An Acronym for Pre-boot Execution Environment.

A way of booting computers over the network, much the same as Etherboot. Most modern adapters support PXE now, although they generally still need to have the PXE BIOS enabled for this to work.

Some NIC chipsets that support PXE:

  • RealTek? 8139
  • Intel Pro 100 family
  • Lots of 3Com cards

If you have a PXE-bootable card, and a compliant motherboard BIOS, it will boot off PXE just fine. You can see it trying to do this as the machine boots – it might prompt to boot off the NIC, or it might say something about DHCP, or so on.

If for some reason your machine won't boot via PXE, you can try this (untested) image of a PXE-on-disk bootdisk. To create a disk with it, issue dd if=pxebootdisk.img of=/dev/fd0.

The next step, of course, is to making your PXE-booting machine do something… PXELINUX, which is part of SysLinux, will help you out here. PXES (mentioned on the DisklessWorkstationNotes page) also makes use of PXE.

Part of CategoryNetworking