Ticket #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:|
|Version:||VirtualBox 3.0.12||Keywords:||pxe option ROM|
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.
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.