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Detecting hardware and platform
2019-05-02, 15:46
Post: #1
Lightbulb Detecting hardware and platform
Good day,

I'm currently doing volunteer work for a school that has a limited budget. They have about 40 Raspberry Pi 3B+ units, 20 Dell PCs, and 10 HP PCs. All Dell units are the same as each other and all HP units are the same as each other (i.e. homogeneous configuration). The school doesn't have the money to replace the hard disks in all the units (all PCs and Pis were donated with no persistent storage device), and they just need to boot Ubuntu or Raspian to run a browser, educational games, etc.

Is it possible with iPXE to, on the client PCs, at boot time:
  • Detect the system architecture (i.e. arm versus Intel) so that it auto-boots a specific boot image without user intervention (i.e. Ubuntu versus Raspian).
  • Detect differences in hardware (i.e. so the Intel units can check before booting, what manufacturer/model/make of network card, HDD if present, hardware, etc. (we'd like to use a different boot image for the Dell versus HP machines, as we may be able to get a donation of HDD/SDD units for the HP units, in which case, they would still boot via iPXE, but the persistent storage could be used to hold onto kids' files, drawings, animations, etc.).

Thank you for your time and assistance.
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2019-05-02, 22:52
Post: #2
RE: Detecting hardware and platform
you should start iPXE, enter the shell, and type config
all the settings that you can see there can be checked in scripts to automate next stage selection.

For another discussion which already have answers to at least part of your questions, see http://forum.ipxe.org/showthread.php?tid=14907

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Are relevant ipxe.org error urls and PCIIDs included?
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