PXE booting into fog on UEFI only computers - is this possible?


  • We’re running into an issue with some newer laptop models that don’t have legacy support, where we can’t find a way to PXE boot. There’s no ethernet port on the devices, so we’ve been trying USB->Ethernet adapters with no luck. Is there a way to set FOG up for WiFi PXE booting? Or is there another way to make this work?

    Any suggestions are appreciated, I’m guessing I’m not the only one with this issue.

  • Moderator

    @yeet The startech adapter is not supported by your HP firmware.

    So that startech adapter is an external usb to ethernet adapter, right?

    Since the HP uefi firmware doesn’t show that startech adapter as bootable, the built in PXE roms will not work. So instead of using the onboard PXE roms, we can load FOG’s iPXE from a usb flash drive. Once iPXE is loaded then imaging happens normally.

    How the boot order goes is this:
    (UEFI) PXE ROM -> downloads and launches iPXE -> downloads and launches bzImage (FOS Linux).

    So if the pxe roms don’t work we can just launch iPXE from a usb flash drive and hope that iPXE has the drivers for the nic built in.

    If iPXE won’t configure that startech adapter, then you can skip iPXE and just load FOS Linux on the usb stick and not use iPXE.

    The reason why I said USB-2 network adapter is that the older the adapter is the better the chance that both iPXE and FOS Linux will have a built in driver for it.


  • @george1421

    There is another way too, If you have a generic USB2 ethernet adapter we can pxe boot using a usb stick and let iPXE or FOS Linux manage the network drivers.

    Can you please elaborate on this? I’m having a tough time understanding what you mean by that. I’d use a USB 2 ethernet adapter, then also use a USB stick?

  • Senior Developer

    @Yeet While Maybe a different USB ethernet adapter is needed. Possibly the HP firmware cannot handle the StarTech adapter. Just a wild guess as I don’t have any of the devices here.


  • @sebastian-roth We tried plugging in a StarTech USB->Ethernet adapter, but we just couldn’t get it to show up in the boot menu. Confirmed USB boot and PXE boot were enabled in the BIOS, but we still weren’t able to get it to show up in the boot menu. The model of laptop I was testing was a HP EliteBook 850 G7. We sell a lot of G7 HP devices, and we just noticed this issue now.

    The only options that show up are IPv6 and IPv4 WiFi PXE boot, which I don’t have any experience with. I figured I’d ask here to see if anyone has any ideas or suggestions.

  • Senior Developer

    @yeet said in PXE booting into fog on UEFI only computers - is this possible?:

    There’s no ethernet port on the devices, so we’ve been trying USB->Ethernet adapters with no luck.

    Can you please be more specific on that point! What exactly have you tried and what was the outcome? Post a picture of the error you get.

    FOG can PXE boot many different devices in UEFI mode no problem. People also succeed with USB ethernet adapters. The main point - which I am not sure you are aware of or not - is that you need to use different iPXE binaries for UEFI mode versus legacy BIOS. Find information on how to setup your DHCP for both in our wiki article on BIOS and UEFI co-existence.

  • Moderator

    @yeet Simply for PXE booting on uefi to work, you need to have network adapters supported by the hardware manufacturer for PXE booting to work.

    To say it a different way, think of the uefi firmware as a mini operating system, that uefi firmware only has specific drivers built in. Typically these are for the hardware the manufacturer sells.

    Imaging over wifi, yes it can be done. Its not pretty but possible.

    There is another way too, If you have a generic USB2 ethernet adapter we can pxe boot using a usb stick and let iPXE or FOS Linux manage the network drivers.

    There are a number of ways to go about it. The cleanest is getting a usb network adapter supported by the hardware vendor for PXE booting then there is no messing around with usb sticks and such.

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