In a followup to this post, I figured out how to add other versions of Debian to my PXE boot server. I followed two guides for doing so (PXE install on Debian Lenny, and Ubuntu Help’s Multi-Distro PXE Install Guide).
- After getting the single-distro (Debian Sid) working, I renamed the debian-installer directory (in /srv/tftp) to ‘sid’, created the ‘debian’ directory, and moved the ‘sid’ directory into ‘debian’:
cd /srv/tftp mv debian-installer sid mkdir debian mv sid debian/
- Next, I needed to edit /srv/tftp/debian/sid/amd64/boot-screens/menu.cfg, and replace all instances of ‘debian-installer’ with ‘debian/sid’. I used vim to do it, but this simple sed command should also have done the trick:
sed -i 's,debian-installer,debian/sid,g' /srv/tftp/debian/sid/amd64/boot-screens/menu.cfg
Note that I will repeat this process for each Linux distro and arch added.
- I then added my next distro, Debian Wheezy amd64:
cp -R /var/spool/mirror/dists/wheezy/main/installer-amd64/current/images/netboot/debian-installer/* /srv/tftp/debian/wheezy
I made the same change as (2) above, changing ‘debian-installer’ in menu.cfg to ‘debian/wheezy’.
- Next I modified /srv/tftp/pxelinux.cfg/default:
default pxelinux.cfg/vesamenu.c32 prompt 0 timeout 0 ontimeout BootLocal noescape 1 label BootLocal localboot 0 text help Boot to local hard disk endtext menu begin Debian menu title Debian label Previous text help Return to previous menu endtext menu exit menu separator menu include debian/menu.cfg menu end
- I copied the syslinux file vesamenu.c32 to the pxelinux.cfg/ directory,
cp /var/spool/mirror/dists/sid/main/installer-amd64/current/images/netboot/debian-installer/amd64/boot-screens/vesamenu.c32 /srv/tftp/pxelinux.cfg/
- Next, I created the file /srv/tftp/debian/menu.cfg
menu background debian/splash.png menu begin Sid (amd64) menu title Sid (amd64) label Previous text help Return to previous menu endtext menu exit menu separator menu include debian/sid/amd64/boot-screens/menu.cfg menu end menu begin Sid (i386) menu title Sid (i386) label Previous text help Return to previous menu endtext menu exit menu separator menu include debian/sid/i386/boot-screens/menu.cfg menu end menu begin Wheezy (amd64) menu title Wheezy (amd64) label Previous text help Return to previous menu endtext menu exit menu separator menu include debian/wheezy/amd64/boot-screens/menu.cfg menu end
- I copied sid’s dists/sid/main/installer-amd64/current/images/netboot/debian-installer/amd64/boot-screens/splash.png to /srv/tftp/splash.png. That way, each distro family can have its own splash image!
After that, I added the other Sid distro (i386), following the same procedure. Here are some screenshots of the process (taken from my hosting workstation):
- Add a foreign distro to the mix (e.g. Fedora 18, Arch)
- Figure out how to boot and install a Windows image from this setup (probably very difficult).
- Start with an old copy of Windows XP
- Then go with Windows 7 (if I even have an ISO for it).