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Centos 6 PXE Server

The following instructions detail how to setup a Centos 6 server to act as a PXE server allowing for installs over the network. In this case this server acts as a dedicated management server for our server environment so it acts as a DHCP server for the management network. If you are running a separate DHCP server then when it comes to configuring DHCP do it on your DHCP server.

  • There was some weird conflict with the version of DHCP on the Centos 6 version that I installed so I had to upgrade it. You may not have to but it won’t hurt if you do anyway
[root@management ~]# yum update dhclient
  • Next you need to install the DHCP server, tftp server and syslinux
[root@management ~]# yum install dhcp tftp-server syslinux
  • Disable SELinux if you haven’t already
[root@management ~]# vim /etc/sysconfig/selinux
  • Set the line SELINUX=enforcing to
  • Disable SELinux immediately without a reboot
[root@management ~]# setenforce 0
  • Create a directory to store your tftp files. I chose /tftpboot
[root@management ~]# mkdir /tftpboot
  • Now copy the required syslinux files into your tftpboot directory. If you choose a directory other then /tftpboot then you will have to modify the copy destination to the directory you chose
[root@management ~]# cp /usr/share/syslinux/pxelinux.0 /tftpboot/
[root@management ~]# cp /usr/share/syslinux/menu.c32 /tftpboot/
[root@management ~]# cp /usr/share/syslinux/memdisk /tftpboot/
[root@management ~]# cp /usr/share/syslinux/mboot.c32 /tftpboot/
[root@management ~]# cp /usr/share/syslinux/chain.c32 /tftpboot/
  • Create a directory to store your pxe config
[root@management ~]# mkdir /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg
  • Now put the required config in pxelinux.cfg
[root@management ~]# vim /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default
  • Add the following to the default file
default menu.c32
prompt 0
timeout 300

  • You now need to setup configure xinit for tftp
[root@management ~]# vim /etc/xinetd.d/tftp
  • You need to update the following two lines
server_args = -s /tftpboot
disable = no

Set the server_args to your directory and set disable to no. My final config is

service tftp
        socket_type             = dgram
        protocol                = udp
        wait                    = yes
        user                    = root
        server                  = /usr/sbin/in.tftpd
        server_args             = -s /tftpboot
        disable                 = no
        per_source              = 11
        cps                     = 100 2
        flags                   = IPv4
  • Restart xinit for your changes to take effect
[root@management ~]# /etc/init.d/xinetd restart
  • Now setup the dhcp server
[root@management ~]# vim /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf

My DHCP config is below. If you already have DHCP configured you only need to copy the config above the subnet configuration. Change the IP of next-server to the IP of the PXE server

allow booting;
allow bootp;
option option-128 code 128 = string;
option option-129 code 129 = text;
filename "/pxelinux.0";

subnet netmask{
        option routers        ;  # default gateway
        option subnet-mask    ;
        option broadcast-address;
        option domain-name-servers;
        option domain-name              "management.onemetric.local";
  • Start dhcp and set it to start on boot
[root@management ~]# /etc/init.d/dhcpd start
[root@management ~]# chkconfig dhcpd on