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JasonP

Linux and other bootable ISOs in WDS

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JasonP

Is there a way to get Linux and other ISOs to boot from WDS on PXE?

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jmwills

The idea behind WDS is not having to deal with ISO images.

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Drashna Jaelre

Actually you totally can. Have you looked at "WDSLinux"?

http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/WDSLINUX

 

 

It can be a PITA to setup, but it works. And you can boot linux LiveCDs with it. (requires NFS server). 
And I know it works, because I've done it and am running it.

 

I know a few that may be interested in this: you set WDSLINUX (aka PXELINUX) to boot SpinRite over the network.

 

WDS PXELinux.png

I'd attach an image of ubuntu 12.10 liveCD, but it hates HyperV.


The caveat is that the system has to boot from BIOS, and not UEFI mode, if you have that option.

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JasonP

What is the diff between BIOS and UEFI?

 

I would need to uninstall WDS and install WDSLinux?

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Drashna Jaelre

The difference is the boot program that is used. I haven't found a version that works with UEFI yet, at least for working with WDS.

 

And no, you don't need to uninstall anything. Basically, you copy files over and change the default boot program used. And it then uses the PXELINUX menu system, and you can load the normal WDS stuff if you want, or boot into different liveCDs.

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JasonP

Ah so the Linux boot system goes first and you can then always boot from it to WDS?

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Drashna Jaelre

basically, yes. It "chain loads" the WDS boot program.

It boots the PXE Linux program, displays the menu and allows you to choose which option.

And you can load the WDS "boot program" to get to the normal WDS stuff.

 

You can set the default to whatever you want, and you can set a timeout, so it boots to that default in "x" seconds.

You can also set up custom options based on the IP address range, or the individual MAC addresses.

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JasonP

That is pretty cool. Thanks,

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Drashna Jaelre

It is very cool. :)

 

Also, if you're using Server 2012 Essentials, you can hack the restore image to work on WDS. If you're using Server 2012R2, it does this out of box (meaning using WDS, and to use it to boot the restore disks as well).

 

I've been meaning to write a guide on how to set this up. I guess now is a good time.
Also, if you need help setting it up, I'm more than willing to help. :)

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Jason

I am running WSE12 R1 at moment and using WDS (love it) but only to boot to Windows OS install/restore images.

 

I'd love to know how to boot a pfsense ISO image from WDS if that's possible.

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