Getting PXE booting to work on FreeBSD 7.0

Boris Samorodov bsam at
Tue Apr 1 15:14:25 UTC 2008

On Tue, 01 Apr 2008 14:09:42 +1300 Brett Davidson wrote:

> I have set up a Linux Boot DHCP server (for other reasons that
> hopefully will become obvious later) which points to the BSD based
> tftp server.

> I did try to recompile the BSD pxeboot program to use TFTP as per the
> following but this did not appear to work as booting it still prompted
> for an NFS path :

> echo LOADER_TFTP_SUPPORT=YES >> /etc/make.conf; cd /usr/src/sys/boot/;
> make clean; make depend; make; cp i386/pxeldr/pxeboot
> /tftpboot/freebsd

> So...

> I set up /etc/exports with "/tftpboot/ -alldirs ro", and started up nfs.
> This works fine for manual mounting and for installing via nfs after
> booting off CD but I get the following errors when PXE booting...

> pxe_open: server addr: <serverip>
> pxe_open: server path: /tftpboot/freebsd
> pxe_open: gateway ip: <subnetgatewayip>
> \
> can't load 'kernel'

take a look at /var/log/xferlog. You may find something helpful

> The /tftpboot/freebsd/boot/loader.rc file contents are given here ( I
> have tried full OS paths to these as well to no avail) :

> echo Loading Kernel
> load /boot/kernel/kernel
> load linux.ko
> echo Booting
> load -r /mfs_root/mfsroot.gz
> echo \007\007
> echo initialiasing h0h0magic
> set vfs.root.mountfrom=ufs:/dev/md0c
> boot

> IMPORTANT: I am booting the client within a vmware-based instance
> (Vmware-server 1.0.4 on Centos 4.4) using bridged networking.

> I am obviously missing something obvious. Can you please point this
> out to me?! :-)

Boris Samorodov (bsam)
Research Engineer, Telephone & Internet SP
FreeBSD committer, The Power To Serve

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