration and it doesn't seem
> to have a way to proxy or not offer the IP.  I've looked
> at the bootpd package and it doesn't seem to have
> support for PXE boot.
> Am I wrong about the above?  Alternately is there
> another DHCP server or something like a DHCP
> server with proxy that might be a better solution?

 You can detect whether a query is coming from a PXE-booting client or not,
and act differently depending on that.  If you have dhcpd not answer the
query, then it will be answered by whatever server normally answers, right?

 Here's a fragment of dhcpd.conf from a machine in my cluster:

# see http://syslinux.zytor.com/pxe.php
class "PXE" {
        match if substring(option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient";
        filename "/pxelinux.0";
# using this makes client use the actual PXE daemon
#       option vendor-class-identifier "PXEClient";

 I don't do anything special about giving different IPs to PXE clients,
though.  I think you could, though.

#define X(x,y) x##y
Peter Cordes ;  e-mail: X(peter at cor , des.ca)

"The gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish the hours!
 Confound him, too, who in this place set up a sundial, to cut and hack
 my day so wretchedly into small pieces!" -- Plautus, 200 BC


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