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I have a server which hosts mirrors for FreeBSD, CentOS and Scientific Linux. It includes .iso files.

Is it possible to use pxelinux to boot this ISO over the network? Must I use gPXE or iPXE instead?

I have seen some indication that this is possible, but I'm not sure that I trust that forum post, as I have not gotten this to work.

I have the following configuration:

LABEL freebsd-install-net
  MENU LABEL Netboot FreeBSD-8.2-RELEASE-amd64-disc1.iso
  KERNEL memdisk
  APPEND iso raw initrd=

But pxelinux tells me the following:

Loading memdisk....
Could not find ramdisk image:
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I think the problem you'll run into is that even if you boot the ISO over the network, most ISOs expect to have their ISOs available and mounted locally so they can access them once booted. This doesn't really work with a net boot with a lot of ISOs. There may be some hope, though; a program called grub4dos may help. See – eewanco Feb 2 at 14:46

1 Answer 1

g/iPXE will definitely do it, over TFTP (slow) or HTTP (at least twice as fast as TFTP in my own experiments).

From my notes (so i'm not 100% that it will work, but it should):

KERNEL ipxe.lkrn dhcp && chain

and then the contents of pmagic_tftp.php, residing on a http server on


kernel pmagic/bzImage edd=off load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw loglevel=9 max_loop=16

initrd pmagic/initrd.img 

I'll post later the exact details, gotta finish working :(

share|improve this answer
Well - that is not booting an ISO-image. That is booting a kernel and initrd by a indirect call to a http-URL. But for this there has to be http support in PXE. So is there a statement where you can chainload an ISO via http? – Nils Feb 16 '12 at 16:07

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