Using gPXE

Support for gPXE (and by extension, iPXE) was added in 2.2.3 for booting ESXi5 installations, however it can be used for other installations as well.

Note: gPXE/iPXE support is still somewhat experimental, so use it only when required.


First, install the gpxe/ipxe boot images package for your OS (for RHEL variants and Fedora, the package name is gpxe-bootimgs or ipxe-bootimgs). Cobbler sync does not currently copy the undionly.kpxe file to the TFTP root directory. Again, for RHEL/Fedora you'd do something like this:

$ cp /usr/share/ipxe/undionly.kpxe /var/lib/tftpboot/

Configuring Systems/Profiles

Via the CLI or Web UI, just enable the gpxe option. For example:

$ cobbler system edit --name=foo --enable-gpxe=1 --interface=eth0 --static=1

When using manage_dhcp, a new entry for systems with static interfaces will be created as follows (following a "cobbler sync"):

host generic1 {
        hardware ethernet xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx;
        if exists user-class and option user-class = "gPXE" {
            filename "http://<cobbler server ip>/cblr/svc/op/gpxe/system/foo";
        } else {
            filename "undionly.kpxe";
        next-server <next-server setting>;

Profiles and systems that use DHCP for addresses are handled by the default network block included in the dhcp.template.

If you're not using DHCP locally, you can just use the URL above with your custom gPXE/iPXE script: http://<cobbler server ip>/cblr/svc/op/gpxe/system/foo.

Here is a sample of the rendered configuration:

kernel http://<cobbler server ip>/cobbler/images/centos6.3-x86_64/vmlinuz
imgargs vmlinuz  ksdevice=bootif lang= text kssendmac  ks=http://<cobbler server ip>/cblr/svc/op/ks/system/foo


The templates for gPXE are stored with the other PXE templates for cobbler, in /etc/cobbler/pxe. The default for systems/profiles is /etc/cobbler/pxe/gpxe_system_linux.template, which you can see is the source for the above output:

$ cat /etc/cobbler/pxe/gpxe_system_linux.template


kernel http://$server/cobbler/images/$distro/$kernel_name imgargs $kernel_name $append_line initrd http://$server/cobbler/images/$distro/$initrd_name boot

As with all PXE templates, the $append_line variable is generated internally by cobbler, and contains the kopts arguments as well as other distro defaults that may be configured.

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