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Booting over network using PXE

It is possible to boot MINIX 3 over the network. This makes use of the PXE protocol supported in some network cards. The network card loads its boot files over network and boot the PC from these files.

PXE booting involves two machines :

  • The server, which has a DHCP and TFTP server ;
  • The client, which is set to boot over PXE.

This document will explain how to populate the TFTP root directory for booting MINIX 3.

Setting up a PXE server

Setting up a DHCP/TFTP server is outside the scope of this document. Check your operating system's documentation to learn how to set up a PXE server.

MINIX 3 files

The boot-to-ramdisk image is suitable for booting over PXE. To generate the image, run releasetools/ The kernel and modules will be placed into ../obj.i386/work, move them to the TFTP root directory.


As with a hard drive installation, a boot loader is required to bootstrap the system.


Main documentation :

Download the latest release of SYSLINUX at Extract the following files and put them in the TFTP root directory :

  • bios/com32/elflink/ldlinux/ldlinux.c32
  • bios/com32/lib/libcom32.c32
  • bios/com32/libutil/libutil.c32
  • bios/com32/mboot/mboot.c32
  • bios/com32/menu/menu.c32
  • bios/core/pxelinux.0

Create a directory named pxelinux.cfg/ in the TFTP root directory. Inside it, create a file named default with the following contents :

DEFAULT menu.c32

  KERNEL mboot.c32
  APPEND kernel bootramdisk=1 --- mod01_ds --- mod02_rs --- mod03_pm --- mod04_sched --- mod05_vfs --- mod06_memory --- mod07_tty --- mod08_mib --- mod09_vm --- mod10_pfs --- mod11_mfs --- mod12_init

Booting directly with QEMU

You can test the TFTP root directory with QEMU without setting up a DHCP/TFTP server first. To boot with QEMU, cd to the TFTP root directory and use the following command :

qemu-system-i386 --enable-kvm -m 1G -tftp . -bootp pxelinux.0 -boot n
usersguide/bootingovernetworkusingpxe.txt · Last modified: 2016/03/22 13:27 by jeanbaptisteboric