PXE only Config

Daniel Wells daniel_wells at byu.edu
Fri Nov 30 04:15:25 UTC 2007

I apologize if this question has already been answered on the mailing list but the archives for this list are not responding.

Basically this is the behavior we want.

Whenever dhcpd receives a DHCPDISCOVER packet it will respond with only the PXE options (tftp boot server and boot filename).  We have tried all sorts of options and we can only get dhcpd to respond with a DHCPOFFER if it is configured to also send IP address information (static or dynamic).  The problem is that our client will have already received its IP from another server and is simply waiting for the remainder of its boot options.  We only want dhcpd to act as a PXE server.

So far this is the configuration for the client group.

group {
         filename "ARDBP32.BIN";
         option vendor-class-identifier "PXEClient;

         host PXETest { hardware ethernet 00:0c:29:c9:39:5f; }

With just this configuration we get the response "no free leases".  I am assuming this is because we have not defined any static or dynamic addresses for this client.  Which is what we want.  If I add an option for a static address the packet get sent fine.

So how do we configure dhcpd to be just a PXE server.

We have a pretty extensive network configuration.  We have a class A ( that is divided into a couple hundred VLAN/Subnets.  We have a public Class B that is also subdivided into many VLAN/subnets.  The PXE booting will be used mainly by the public lab machines which are highly distributed across these subnets and can at time move from one subnet to another.  Because of this, declaring all the possible subnets will be quite complex (and the hosts may not be tied to just one subnet).

I would appreciate any help anyone could offer on this subject (and no we can't just modify our campus DHCP to offer the PXE options).

Thanks in advance.


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