PXE netinstalling for simpletons

Since posting this article I have found a much easier way to do this. This article is still great background information and goes into more detail if you want to take this further, but you should consider reading my new article.

Well, I promised something technical and here it is. It’s turned into a bit of a mammoth post, but the end result is pretty cool!

The idea of being able to install your favourite Linux distro over the network and so do away with burning CD’s (which ultimately get used once and then thrown away) is tantalizing. Not to mention the serious geek points for anyone who has a boot server on their network.

I started out using this article as a reference, as the process seemed relatively simple. However, I soon found out that this article wasn’t strictly accurate and didn’t explain some things too brilliantly! So I decided to see if I could do better.

The following is my account of setting up my own boot server on a spare box I had lying around (though you can just as easily do it on your main computer). I started from a base install of Ubuntu Server 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) which I installed in the normal way (i.e. from a CD). Continue reading