PXE Boot Environment: Generic TFTP and DHCP Configuration

  • CTX128826
  • Created On  Mar 21, 2011
  • Updated On  May 31, 2012
  • 3 found this helpful
  • Article
  • Topic : Other


This document describes the initial tasks involved in configuring a PXE boot environment. It steps through generic procedures for setting up a TFTP server to enable PXE booting, and a DHCP server to provide IP addresses to the systems that you plan to PXE boot.

Once you have configured the TFTP and DHCP servers, please refer to XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 Installation Guide for specific configuration details and procedures regarding XenServer.


To begin creating your PXE environment, you need:

  • A TFTP server to enable PXE booting
  • A DHCP server to provide IP addresses to the systems that are going to PXE-boot

These servers may co-exist on the same server or be distributed on different servers on the network.

The following steps assume that the Linux server(s) you are using have RPM support.


To set up a TFTP server for PXE booting:

  1. Ensure that SYSLINUX 3.11 or above is installed on your system. SYSLINUX is a collection of bootloaders for the Linux operating system which operates on Linux EXT2/EXT3 file systems, MS-DOS FAT file systems, network servers using PXE firmware, and CD-ROMs. To check which version you are running, enter the following:
    rpm -q syslinux
    If you need to download a more recent version, visit To install a new version, run the following command:
    rpm -Uvh syslinux.-.rpm
  2. Make sure that the tftp server package is installed by entering the following:
    rpm -q tftp-server
    If it is not installed, use the system-config-packages and install.
  3. Edit the file /etc/xinetd.d/tftp by changing disable = yes to:
    disable = no
  4. Restart the xinetd service (which manages tftp) by entering the following:
    service xinetd restart

Please refer to your server operating system manual for details for your specific operating system. The information here is a guide that can be used for Red Hat, Fedora, and some other RPM-based distributions.

To set up a DHCP server:

  1. Ensure that you have DHCP installed on the server that you are using. To check if DHCP is installed, enter the following:

  2. rpm -qa dhcp
    If it is not installed, use the system-config-packages and install.
  3. Configure the DHCP server. For details, refer to Document 1673 in the Red Hat Knowledgebase.
  4. Add the following lines to the end of the dhcpd.conf file:

  5. allow bootp; \
    class "pxeclients" { \
    match if substring(option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9) = "PXEClient"; \
    next-server ; \
    filename "pxelinux.0"; \
  6. Restart the dhcpd service by entering the following:

  7. service dhcpd restart

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