Ticket #3619 (closed defect: obsolete)

Opened 13 years ago

Last modified 6 years ago

PXE problems with multiple DHCP servers

Reported by: TobiasEvert Owned by:
Component: network Version: VirtualBox 2.1.4
Keywords: PXE Cc:
Guest type: Linux Host type: Linux

Description (last modified by vushakov) (diff)

We've recently been having problems PXE booting VMs using VB 2.1.4. We're simulating a cluster by running many VMs connected through Internal Networks. The network has two servers which facilitate DHCP and PXE. When booting a VM through PXE there is a high probability (50%) that the boot fails.

The network layout:
Server 1 IP:
Server 2 IP:
Client N IP: 192.168.236.N + 2

The PXE output when the boot fails for Client 1:

Searching for server (DHCP)......
Me:, DHCP:
Loading ...(PXE).......done

PXELINUX 3.11 0x4639e5ce Copyright (C) 1994-2005 H. Peter Anvin
UNDI data segment at: 0009E000
UNDI data segment size: 1000
UNDI code segment at: 0009F000
UNDI code segment size: 0B1D
PXE entry point found (we hope) at 9F00:0680
My IP address seems to be C0A8EC03
TFTP prefix: nodes/3/boot/
Trying to load: pxelinux.conf is not in my arp table! is not in my arp table! is not in my arp table! is not in my arp table!
<And so on>

From what I gather the problem seems to start on the ip-line:
It shouldn't even know about the server, since it got it's address from the other server. On the occasions that the boot actually works the ip-line looks like:

Having done packet analysis during the boot-up stage I see that Client 1 sends out a DHCP request (twice), then receiving replies from both servers (2 first), it selects the address it received from the first reply (actually, it gets the same address from both servers), advertises it's choice and gets ACKs back from both Servers.

Maybe the problem for Etherboot is that the replies are with the exact same IP addresses, and same Transaction ID. I'm guessing there has to be something special, since multi-DHCP server environments isn't exactly uncommon.

I see that the version of Etherboot in VB 2.1.4 isn't the very newest. Maybe there is a fix for this in a newer version. Are there plans to go over to gPXE? I know that it's probably non-trivial, and that you have some local patches against Etherboot in your source, but apart from maintenance, development on Etherboot has stopped, so going over to gPXE has to be done some time.

Attached is two dumps in tcpdump format, one when the boot worked, and one where it failed.


failed.tcpdump Download (18.4 KB) - added by TobiasEvert 13 years ago.
A failed boot
working.tcpdump Download (18.6 KB) - added by TobiasEvert 13 years ago.
A working boot
Virtual LaboPC.png Download (11.1 KB) - added by jonsy 9 years ago.
Capture of failed pxe boot with multiple DHCP servers

Change History

Changed 13 years ago by TobiasEvert

A failed boot

Changed 13 years ago by TobiasEvert

A working boot

comment:1 Changed 13 years ago by frank

  • priority changed from blocker to major
  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed

Please reopen if this bug is still relevant. There were a lot of network-related changes in the meantime. Make sure to test the latest version, VBox 3.0.8.

comment:2 Changed 9 years ago by jonsy

  • Status changed from closed to reopened
  • Resolution fixed deleted

Same problem re-appeared in virtualbox in 4.1.12_Ubuntu r77245 on ubuntu 12.04 amd64 (VM bridged to an interface attached to a network with multiple dhcp servers )

When configuring dhcp servers to make only one respond to vm client everything goes fine, but when multi-dhcp-server environment is restored, vm client fails randomly with same message shown "xxxx is not in my arp table"

Linux jonsy 3.2.0-41-generic #66-Ubuntu SMP Thu Apr 25 03:27:11 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

comment:3 Changed 9 years ago by jonsy

Same problem with latest version from vb page

virtualbox-4.2_4.2.12-84980~Ubuntu~precise_amd64.deb attached screen capture

Changed 9 years ago by jonsy

Capture of failed pxe boot with multiple DHCP servers

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by vushakov

  • Status changed from reopened to closed
  • Resolution set to obsolete
  • Description modified (diff)

VirtualBox uses  iPXE now. I've verified that the scenario with two DHCP servers (with the same static assignments for the client) works as expected.

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