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Intel pxe -> iPXE = dhcp fail
2016-05-25, 22:22
Post: #1
Intel pxe -> iPXE = dhcp fail
I've been trying to chainload iPXE from pxelinux.0, initially I had lots off random issues with ESXi virutal machines but after setting up dhcp reservations my problems went away.

Now trying to install Debian on my laptop, over http by chain loading iPXE over TFTP and then booting the Debian iPXE script. My onboard Intel PXE rom loads pxelinux.0 and chainloads iPXE.lkrn. But when iPXE starts up I'm unnable to automatically obtain a DHCP lease. And the MAC address is set up with a reserved address which sorted all my troubles with virtual machines.

Below is the DHCP trafic as captured on the virtual OpenWRT router running dnsmasq 2.55. (pcap file is available here)

Intel PXE
1   0.000000  DHCP  590  DHCP Discover - Transaction ID 0x54a05c60
2   0.000529  DHCP  365  DHCP Offer    - Transaction ID 0x54a05c60
3   4.000158  DHCP  590  DHCP Request  - Transaction ID 0x54a05c60
4   4.001254  DHCP  365  DHCP ACK      - Transaction ID 0x54a05c60
5   108.443783  DHCP  441  DHCP Discover - Transaction ID 0xff8a5477
6   108.444831      DHCP  365  DHCP Offer    - Transaction ID 0xff8a5477
7   109.402196  DHCP  441  DHCP Discover - Transaction ID 0xff8a5477
8   109.402664      DHCP  365  DHCP Offer    - Transaction ID 0xff8a5477
9   111.379510  DHCP  453  DHCP Request  - Transaction ID 0xff8a5477
10  111.380543      DHCP  365  DHCP ACK      - Transaction ID 0xff8a5477
Manual ifopen + dhcp
11  181.486911  DHCP  352  DHCP Request  - Transaction ID 0x8c3a7101
12  181.488076  DHCP  359  DHCP ACK      - Transaction ID 0x8c3a7101
13  184.926221  DHCP  342  DHCP Inform   - Transaction ID 0x64026297
14  184.926700      DHCP  342  DHCP ACK      - Transaction ID 0x64026297

iPXE output:
Loading ipxe.krn...ready
iPXE initialising devices...ok

iPCE 1.0.0+ (a588) -- Open Source Network Boot Firmware --
Waiting for link up on net0 ................ Down (

To me it seems like iPXE is getting the DHCP offers, and actually ACK'ing it before giving up, and retrying manually afterwards works fine; yet it fails every time when selecting the menu entry from pxelinux.0

menu entry;
label iPXE-deblive
        menu label iPXE ^deb live
        kernel ipxe.krn dhcp && chain || shell

Suggestions on what to try where? Which debug flags to build iPXE with?
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2016-11-02, 10:54
Post: #2
RE: Intel pxe -> iPXE = dhcp fail
Try to go through the test suite on and report back exactly where you have issues. Once you have that I'd probably ask on the mailing-list or IRC for help debugging it further. There might be some need for some interactive debugging.
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