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List of NICs that are known to be flashable with iPXE
2011-06-24, 03:23
Post: #1
List of NICs that are known to be flashable with iPXE
Hello there,
i would like to get started with iPXE as a replacement for our PXE solution.
buying cheap nics should be no problem but finding one that is flashable via software and has enough nvram to carry ipxe + scripts is way to hard for my current knowledge of this level of programming.

Can anybody tell me some reseller links that sell a nic that is known working with ipxe?
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2011-06-24, 08:48
Post: #2
RE: List of NICs that are known to be flashable with iPXE
I've had second-hand information that the various Intel e1000-based adapters are very capable. As I don't have any myself, I can't vouch for the accuracy of this information. Hopefully someone else can chime in with more hands-on evidence.
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2011-06-24, 17:57
Post: #3
RE: List of NICs that are known to be flashable with iPXE
so would this be a good card to start?
Intel 8390MT Pro/1000MT Gigabit PCI Network PCI Card
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2011-06-28, 13:42
Post: #4
RE: List of NICs that are known to be flashable with iPXE
I was directed from the IRC chan to this thread... so here's what I have to say about NICs:

I only know of two brands which have software flashable ROM, Broadcom and Intel
And... do not use Broadcom, or you will suffer. A lot.
See e.g. http://blog.serverfault.com/post/broadcom-die-mutha/
The fileserver at the company I currently work had severe problems with Broadcom NICs.
I also had big problems with a Broadcom NIC dropping anything else than TCP like wild. ATA over Ethernet server had only 500kb/sec with a Broadcom chip. Then I switched to an Intel card, and voilĂ , 60mb/sec (the one from serverfault was in a win environment, my two examples are from a linux environment).
So yes, buy Intel.
Isn't the one you mentioned a rather pricey PCI-X card? Last one I bought was a Intel PWLA8391GTBLK Pro 1000GT, but I have to admit I didn't try to flash this one, because it went into my PXE server Wink
But in general, Intel NICs are very well supported, so you shouldn't have any problems flashing them (you can download the DOS tool from the Intel website).
And yes, I'm a big fan of Intel NICs. Want to have (working) VLAN support? Working TCP checksum offloading? Best performance available? WoL? Low interrupt load? A network card that just works and doesn't give you headaches? Intel! Smile
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2011-06-29, 16:33
Post: #5
RE: List of NICs that are known to be flashable with iPXE
Thank you for your feedback, i actually have seen the card on amazon for just 8,99 EUR and thought this could be a cheap thinclient start method.

unfortunately i had a broadcom 14e4:1645 laying around waiting for me to be punished with g/ipxe code.
after switching from b57udiag to b57diag i was able to flash the card without destroying it.
Now my home pc (which has only this card in it ....) is able to boot tinycorelinux from my webserver establishing a sshfs connection to it and doing a full/delta wan backup of my harddrive every 30th boot (either every Month or on development days every hour Wink this is great.

in the last few days i went into a flashlust and tried every broadcom intel nic/lom i found.
with none but one success mentioned above.

i will try to flash an intel nic as soon as i get one that works.
stay tuned for my tutorial about how to create server side planned backups with php microcorelinux sshfs image4linux and ipxe Smile
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