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ipxe speed with http
2018-03-09, 22:05 (This post was last modified: 2018-03-10 15:56 by warthur.)
Post: #1
ipxe speed with http
I am currently booting some CentOS 7 servers with with gpxe (From my understanding outdated for 7 years now). I'm getting a 500mb .img file using a gpxelinux.0 file, but it takes about 10-15 minutes to download the file. It doesn't really make sense as once the server is up, I can transfer the same img file to it in about 2-3 seconds.

I think I'm interested in using iPXE chainloading following the instructions here: https://coderwall.com/p/0sq9gg/how-to-build-ipxelinux-0

A few quick questions.
- Does using ipxe rather than gpxe offer a much greater transfer speed for images over http?
- Does anyone have any recommendations on how best to do this with Centos 7, and ipxe?
- Does chainloading with the "pxelinux.0 embedded" like the link above offer a faster way to boot large image files over http? If so can we continue to just have a HEX file to match the IP subnet with the boot options in it?

Just having a hard time finding good documentation on this. It seems like a lot of the how-tos online are just doing outdated pxe boots.
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2018-03-11, 21:16
Post: #2
RE: ipxe speed with http
I would recommend switching to iPXE native menues instead of using pxelinux
iPXE also supports scripting, and you can dowload the boot script over http, that way the server can be smart and do lots more then "just have a HEX file to match the IP"

iPXE has lots of changes over gPXE and the best is probably just to test how it would work for your usecase, I think there is lots of resources and examples here on the forum if you just search fro centos.

Read the FAQ before posting.
Did you include relevant ipxe.org error urls?
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2018-03-11, 23:23 (This post was last modified: 2018-03-12 00:01 by warthur.)
Post: #3
RE: ipxe speed with http
(2018-03-11 21:16)NiKiZe Wrote:  I would recommend switching to iPXE native menues instead of using pxelinux
iPXE also supports scripting, and you can dowload the boot script over http, that way the server can be smart and do lots more then "just have a HEX file to match the IP"

iPXE has lots of changes over gPXE and the best is probably just to test how it would work for your usecase, I think there is lots of resources and examples here on the forum if you just search fro centos.

Thanks. So I guess the easiest test would be to just adjust the dhcp server to boot "undionly.kpxe", and then just re-write the pxe menu files to be ipxe menu syntax? Does ipxe also match menu files based on HEX/IP Range? Would http transfer speed of a large 500mb img file be much quicker?

And if I embed a script for "breaking the loop" like in this document: http://ipxe.org/howto/chainloading And that points to a php file somewhere on a web server, does that web server need to have a php handler installed or is it just a plain text file with #!ipxe at the top of it as well?

Thanks again, any help is appreciated!
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2018-03-12, 17:37
Post: #4
RE: ipxe speed with http
i implemented the chainloading method of iPXE, with a embeded ipxe script which points to a php boot menu file on a web server. Booting servers now takes about 1 minute instead of 20 minutes. thanks!
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