PXE Server – Preboot eXecution Surroundings is a standardized client-server structure that instructs a consumer system as well, run, or set up a number of Linux working methods utilizing a PXE-capable community interface in your community infrastructure.


On this article, you’ll discover ways to set up and configure a PXE Community Boot Server on CentOS/RHEL Eight with mirrored native set up repositories supplied by CentOS Eight and RHEL Eight ISO Photos.

For this PXE Community Boot arrange, we’ll set up following packages on the system:

  • DNSMASQ – a light-weight DNS forwarder that gives a DNS and DHCP companies with assist for PXE and a TFTP server.
  • Syslinux – a Linux boot loader that gives boot loaders for community booting.
  • TFTP Server – a easy lockstep File Switch Protocol which creates bootable photographs accessible to be downloaded through a community.
  • VSFTPD Server – a safe file switch protocol that can host the regionally mounted mirrored DVD picture – which can act as an official RHEL/CentOS Eight mirror set up repository from the place the installer will take out its required packages.

Step 1: Set up and Configure DNSMASQ Server

1. You will need to remind you that one in every of your community interfaces have to be configured with a static IP deal with from the identical community IP vary that gives PXE companies.

After you have configured a static IP deal with, replace your system software program packages and set up the DNSMASQ daemon.

# dnf set up dnsmasq

Install multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8Set up DNSMASQ on CentOS

2. As soon as DNSMASQ put in, you’ll discover its default configuration file below /and so forth/dnsmasq.conf listing, which is self-explanatory however harder to configure, attributable to its extremely commented explanations.

First, make certain to take a backup of this file in case you might want it to evaluation later after which, create a brand new configuration file utilizing your favourite editor as proven.

# mv /and so forth/dnsmasq.conf /and so forth/dnsmasq.conf.backup
# nano /and so forth/dnsmasq.conf

3. Now, copy and paste the next configurations on /and so forth/dnsmasq.conf file and alter the configuration parameters in keeping with your community settings.

dnsmasq.conf – Configuration File

# DHCP range-leases
dhcp-range= enp0s3,,,,1h
# Gateway
# Broadcast Tackle
# NTP Server

pxe-prompt=”Press F8 for menu.”, 60
pxe-service=x86PC, “Set up CentOS Eight from community server”, pxelinux

Install multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8Configure DNSMASQ on CentOS

The configuration statements that you have to change are adopted:

  • interface – A community interfaces of the server ought to pay attention and supply companies.
  • bind-interfaces – Uncomment to bind the interface to a given community card.
  • area – Change it along with your area title.
  • dhcp-range – Change it along with your community IP vary.
  • dhcp-boot – Change it along with your community interface IP Tackle.
  • dhcp-option=3, – Change it along with your community Gateway.
  • dhcp-option=6, – Change it along with your DNS Server IP.
  • server= – Add your DNS forwarders IPs Addresses.
  • dhcp-option=28, – Change it along with your community broadcast IP deal with optionally.
  • dhcp-option=42, -Add your community time servers (0.0.0.Zero Tackle is for self-reference).
  • pxe-prompt – Hold it as default.
  • pxe=service – Use x86PC for 32-bit/64-bit architectures and add a menu description immediate below string quotes.
  • enable-tftp – Permits the built-in TFTP server.
  • tftp-root – Add community booting recordsdata location /var/lib/tftpboot.

For different superior choices regarding configuration recordsdata be happy to learn the dnsmasq handbook.

Step 2: Set up SYSLINUX Bootloaders

4. After DNSMASQ important configuration finished, set up the Syslinx PXE bootloader package deal utilizing the next command.

# dnf set up syslinux

Install multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8Set up Syslinux in CentOS

5. The Syslinx PXE bootloaders are put in below /usr/share/syslinux, you may verify it by operating the ls command as proven.

# ls /usr/share/syslinux

Install multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8Examine Syslinux Boot Loaders

Step 3: Set up TFTP-Server and Copy it with SYSLINUX Bootloaders

6. Now, set up TFTP-Server and duplicate all Syslinux bootloaders from /usr/share/syslinux/ to /var/lib/tftpboot as proven.

# dnf set up tftp-server
# cp -r /usr/share/syslinux/* /var/lib/tftpboot

Install multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8Set up TFTP-Server in CentOS

Step 4: Setup PXE Server Configuration File

7. By default, the PXE Server reads its configuration from a set of particular recordsdata present in pxelinux.cfg, which have to be discovered within the listing described within the tftp-root setting from the DNSMASQ configuration file above.

First, create a pxelinux.cfg listing and create a default file by issuing the next instructions.

# mkdir /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg
# contact /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default

8. Now open and edit PXE default configuration file with appropriate Linux distribution set up choices. Additionally, make certain to do not forget that the paths set on this file have to be relative to the /var/lib/tftpboot listing.

# nano /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default

The next is an instance configuration file that you should use it, however make certain to vary the set up photographs, protocols and IPs to replicate your community set up supply repositories and places accordingly.

PXE Default Configuration File

default menu.c32
immediate 0
timeout 300

menu title ########## PXE Boot Menu ##########

label 1
menu label ^1) Set up CentOS Eight x64 with Native Repo
kernel centos8/vmlinuz
append initrd=centos7/initrd.img methodology= devfs=nomount

label 2
menu label ^2) Set up CentOS Eight x64 with http://mirror.centos.org Repo
kernel centos8/vmlinuz
append initrd=centos8/initrd.img methodology=http://mirror.centos.org/centos/8/BaseOS/x86_64/os/ devfs=nomount ip=dhcp

label 3
menu label ^3) Set up CentOS Eight x64 with Native Repo utilizing VNC
kernel centos8/vmlinuz
append initrd=centos8/initrd.img methodology= devfs=nomount inst.vnc inst.vncpassword=password

label 4
menu label ^4) Boot from native drive

Install multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8PXE Default Configuration File

Within the above configuration, you may discover that the CentOS Eight boot photographs (kernel and initrd) reside in a centos7 listing relative to /var/lib/tftpboot (i.e /var/lib/tftpboot/centos7) and the installer repositories could be accessed through the use of the FTP protocol on (IP deal with of the PXE server).

Additionally, the menu label 2 describes official CentOS Eight set up sources mirror repositories (web connection is should on the consumer system) and menu label Three describes that the consumer set up needs to be finished through a distant VNC (right here exchange VNC password with a robust password).

Necessary: As you see within the above configuration, we now have used CentOS Eight picture for demonstration functions, however you can too use RHEL Eight photographs.

Step 5: Add CentOS Eight Boot Photos to PXE Server

9. So as to add CentOS Eight photographs to PXE Server, you have to obtain CentOS Eight DVD ISO Picture regionally utilizing wget command and mount it.

# wget http://centos.mirrors.estointernet.in/8.2.2004/isos/x86_64/CentOS-8.2.2004-x86_64-dvd1.iso
# mount -o loop CentOS-8.2.2004-x86_64-dvd1.iso /mnt

10. When you’ve downloaded CentOS 8, you have to create a centos7 listing and duplicate bootable kernel and initrd photographs.

# mkdir /var/lib/tftpboot/centos8
# cp /mnt/photographs/pxeboot/vmlinuz /var/lib/tftpboot/centos8
# cp /mnt/photographs/pxeboot/initrd.img /var/lib/tftpboot/centos8

The explanation behind having this method is that later you may have separate directories for every new Linux distributions below /var/lib/tftpboot with out messing up all the listing construction.

Step 6: Create CentOS Eight Native Mirror Set up Supply

11. There are a number of protocols (HTTP, HTTPS, or NFS) which are accessible for establishing CentOS Eight native set up supply mirrors, however I’ve chosen FTP protocol as a result of it’s simple to arrange utilizing vsftpd server.

Let’s set up Vsftpd server and duplicate all of the CentOS Eight DVD content material to FTP listing /var/ftp/pub as proven.

# dnf set up vsftpd
# cp -r /mnt/* /var/ftp/pub/
# chmod -R 755 /var/ftp/pub

12. Now that each one the PXE server configuration is accomplished, you can begin, allow, and confirm the standing of DNSMASQ and VSFTPD servers.

# systemctl begin dnsmasq
# systemctl standing dnsmasq
# systemctl begin vsftpd
# systemctl standing vsftpd
# systemctl allow dnsmasq
# systemctl allow vsftpd

13. Subsequent, you have to open ports in your firewall to ensure that consumer methods to achieve and boot from the PXE server.

# firewall-cmd –add-service=ftp –permanent ## Port 21
# firewall-cmd –add-service=dns –permanent ## Port 53
# firewall-cmd –add-service=dhcp –permanent ## Port 67
# firewall-cmd –add-port=69/udp –permanent ## Port for TFTP
# firewall-cmd –add-port=4011/udp –permanent ## Port for ProxyDHCP
# firewall-cmd –reload ## Apply guidelines

14. To confirm the FTP Set up Supply community location, open up your browser and sort the PXE Server IP deal with with the FTP protocol adopted by /pub community location.

Install multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8Confirm FTP Listing

Step 7: Configure Purchasers to Boot from Community

15. Now configure consumer methods as well and set up CentOS Eight on their methods by configuring Community Boot as prime boot machine from BIOS Menu.

After system boots, you’re going to get a PXE immediate, the place you have to press F8 key to enter the presentation after which hit Enter key to proceed ahead to the PXE menu.

Install multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8PXE Boot Server MenuInstall multiple Linux distributions using the network boot of PXE on RHEL / CentOS 8Set up CentOS Eight from PXE Server

That’s all for establishing a minimal PXE Server on CentOS/RHEL 8.

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