Michael Tremer

Introduction to boot.ipfire.org
by Michael Tremer, January 21, 2011

We have been testing a new piece of software lately that I want to introduce to you and hopefully find some experts to enhance it and get it better.

The “thing” that I am talking about is called boot.ipfire.org, which is inspired by netboot.me and is able to install IPFire without requiring a CD or USB key.

In the daily development work, there are multiple reinstalls of the distribution per day that sometimes take lots of time. To overcome the burning of a rewriteable disc (which is anyway very slow) we created this service.

How does it work?

boot.ipfire.org is based on a technology called PXE (short for Preboot eXecution Environment) which loads a very small piece of code from for example a TFTP server. This code itself loads more data from the boot.ipfire.org webservers that is a menu.

In this menu, you are able to choose a version that you want to boot and (again) this version is loaded from the server and booted. Easy, isn’t it?

The benefits

Shortcomings

I have tested the images on various hardware and on some virtual machines. It works perfectly. However, there are some issues on systems that only do have a serial console. If you are interested in fixing this, here is the source code.

Further information

You can download the images here. For some documentation see the wiki.

I really appreciate your comment or testing results by mail.


Posted: January 21, 2011 • 1513 views