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Thread: PXE boot from Windows WDS/RIS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default PXE boot from Windows WDS/RIS

    Hi all,

    Am hoping someone can point me in the right direction on configuration for using WDS with proxmox to install windows images.

    I have setup proxmox and create new images ready, selecting network as first boot and using the various different network card options (Intel e1000, Realtec RTL8139, VirtIO) all of them do not connect to the WDS.

    In our environment we have WDS on different vlans, and use Cisco IP Helper-address to allow clients to find the WDS DHCP, however when etherboot starts it appears not to find the ip helper-address information and defaults to the base DHCP scope option information using 066 Boot Server host name and 067 Bootfile name to try to boot the client, however we dont utilise these functions.

    Has anyone used etherboot to connect to a WDS/RIS server on a different vlan using IP helper-address information or can point me in the right direction to the configuration either via proxmox or on etherboot.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: PXE boot from Windows WDS/RIS

    I have a WDS (2008r2) in our lab, working without issues with 1.9 and also 2.0 (e.g. e1000 but also virtio works as I have virtio drivers in the WDS image).

    But I do not have any vlan or any other config, the setup of the WDS is simple as possible.
    Best regards,

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: PXE boot from Windows WDS/RIS

    Hi Tom,

    Did you use the default etherboot image from proxmox or a custom rom from rom-o-matic.

    At least knowing that it is possible to boot from WDS means I can look into the broadcast of the server. Did you run any custom gPXE commands to find the WDS or did it just pickup? Am not sure if etherboot can read the ip helpers across vlans.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: PXE boot from Windows WDS/RIS

    why do not try Serva?
    Small windows app that automatically creates a menu of several Microsoft OSs for network (PXE) install.
    It network installs from Windows 2000 to Windows 8
    It runs from Windows 2000 to Windows 8
    nice (WAIK independent) RIS Install & WDS Install alternative

    read here:


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Bursa, Turkey, Turkey

    Default Re: PXE boot from Windows WDS/RIS

    It was not possible to install Proxmox from Pxe and I talked to Serva's support desk and got following respond after they investigated why it was not possible.

    It could be “possible” but terribly messy; this means a huge hack to make it work;

    That thing is not well designed from a PXE point of view; today designing a virtualized
    environment that can only be booted by DVD is nuts.
    There are people that say “well, PXE install Debian Wezie then install Proxmox on top” that’s a mess.

    You can tell the developers that today a Linux install must contain a PXE enable booting kernel + initrd set
    including net drivers, NFS, HTTP, and CIFS support.
    From that point there are 2 strategies;

    1. OS install by individual package transfers
    2. OS live run by single transfer of a squashfs partition with an install option.

    All the big distros use these approaches. Proxmox should do the same.
    Debian is a distro that can be customized w/o much trouble, they should do just that adding their own components w/o
    losing the Debian PXE compatibly.


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