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Br4tt3

Deploy Linux from within WinPE / WDS?

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Hi folks,

So, I am a total n00b @ linux and how it works, but there are people at work that will help me out in that department... my problem is, we are running RIS/WDS on 2003 as our PXE solution. From RIS we are able to boot and deploy Linux just fine, however, as we will migrate to 2008 on the Windows side, WDS will be running in native mode! So, when running Windows 2008 WDS in native mode, how do u use WDS as the single point of PXE booting for deploying Linux operating systems? I have tried searching for the info, and everything points back to RIS and NOT WDS!!! I really hope that MS haven't put us into the corner with this "enterprise" solution, and that we need to segment our networks so we need multiple PXE sources.... I guess we are not the only ones that want one PXE deployment point for all of the platforms....

Does anyone had some expierence with deploying Linux from within WinPE 2.0 / WDS (native mode) or know where to find some information on how to solve it? Looking forward to any pointers or help from the forum! Thanks in advance...

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no experience but an idea, wdsutil.exe is a commandline tool to modify settings of the WDS server. one of those settings is the boot program.

hint:

"wdsutil /set-server /?"

idea:

set the bootloader to pxelinux, which in it's default config then chainloads pxeboot.com (WDS).

now if you want to install linux, you just have to create the appropiate MAC-linked settings file.

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If you keep the WDS server in mixed mode you will have the ability to boot Linux or DOS *and* WinPE2 images using the same server. The WDS server will give you a menu when the client pxe boots of all the WinPE images available to download/boot into. On this same menu will be a submenu that will show the linux images in the same way that you are already familiar with.

Under the heading 'Deploy Linux from Windows WDS/RIS server using PXELinux' from Syslinux will give you pointers on how to set up the Linux images.

Changing the WDS server to native mode is non reversable back to mixed mode.

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You could use MDT and just load a binary image of your linux polattform :)

I think there is a read/write driver for ext2 wich should make it possible to use imagex if you could figure out how to format the drive

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no experience but an idea, wdsutil.exe is a commandline tool to modify settings of the WDS server. one of those settings is the boot program.

hint:

"wdsutil /set-server /?"

idea:

set the bootloader to pxelinux, which in it's default config then chainloads pxeboot.com (WDS).

now if you want to install linux, you just have to create the appropiate MAC-linked settings file.

Awsome, thanks, this is prolly what I am looking for.... already got it up and running! :D

And for the suggestion with running it in mixed mode (WDS), it does NOT exist in 2008, only on 2003 I think...

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I'm looking into this as well. I found that it is possible to use this method in Native Mode, and also without screwing around with the current Boot ROM options.

For example, currently my servers all boot to the default WDS x86 boot rom file. Now if I wanted to deploy Linux on a machine, how to get it to boot to the PXELINUX rom instead of the WDS one? Well this can be done, but it involves pre-staging the client first. This is something I know how to do, but haven't actually done it yet. You would use the following command:

wdsutil.exe /set-device /ID:AA-BB-CC-DD-EE-FF /BootProgram:Boot\x86\pxeboot.n12

The issue then becomes that you would have to add a few extra steps into your process. If you already have any network inventory solutions in place, you could do this automatically, using a separate network segment. Products that have this ability are certain Cisco appliances, and Altiris, for example. Otherwise you're looking at booting every client first and writing down their MAC Address and then typing it into your server! That's a lot of work!

The alternative, however, is that you can build a separate server (or virtually) to just handle Linux deployments, but if that was the case, why both using WDS in the first place?

Source:

http://blogs.artinsoft.net/jose_aguilar_bl...05/16/1442.aspx

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I've finally gotten around to trying to get this to work. However, since the original posting above, some of the links are missing. I was still able to find what I needed. Now it appears the above quoted line may be for an older version of WDS, possibly from Server 2003.

Using the above command:

wdsutil.exe /set-device /ID:00-19-D1-7E-0D-0E /BootProgram:Boot\x86\pxelinux.com returns the following:

Error Code 0xC1040108

The required parameter /device was not specified for command /set-device

This led me to look up the advanced commands of wdsutil, and found that (for example) the /ID is not just the MAC Address, but a GUID.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library...%29.aspx#BKMK_1

So I tried the following commands

wdsutil.exe /set-device /device:Computer1 /ID:{00000000-0000-0000-0019D17E0D0E} /BootProgram:Boot\x86\pxelinux.com

wdsutil.exe /set-device /device /ID:{00000000-0000-0000-0019D17E0D0E} /BootProgram:Boot\x86\pxelinux.com

Both of which return with:

Error Code 0xC1040101

An invalid command /device was specified

So I am guessing I am using wdsutil incorrectly?

Also the documentation seems to be missing things. Such as using IIS to create a kickstart VD and then not doing anything with it?

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Well, first off, did you /Add-device to add the /device you're calling (if it's not in the db, it won't recognize it if you try to modify it using wdsutil)? Secondly, if the machine has a GUID for the machine account associated with that hardware in AD, it's quicker and easier to use the GUID for the machine rather than the MAC, although this isn't required. Third, if you're using a 2008 or 2008 R2 server, you should also use the /architecture:x86 (or amd64) parameter appended to the end of the command for non-microsoft ROMs to avoid other errors (staging or bootstrapping).

I believe the WDSLinux article here might be of use.

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I have the computer added into AD, and managed using the MAC address as the GUID. I am still not getting the correct syntax down to set the WDSUTIL exception to use the other boot rom. It still gives me the above errors. I will try finding the real GUID and update that.

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