• Mixed driver environment

    Noob here. Both to Linux and FOG!

    We have a FOG server running on Ubuntu Server 20.04.3 LTS on an Air Gaped network. It has a GUI and all required software/tools needed to get everything working. (No fluff software.)

    We were able to get NBP and SPNonly.pxe to finally work with our desktops (Lenovo Think Centre –> Intel OB LAN NIC) to work. Although it is a little finicky:
    When we go to PXE boot, it goes straight to FOG. However when we select ‘Deploy Image’ it fails, upon an immediate reboot and we go back to FOG it deploys the image without issue. WOW is it fast!

    Thanks to the IOT/chip shortage, we are force to go with a different vendor HP for our laptops (HP G250 G8 -> Reltek PCIe GbE NIC).
    The laptops refuse to connect to the FOG server.

    The screen reads as follows:

    Start PXE over !Pv4
    Start IP address is 10.101.10.24

    Server IP Address is 10.101.10.62
    NBP Filename is ipxe.efi
    NBP filesize is 1044256 bytes
    Downloading NBP file…

    NBP file downloaded successfully.
    iPXE initializing devices…ok

    iPXE 1.20.1+ (g4bd0) – Open Source Network Boot Firmware – http://ipxe.org
    Features: DNS FTP HTTP HTTPS iSCSI NFS TFTP SRP VLAN AoE EFI Menu
    Waiting for link-up on net0… ok
    Configuring (net0 <MAC_HERE>)… No configuration methods succeeded (http://ipxe.org/040ee186)
    Configuring (net0 <MAC_HERE>)… No configuration methods succeeded (http://ipxe.org/040ee186)


    I know this is a DHCP error (according to the iPXE link).
    I also know that this is also a Red Harring, due to the above scenario of the desktop computers connecting to FOG and deploying an image.

    There is this thread to compile a new latest version of ipxe.efi and snponly.efi (https://forums.fogproject.org/topic/15198/fujitsu-a3510-pxe-uefi-boot/4), however I’m weary of doing this.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    • I have it working for our desktops.

    Short of dual booting, two different installs of FOG (one for desktop/one for laptop), would there be a possible way to create a script that would switch back and forth between iPXE unidonly and NBP+SPN?

    • If I said it incorrectly, I’m still new to this don’t kill me.

  • @george1421 said in Mixed driver environment:

    Talk about worked like a champ!
    Wasn’t sure if recompiling would cause more headaches, or not.

    We have been trying to find a way to get UEFI to play nice, we didn’t find your post from Nov 2…

    @george1421, THANK YOU!!!
    !SOLVED!

  • Moderator

    @george1421 We can do some pretty crafting things with the dhcp server since you are using isc dhcp server on fog. We can (if needed) based on the vendor send out ipxe.efi for lenovo computers and snponly.efi for hp computers. Of different boot files for different mac addresses. There is a lot we can do with the isc dhcp server. So you are by no means stuck, we just need to identify the problem and come up with a solution.

  • Moderator

    @drew_g

    NBP file downloaded successfully.
    iPXE initializing devices…ok
    
    iPXE 1.20.1+ (g4bd0) – Open Source Network Boot Firmware – http://ipxe.org
    Features: DNS FTP HTTP HTTPS iSCSI NFS TFTP SRP VLAN AoE EFI Menu
    Waiting for link-up on net0… ok
    Configuring (net0 <MAC_HERE>)… No configuration methods succeeded (http://ipxe.org/040ee186)
    Configuring (net0 <MAC_HERE>)… No configuration methods succeeded (http://ipxe.org/040ee186)
    

    This is exactly as I mentioned ipxe.efi sees the network adapter but it can’t get an IP address for some reason. Its probably new hardware where a specific firmware or something else is needed to get the network adapter to talk. snponly.efi might work here instead if ipxe.efi.

  • Moderator

    @drew_g Ok then lets unpack this one first.

    Short of dual booting, two different installs of FOG (one for desktop/one for laptop), would there be a possible way to create a script that would switch back and forth between iPXE unidonly and NBP+SPN?

    undionly.kpxe is a bios boot loader. It will only run on a bios machine not uefi. So since you are not using bios only uefi is being considered.

    Also since you are using fog as your dhcp server it will automatically shift between bios and uefi if you happen to put a bios based computer on this imaging network. You will need to have a bios based captured image because a uefi based image will not boot on a bios computer.

    The lenovos in general are a bit finicky, make sure you have the latest bios (firmware) installed on them because that usually fixes strange behavior with pxe booting.

    I have a bit cleaner tutorial here on recompiling the latest version of iPXE here: https://forums.fogproject.org/topic/15826/updating-compiling-the-latest-version-of-ipxe

    You can follow the instructions up to step seven, then you can work out a plan on how to integrate the updated versions into your build. What I would suggest is before you move anything rename the original ipxe.efi and snponly.efi to something else. Then copy over just those files from the build dirctory /root/fogproject/packages/tftp/ that way if something horrible happens you can manually rename the original files back.

    The difference between ipxe.efi and snponly.efi is that the ipxe.efi contains a built in network driver for every known common network adapter compiled in. The snponly.efi only has one network driver, the snp driver. That driver uses the built in driver that’s part of the efi network adapter. In the beginning < 2 years ago the snp driver was very immature and kind of sucked in most cases. That is why FOG recommended using the more stable ipxe.efi boot loader. The problem with the ipxe.efi boot loader is that new hardware general doesn’t get support for a year or so. Where the snp driver comes with the new hardware and no days doesn’t suck as much.


  • @george1421
    When one is flabbergasted, one’s brain doesn’t work quite right.

    1. Correct. This network is only for imaging. FOG server is connected to a Cisco switch.
    2. The FOG server is the DHCP server. Rather I opted for FOG to handle the DHCP roll, during the setup process.
    3. All machines we have, are now exclusively UEFI. The option for Legacy BIOS is either missing or hidden

  • This post is deleted!
  • Moderator

    @drew_g Boy you have a lot of things going on here that we need to unpack.

    1. Lets start out with asking is the FOG server and the target computers on this air gaped network. Are there any other devices on this network? Or to ask my question a bit differently, is this air gaped network specifically for imaging as in we should call this an imaging network?

    2. Is the fog server the dhcp server for this isolated network?

    3. From the pxe boot files you mentioned are there both bios and uefi computers on this isolated network?

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