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PXE is a protocol supported by most PC BIOSes that allows the computer to boot directly from the network. This techology is mostly used by thin clients manufactured by companies like IGEL, WYSE , [DisklessWorkstations.com], HP, and Sun.

These thin clients execute all applications on a remote server, and are often diskless. They provide significant power savings, extended hardware replacement intervals, and centralized management.


[edit] Introduction

In order to boot from a network, a DHCP server must be able to direct a thin client to it's boot image. Luckily, the DNSmasq server included with DD-WRT supports this functionality. This means that a business may be able to leverage the reliability and simplicity of embedded WRT devices over running DHCP services from full blown Windows or Linux servers.

[edit] Steps

  1. Set up a TFTP server to host your boot image
  2. Direct the DD-WRT DHCP server to point to this boot image

[edit] Set up DD-WRT

Enable DNSMasq as your DHCP server Image:DHCP Using DNSMasq Basic Settings.png

Add the following under Services->Additional DNSMasq Options


Where pxelinux.0 is the name of the boot image, zorro is the name of the tftp server, and is it's IP address.

[edit] Further Considerations

The boot image must be under 32k according to the PXE boot spec, so this image can be copied directly to the DD-WRT device and hosted there, further negating issues that could arise if the DD-WRT device should remain active, but the link to the TFTP server be down.

[edit] Related Forum Posts

DD-WRT DHCP options
PXE Booting from dd-wrt
Feature Requests DHCP options for PXE boot
Netboot, it won't work, why?