Network boot with PXE


Article from Issue 87/2008

PXE lets you start your computer by downloading a boot image from the network. We’ll show you how to use PXE to install Linux.

Some people call it “Pixie,” but PXE is actually an acronym for “Preboot Execution Environment.” This Intel specification dates back to the 1990s. PXE lets a client computer connect to a server and download a boot image over the network. This technology was designed for terminal-based computing environments, where a thin client device without on-board storage must find and download a boot image. Since then, admins have found other uses for PXE – for instance, as a tool for network installation of normal PCs. A PXE server can save an admin mileage when installing a large number of computers – connect to the network, boot, and install. The best thing is that setting up this whole constellation just involves a couple of simple steps.

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