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Suggestions to Alex Stragies

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Aug 10th, 2015
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  1. Awesome, : just installing the `ipxe` package, and there is a new menu on my GRUB options. But I think I requested you an expanding that was not neccesary, so your answer is too long for a question-answer site. Allow me to suggest you some more wiki-like rewording like this one: . As an example of what I think are concise-yet-complete answers:
  2.  
  3. =========================
  4.  
  5. Yes, you can add a (i)PXE Launcher to GRUB.
  6. http://ipxe.org/
  7.  
  8. Since you seem to be using **dpkg-based** systems:
  9. For Debian (and most likely the Debian derivatives like *buntu), it is only required:
  10.  
  11. apt-get install ipxe
  12.  
  13. I would expect other distros to have integrated it as well fairly comfortably.
  14.  
  15. Just after installation, GRUB will show a new entry for **PXE boot**.
  16. That is all.
  17.  
  18. # How does it work (no need to keep reading if you just want things up and running) :
  19.  
  20. The post-install hook scripts automatically adds an iPXE entry to the GRUB configuration, using the "template" file `/etc/grub.d/20_ipxe`.
  21.  
  22. The system then runs `update-grup`, and you end up with an entry like the following in `/boot/grub/grub.cfg`
  23.  
  24. menuentry 'Linux NetBoot Environment' {
  25. set root='(hd0,1)'
  26. <More, less important options>
  27. linux16 /boot/ipxe.lkrn
  28. }
  29.  
  30. The important part is `linux16 /boot/ipxe.lkrn`.
  31.  
  32. This just means that, instead of a (linux-)kernel, GRUB gives full computer control to another "simple" program, in this case `ipxe.lkrn`. MemTestx86 is launched in basically the same way.
  33.  
  34. The PXE Stack is software normally stored somewhere on the main-board. Just in this case we load it from somewhere the drivers from GRUB can access.
  35.  
  36. To continue your Scenario:
  37. You will want to install a basic GRUB on the drive, having the PXE entry first, and a fall-back on Position 2 to local chain-boot from (say) Partition 1.
  38.  
  39. The configuration iPXE would use will then depend on the files residing on your boot-configuration-server. There you will make the default, first menuchoice "Boot from local Partition 1", then more choices (Boot-AV, SuperGrub, Debian NetInst...).
  40.  
  41. ==> Your Users normally don't touch anything until they see the Graphical Login Prompt from the local Installation.
  42.  
  43. Boot-Sequence: GRUB --> iPXE --> OS-in-Partition-1
  44.  
  45. (Fallback to OS-In-Partition-1, if PXE unsuccessful)
  46.  
  47. ==> **Physically** present at the PC, you could choose other Boot-Options.
  48.  
  49. ==> **Not physically** present at the PC, you can change the server-side PXE configuration to "one-off" boot another choice than the default.
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