search cancel

Notes on using iPXE in Ghost Solution Suite 3.3

book

Article ID: 173963

calendar_today

Updated On:

Products

Ghost Solution Suite

Issue/Introduction

Notes on using iPXE in Ghost Solution Suite 3.3.

Environment

GSS 3.3 with iPXE

Resolution

1. iPXE can be set at a preboot environment (PE) level. It can be enabled or disabled for each individual PE.

Whether a specific PE is configured with iPXE or not can be determined by the files in the PXE Server Images folder:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Altiris\eXpress\Deployment Server\PXE\Images\MenuOption###\ and X64 or X86PC folder

  • BStrap.0 and BStrap.efi (or neither set) mean this PE is configured with PXE
  • zipxe.0 and ipxe64.efi mean this PE is configured with iPXE

2. iPXE replaces the PXE firmware that gets loaded when client PXE boots - client is pointed to ipxe64.efi/zipxe.0 instead of BStrap.0/efi. PXE/DHCP server should be configured to point to the correct file.
- IPHelper should not affect this in any way as it only redirects the requests to PXE Server letting PXE Server respond.
- Forced mode with DCHP options needs to be configured to point to the correct files. Due to need to be very dynamic, this does not work with mixed environment - PEs both with and without iPXE.

3. After the boot firmware is loaded, the main functional difference between old PXE and iPXE is in how files are transferred. PXE uses TFTP which limits download speed, iPXE uses HTTP that is able to download much faster. The difference should be noticeable with bigger files like boot.wim for recent WinPE versions. Ultimately, the speed will still depend on network conditions. In a well-configured network (packet size, QoS etc) using TFTP can result in roughly the same speed. Networks are generally optimized for HTTP by default and getting more speed out of HTTP is easier configuration-wise.