Touchscreen in PXE boot



  • Server
    • FOG Version: 1.4.0 (SVN 6069)
    • OS: CentOS Linux 7.3.1611
    • Kernel: Linux 3.10.0-514.10.2.el7.x86_64
    Client
    • Service Version:
    • OS: Windows 7 x86
    PXE
    • undionly.kpxe
    Description

    I have terminals on which I would like to be able to deploy images without connecting a keyboard, but instead use the touchscreen that all the terminals have.

    The idea is that a worker would be able to choose which image to deploy via touchscreen.

    I have searched around if there is a possibility to enable mouse in PXE menu, but I had no luck in finding the answer.

    If mouse like input is out of the question, then I would like to know if there is a possibility to load a driver, that I would write, for the touchscreen, which would make it act as a keyboard.

    Thank you for any information.


  • Developer

    @rwakc well, it would be technically possible to set up a method where you could be automatically imaging any device pxe booted from the network, and set up multiple dhcp scopes on different network ports, serving out different pxe boot files with embedded scripts. that way, you’d be able to choose what image the system gets imaged with by choosing what network you plug the device into.



  • @Junkhacker Since it is a closed system when it comes out of assembly plugging in a keyboard would be quite hard(although not impossible).

    The solution we use now is cloning hard drives before assembly.


  • Moderator

    @Junkhacker said in Touchscreen in PXE boot:

    or, he could temporarily attach a keyboard

    Why go simple when it can be a way over designed solution??

    But you are right, simple is better.


  • Developer

    @george1421 or, he could temporarily attach a keyboard


  • Moderator

    @rwakc OK if you are talking 100/s a month then we have a different scope than 1 or 2 a month.

    <enable brain storming session>
    Here is what I’m thinking (it will take input from others in this tread too). I use another FOSS project called thinstation. This is a complete linux OS in 300MB file (we can skinny that down if needed). We should be able to pxe boot that OS. The XWindows GUI in thinstation may support that touch screen. I can load firefox into that OS and set a default web page. That web page could be on the fog server but not one of the official FOG web gui pages. From that web page you would have your OS selections. The web page would then schedule a deployment task on the fog server using the restful interface.

    The issue I see so far is instructing the target computer to reboot after the menu selection has been made.

    Ideally it would be great to do this in iPXE and not have to mess with a third party solution. Right now I’m just saying its possible, not that its the best or only solution.
    </enable brain storming session>



  • @george1421 Ok, I will try this and post my findings. I will try with Fedora bootable USB. However I do not think that I will be able to do this before monday.

    At start only a few, but if it works, when the order comes it may go upwards of 100/month, but this number can vary a lot.

    The problem is that we need to deploy different images depending on the country the systems are going to. The machines are deployed 8 at a time.


  • Moderator

    @rwakc Will this device work if you use a linux live OS? The idea is if a mainstream linux distro supports it there may be a way for fos to support it. I say that with the caveat that the touch screen needs to work as a keyboard.

    The first step is to see if the input device can be seen via a linux OS.

    How many of these systems are we talking about here too??



  • @Tom-Elliott It is a stand alone computer on which the capacitive touch is connected via USB and identifies as HID


  • Senior Developer

    I would imagine if the device is a tablet and has a keyboard interface for use regardless of where it’s at in the boot sequence, it should work as is. (Surface Pro’s come to mind though I’ll be honest and state I never tested this without a physical keyboard near by.) Either way, @Sebastian-Roth is most likely correct here. If the iPXE kernel doesn’t allow access to this element of the device, then a driver would likely need to be written (which I don’t know how simple that would be to achieve.)


  • Developer

    Well that’s an interesting question. Although I have to admit that I am not very optimistic this can be done (in reasonable time).

    I haven’t heard of mouse support for iPXE and can’t find anything about it on the web. Not saying that there isn’t but I couldn’t spot it (yet).

    Regarding a driver that would make it possible to use a touchscreen as keyboard… This is not something you can solve loading a driver. You need to have a user interface loaded where one can select an image by clicking or you could come up with a virtual keyboard (maybe even within iPXE) that allows you to enter key presses through clicks.

    Maybe this is something to look into: https://linux.die.net/man/8/gpm

    Well that’s just a few first thoughts on this. I am sure others here in the forum have more ideas on this as well.


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