3.5.  Netboot testing HowTo

Netboot image creation is made easy with live-helper magic, but testing the images on physical machines can be really time consuming.

To make our life easier, we can use virtualization. There are two solutions:

VMWare Player

Install VMWare Player ("free as in beer" edition)

Create a PXETester directory, and create a text file called pxe.vwx inside

Paste this text inside:

config.version = "8"
virtualHW.version = "4"
memsize = "512"
MemAllowAutoScaleDown = "FALSE"

ide0:0.present = "FALSE"
ide1:0.present = "FALSE"
floppy0.present = "FALSE"
sound.present = "FALSE"
tools.remindInstall = "FALSE"

ethernet0.present = "TRUE"
ethernet0.addressType = "generated"

displayName = "Test Boot PXE"
guestOS = "other"

ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:8d:71:3b"
uuid.location = "56 4d 83 72 5c c4 de 3f-ae 9e 07 91 1d 8d 71 3b"
uuid.bios = "56 4d 83 72 5c c4 de 3f-ae 9e 07 91 1d 8d 71 3b"
ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = "0"

You can play with this configuration file (i.e. change memory limit to 256)

Double click on this file (or run VMWare player and selecet this file).

When running just press space if that strange question comes up...


Install qemu, bridge-utils, sudo.

Edit /etc/qemu-ifup:

sudo -p "Password for $0:" /sbin/ifconfig $1
echo "Executing /etc/qemu-ifup"
echo "Bringing up $1 for bridged mode..."
sudo /sbin/ifconfig $1 promisc up
echo "Adding $1 to br0..."
sudo /usr/sbin/brctl addif br0 $1
sleep 2

Get, or build a grub-floppy-netboot (in the svn).

Launch qemu with "-net nic,vlan=0 -net tap,vlan=0,ifname=tun0"