VirtualBox

Opened 15 years ago

Last modified 15 years ago

#5557 new enhancement

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

Reported by: Donuts Owned by:
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 (2)

gpxe-git-pcnet32.pxe (55.6 KB ) - added by Donuts 15 years ago.
boot.kernel.org gPXE boot image for AMD PCnet-FAST III network card
10222000.rom (56.0 KB ) - added by Donuts 15 years ago.
LAN boot ROM for AMD PCnet-FAST III with script for boot.kernel.org

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (4)

by Donuts, 15 years ago

Attachment: gpxe-git-pcnet32.pxe added

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

comment:1 by Donuts, 15 years ago

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

by Donuts, 15 years ago

Attachment: 10222000.rom added

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

comment:2 by Donuts, 15 years ago

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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