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Configuring a Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE) using Red Hat Linux 7.2 on Compaq ProLiant Servers


Setting up a Red Hat Linux Operating System Image

Red Hat Linux and many other Linux distributions support the Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE). PXE can be used to install the operating system or create a diskless client. These directions were written for Red Hat Linux 7.2; however, other versions of Red Hat Linux will work with minor changes in paths and filenames.

This link downloads original, older documentation for Red Hat produced by Intel: ftp://download.intel.com/ial/wfm/pxesdklinux.pdf.

Additional information on the Linux operating system is also available here: http://www.linuxdocs.org.

A separate DHCP or BOOTP server may be running on the same network when using Linux as a PXE server; however, it is possible to have the Linux server act as both a DHCP/BOOTP and PXE server. A caveat with this approach is that the dhcpd must be started first. Otherwise, dhcpd will complain that it cannot bind and that the port is in use. If a second system is used, the operating system may be an issue; some problems have been observed when using other operating systems for the DHCP server. The Linux PXE server requires approximately 2 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space after installation of the operating system.

Due to the way the client interacts with the server, setting up a Red Hat Linux PXE server may require installing multiple rpms. The Red Hat source package contains the PXE server and all the code bits necessary for Linux to boot from images on a Linux PXE server.

If you need more information on setting up and using Linux, refer to the documentation on the Red Hat website http://www.redhat.com/index.html.

Prerequisites and Minimum Requirements

Running the Red Hat Linux 7.2 operating system requires the following server hardware:

  • Pentium 166 MHz or Pentium II 200 MHz or faster processor

  • 64 MB of RAM (96 to 128 MB preferred)

  • At least 2 GB free hard drive space

  • 10 Mb/s network adapter (100 Mb/s recommended)

  • CD-ROM drive

  • Optional: A separate DHCP/BOOTP server may be running on the same network segment

Running the Red Hat Linux 7.2 operating system requires the following client server hardware:

  • PXE-enabled personal computer with a minimum PXE revision of NetPC.99c and a

minimum of 64 MB RAM

  • System must be set up to boot from the network before HDD

  • Active DHCP server on the network so the client can acquire an IP address


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