VirtualBox

Ticket #5557 (new enhancement)

Opened 4 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

Allow user to specify network card option ROM image, and ship default PXE images for boot.kernel.org

Reported by: Donuts Owned by:
Priority: minor Component: other
Version: VirtualBox 3.0.12 Keywords: pxe option ROM
Cc: Guest type: other
Host type: other

Description

Take a look at  http://boot.kernel.org/

You can download a tiny floppy or USB/CD image from there, which uses gPXE to boot a selection of Linux operating systems and diagnostic tools over the internet.

Also look at  http://rom.etherboot.org/share/pravin/rom-o-matic-BKO.net/

You can build a boot option ROM there. If you were to ship suitable network card boot ROM images with VirtualBox, it would allow new users to immediately test out various OSes by booting over the internet. No need to make hard disk image files or download anything first. New installs could have an initial default VM present so the user could get started straight away.

More generally, make it possible to specify option ROM images for a VM in VirtualBox settings. That is not necessarily specific to network cards; you could have an option ROM for anything, e.g. a nice logo screen prior to booting or whatever.

Alternatively, you could supply .pxe files for each type of emulated network card which would allow users to use VirtualBox's PXE boot facility with NAT networking to bootstrap from boot.kernel.org. Attached is a .pxe file for AMD pcnet32 with the appropriate gpxe script embedded.

Attachments

gpxe-git-pcnet32.pxe Download (55.6 KB) - added by Donuts 4 years ago.
boot.kernel.org gPXE boot image for AMD PCnet-FAST III network card
10222000.rom Download (56.0 KB) - added by Donuts 4 years ago.
LAN boot ROM for AMD PCnet-FAST III with script for boot.kernel.org

Change History

Changed 4 years ago by Donuts

boot.kernel.org gPXE boot image for AMD PCnet-FAST III network card

comment:1 Changed 4 years ago by Donuts

After some more research I discovered that the VM LAN boot ROM can be specified in VirtualBox. See  http://etherboot.org/wiki/romburning/vbox

So I used rom-o-matic.net to build a boot ROM for the PCnet-FAST III and with script for boot.kernel.org. Follow the instructions at the link above to install it. It's attached as 10222000.rom

Changed 4 years ago by Donuts

LAN boot ROM for AMD PCnet-FAST III with script for boot.kernel.org

comment:2 Changed 4 years ago by Donuts

Another network booting service is  http://www.netboot.me/

You can download a PXE image from  http://static.netboot.me/gpxe/netbootme.kpxe and set a VM to network boot from it.

It would be really great if you could add the ability to enable the built-in TFTP server and select which PXE image to use from the VirtualBox GUI. Allowing the LAN boot ROM image to be selected from the GUI as well would make testing out network booting much easier.

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