[arch-general] Arch PXE setup with existing dhcp server/apache/vsftpd

Tim tim at bastelfreak.de
Wed Mar 2 23:16:10 UTC 2016

On 02.03.2016 23:24, David C. Rankin wrote:

> All,


>   I was interested in setting up a boot server to provide Arch install, as well
> as several other boot/setup options. I have existing Arch servers with ISC
> dhcpd, apache, vsftpd, and I've installed tftp. I have looked at:
> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PXE
> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Diskless_system
>   Both seem to have different pieces of the puzzle. The PXE page provides
> examples for use of dnsmasq, darktable, and tftp. However running dnsmasq would
> conflict with the existing ISC dhcp service and how would xinetd know how to
> differential between an ftp request that should invoke tftp or vsftp?

tftpd speaks tftp, vsftpd speaks ftp, these are two different protocols,
both daemons run on different ports

>   The Diskless_system page, uses existing dhcp config, but then pulls files from
> NFS or NBD.
>   I've looked at dozens of ubuntu and centos pages (which is primarily what you
> get when you search for PXE boot setup howtos), but most are of such poor
> quality, it is hard to tell what the salient parts of the setup are.
>   My confusion comes in seeing how I can continue to serve the rest of my dhcp
> clients and also PXE boot requests (from what I can tell, it shouldn't matter,
> everybody still gets an address, and those non-PXE clients should ignore the
> additions to dhcpd.conf -- hopefully)

to enable PXE boot, you need to specifiy a next-server and a filename in
the dhcpd.conf. you can set them on a global level or only for specific
NIC vendors or subnets or whatever. However, no client will get that if
they never boot from their network card. example is here:

>   Additionally, all other howtos show mounting the .iso loop and then copying
> the files to the tftpboot location. Why bother with the copy, why not just mount
> the .iso loop at the proper tftpboot location?

I've got a script collection which builds a customized ISO, you can find
that here: https://github.com/virtapi/LARS/
there is also a script that automatically extracts the ISO:

>   If anyone know the answer to whether the PXE config additions to dhcpd.conf
> will conflict with normal dhcp clients? or whether having both tftp and vsftp
> served by xinetd is an issue? I would appreciate your answer. I think I can take

I would not use xinted but run them standalone or through systemd, but
just a personal opinion. your setup will also work.

> if from there. If you have any other pointers about setting up a PXE boot server
> with this configuration I'd appreciate that as well.

You may want to check the README.md in these 4 projects, they describe
how you build your setup (and a bit more): https://github.com/virtapi

I'm always reachable as bastelfreak in #archlinux.de, just let me know
if you've got any question. I built probably the exact setup you want a
few days back.

>   I'll add whatever working solution is arrived at to the wiki. Thanks
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