12. Configuring PXE


PXE is an environment designed for launching hosts with a network interface independently of any hard disk, CD/DVD or any other media commonly used for booting. The bootloader is called remotely by the PXE code, the latter being defined by your network card, and launches the system.

PXE can make use of several protocols, such as IP, UDP, DHCP or TFTP. A network booting is somewhat like booting from a LiveCD.

Main requirements

To configure PXE on your Calculate Directory Server, you will need sys-apps/calculate-install-2.2.27-r4 or higher.


Before you begin configuring PXE, make sure that the DHCP service is well set up on the server.

To set up PXE, run cl-install with the --pxe option:

# installing a 32bit CLD for network booting
cl-install-pxe --iso /var/calculate/linux/cld-13.6.2-i686.iso

The system image is thus deployed to the /var/calculate/pxe directory, all necessary TFTP, NFS and DHCP services are duly set up. Be aware that you can use only one distribution version simulteneously.

Once the installation is complete, all hosts in the network will be able to use PXE booting.

Setting up default parameters

You can modify the default parameters that are applied every time a PXE image starts, such as the locale, the timezone, the video card and more, by editing the DEFAULTPARAM variable in /var/calculate/pxe/pxelinux.cfg/default. The entry must come after the DEFAULT calcmenu.c32 line.

Supported parameters

  • Language (to get the list of all available languages, execute cl-install -v --filter os_lang) - DEFAULTPARAM calculate=lang:ro_RO
  • Keyboard layout: DEFAULTPARAM calculate=keymap:ru_RU
  • Time zone: DEFAULTPARAM calculate=timezone:Europe/Istanbul
  • Screen resolution: DEFAULTPARAM calculate=resolution:2560x1600
  • Video drivers: DEFAULTPARAM calculate=video:nvidia
  • Graphics acceleration on/off: DEFAULTPARAM calculate=composite:on
  • Domain: DEFAULTPARAM calculate=domain:
  • Domain password: DEFAULTPARAM calculate=domain_pw:secret

Parameters are comma-separated, as in: DEFAULTPARAM calculate=domain:,domain_pw:secret

Note. If no parameters are set but the domain, you will be prompted for a password at booting time.

Thank you!