New to this whole thing -- Not quite sure what I'm doing wrong.



  • To make a long story short, I’ve never had to use Fog or any similar utilities before now. But I have a computer that I need to install an OS on, and the only way I can do it is with network booting. I’m following the guides posted here:
    [url]http://www.howtogeek.com/57601/what-is-network-booting-pxe-and-how-can-you-use-it/[/url]
    [url]http://www.howtogeek.com/61263/how-to-network-boot-pxe-the-ubuntu-livecd/[/url]

    From the client computer, I can boot into the Fog menu, but it doesn’t last very long. If I leave it for any more than a couple of seconds, then as soon as I try to select any menu item it freezes. One time, I was able to launch the Ubuntu live CD but then I had to reboot it, and since then I haven’t been able to get that far. I can get to the linux submenu but selecting the ubuntu option causes it to freeze for several minutes then come up with “boot failed”. Going into the linux submenu only works if I do it very quickly, if I delay a second in the main menu it freezes when I try to select any option.
    Really, I’m working with stuff I don’t understand very well here. Best I can figure, when it establishes the connection, it only lasts a second or two before it’s terminated somehow. I don’t know what happened that one time I was able to launch the live CD but I haven’t been able to repeat it.
    In addition, about 50% of the time that I try to boot it up I get a “no boot filename received” error. It seems to be random whether it works or not.
    I’m not sure if this is something I did wrong in setting it up, or if it’s due to the network. Both the client PC and the server (running from my laptop, running Crunchbang Linux) are connected to the campus network that I have almost no control over, and has been known to be unreliable (but not usually this unreliable).
    I’m not sure how to go forward from here, because I’ve tried it many, many times and I haven’t been able to repeat my one-time success at running the live CD.



  • Alright, now I have my own switch A Netgear prosafe GS108E. I’m hooked up to it, but when I try now to start the isc-dhcp-server, it gives me the error:
    [CODE]Starting ISC DHCP server: dhcpdcheck syslog for diagnostics. … failed!
    failed![/CODE]
    And in /var/log/syslog I have
    [CODE]No subnet declaration for wlan0 (10.247.57.50).
    ** Ignoring requests on wlan0. If this is not what
    you want, please write a subnet declaration
    in your dhcpd.conf file for the network segment
    to which interface wlan0 is attached. **[/CODE]
    I don’t want wlan0 at all. I want it to use eth0.
    In my dhcpd.conf file, I have:
    [CODE]GNU nano 2.2.6 File: dhcpd.conf

    DHCP Server Configuration file.

    see /usr/share/doc/dhcp*/dhcpd.conf.sample

    This file was created by FOG

    use-host-decl-names on;
    ddns-update-style interim;
    ignore client-updates;
    next-server 10.126.6.26;
    subnet 10.126.6.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 {
    option subnet-mask 255.255.255.0;
    range dynamic-bootp 10.126.6.10 10.126.6.254;
    default-lease-time 21600;
    max-lease-time 43200;
    option domain-name-servers 10.98.1.1;
    option routers 10.126.0.1;
    filename “pxelinux.0”;
    }[/CODE]
    I’m not quite sure what to do from here.


  • Moderator

    Things can be painful when you need to do the IT department’s job without them.



  • [quote=“Jaymes Driver, post: 23458, member: 3582”]Yes and it’s quite cumbersome, not to stray to far from topic here but Cisco also has an AMAZING way of getting more money out of you after purchasing one of these EXPENSIVE swtiches… I can’t even edit or disable the services because my switch was purchased on by a contractor and currently isn’t assigned to MY service contract…

    Cisco switches require specific software and license in order to edit the settings. there are some free tools, but you will find they do not let you mange the way you want or need to. Sorry I do not have any expertise on re-enabling these ports, but I am interested to see how you accomplish this, I am STILL trying to rectify the issue so that I can log in an mange them!!!
    [/quote]

    Wish I could tell you how I accomplished it, but I didn’t accomplish it. In fact I got perma-banned from the LAN for running a rogue DHCP server, limited to only wireless internet and my download speed limited to 5mbps. It’s all done by MAC address, so I suppose unless I replace the motherboard on my laptop I won’t be getting back on the network anytime soon.
    I’m hoping I’ll be able to get the network boot working tomorrow when my switch comes in and I set up my own little test network. A lot to go through for this one little computer…


  • Developer

    [quote=“cenzo188, post: 23414, member: 22421”]I see. I’ve been reading about the whole “dhcp snooping” thing and dhcp protection, it seems that’s what’s going on here. Especially since Cisco Catalyst switches like these have that ability built-in.
    I’ve found myself a switch and it should arrive in a couple of days. Hopefully that’ll make things run a little bit smoother.
    The question is, now, is there any way for me to re-enable the disabled ports on that switch? I’m guessing it would require somebody authorized to log in and reset something, but if there’s some easier way I’d love to hear it.[/quote]

    Yes and it’s quite cumbersome, not to stray to far from topic here but Cisco also has an AMAZING way of getting more money out of you after purchasing one of these EXPENSIVE swtiches… I can’t even edit or disable the services because my switch was purchased on by a contractor and currently isn’t assigned to MY service contract…

    Cisco switches require specific software and license in order to edit the settings. there are some free tools, but you will find they do not let you mange the way you want or need to. Sorry I do not have any expertise on re-enabling these ports, but I am interested to see how you accomplish this, I am STILL trying to rectify the issue so that I can log in an mange them!!!

    FYI I use the Cisco 2960s here :( I prefer the cheapy Dlinks… at least I can edit them with an ip[ address and I don’t need special software! I use the DGS-1248-T when I have a choice <.<


  • Senior Developer

    No,

    You’d have to have the IT guy’s reenable those ports, either by manual command entry, or by resetting the switch (whether by power or command).

    Though I don’t know if resetting the switch will reset the ports.



  • I see. I’ve been reading about the whole “dhcp snooping” thing and dhcp protection, it seems that’s what’s going on here. Especially since Cisco Catalyst switches like these have that ability built-in.
    I’ve found myself a switch and it should arrive in a couple of days. Hopefully that’ll make things run a little bit smoother.
    The question is, now, is there any way for me to re-enable the disabled ports on that switch? I’m guessing it would require somebody authorized to log in and reset something, but if there’s some easier way I’d love to hear it.


  • Moderator

    indeed… DHCP protection could be stopping you.


  • Senior Developer

    [quote=“cenzo188, post: 23405, member: 22421”]If I go into the closet where the switches for the floor are located, and move my wire to a different port, it works fine for a while until it inevitably fails again. So far I’ve needed to move it 4 times, and none of the ports I had it in previously work anymore. Even if I plug a different computer in, I get no network on any port that I’ve used.[/quote]

    This is what leads me to think the port verification thing is enabled.

    None of the ports that previously “worked” no longer work after they decide to “fail”. This could very well be do the the “Rogue” dhcp server connecting to those ports, but I don’t know.



  • [quote=“Tom Elliott, post: 23410, member: 7271”]Lol,

    Port forwarding asside, I don’t mean your MAC is wrong or “bad” persay, but they may have Specific MAC’s assigned to each port on the switch. If the MAC presented is not the same as the MAC Assigned, it will deactivate the port. I forget the terminology used for this, but if your networking guys don’t know what port forwarding is, chances are this is way beyond their scope of ability.[/quote]

    I don’t think there’s anything like that going on, then there would be an issue for people with laptops who often move around and connect to different ports. Like I said, I’ve been connected to this port since September and it’s always been as reliable as the campus network usually is, I’ve never had any problems until yesterday, so I assume it’s related to something I did.
    I’ll submit a ticket to IT about it, but I suspect I’m the cause of the problem here.


  • Senior Developer

    Lol,

    Port forwarding asside, I don’t mean your MAC is wrong or “bad” persay, but they may have Specific MAC’s assigned to each port on the switch. If the MAC presented is not the same as the MAC Assigned, it will deactivate the port. I forget the terminology used for this, but if your networking guys don’t know what port forwarding is, chances are this is way beyond their scope of ability.



  • [quote=“Tom Elliott, post: 23406, member: 7271”]That sounds like port snooping is enabled on the switches you’re playing with.

    What this means is they’re active, for a small period of time, but inactivate if the “wrong” mac address connects to it. After a period of time the port will completely deactivate which is what your current situation is sounding like.[/quote]

    What qualifies as a “wrong” mac address? The port that the client PC is plugged in to is all fine, and my laptop has been on the network for a very long time and has never had issues.

    [quote=“VincentJ, post: 23407, member: 8935”]ask your IT staff, could be their setup[/quote]

    Last time I talked to them, they didn’t know what “port forwarding” meant. Does not exactly inspire confidence in their ability.


  • Moderator

    ask your IT staff, could be their setup


  • Senior Developer

    That sounds like port snooping is enabled on the switches you’re playing with.

    What this means is they’re active, for a small period of time, but inactivate if the “wrong” mac address connects to it. After a period of time the port will completely deactivate which is what your current situation is sounding like.



  • Well, I’ll keep looking for a router/switch. Thanks for the advice.

    There’s another issue, though, that I can’t figure out and I assume must be related. Once in a while my laptop will lose its LAN connection, not be able to see or connect to the wired network. If I go into the closet where the switches for the floor are located, and move my wire to a different port, it works fine for a while until it inevitably fails again. So far I’ve needed to move it 4 times, and none of the ports I had it in previously work anymore. Even if I plug a different computer in, I get no network on any port that I’ve used. I don’t know what could possibly cause this. There’s about 20 unused ports on this switch, and on average my connection fails every couple of hours. So, sooner or later I’m going to run out.
    I can only assume it’s somehow related to FOG or DHCP because this didn’t start until I installed FOG yesterday. The switch in question is a Cisco Catalyst 2950.


  • Senior Developer

    When I say LAN port, I’m meaning on the Laptop that’s acting as your server.

    I hightly doubt you have two NIC’s (besides the Wireless) on the laptop. Even if you do, you need to determine which interface you want to use consistently.

    Starting small, I mean remove the campus network from the loop. Make an isolated network with just your fog server, a switch or router, and a couple of clients. Test those components. Especially now that we know you installed a dhcp server, just use a switch rather than a router. Let the FOG Server handle the DHCP requests.

    You don’t need a router to separate though. You would just need a switch as your FOG Server would, for all intents and purposes, become the router.

    My guess is, as you stated, the issues you were seeing was the fact the DHCP was not playing very nice with your FOG Server (or vice versa).



  • [quote=“VincentJ, post: 23400, member: 8935”]you say you have no control over the network… did you have the DHCP options put into the campus DHCP server?

    What sort of PC is it that you are trying to boot? new/old?
    What OS are you trying to install?
    Have you managed to upload your image to the server?
    are you just deploying 1 PC or many?[/quote]

    It’s a somewhat old PC. The date on it is 2002. It’s an NCR point-of-sale terminal, actually, which was running XP when I found it. The model is 1152. It has a rather nice touchscreen. The reason why I’m dealing with all of this is that it can’t boot to anything but its own HDD or PXE.
    The OS is Ubuntu 13.10. The image is on the server, I mounted the ISO as per the howtogeek instructions and made an entry for it in the /etc/exports file. It even worked once, it started up Ubuntu and I was able to use it. But then I rebooted because I didn’t have the HDD installed and it never worked again. It’s just this one PC that I’m deploying.

    [quote=“Tom Elliott, post: 23401, member: 7271”]Couple of questions, alongside Vincent’s.

    What version of FOG did you install?

    Is the “Live CD” a menu option on your PXE menu?

    Can you start small then work your way up?

    You’ve installed FOG on a laptop. So I’m going to assume you have one LAN port on the system, is this correct?

    When you are trying to PXE boot a system, you’re not trying to PXE boot the FOG Server correct?

    When you installed FOG, did you install the DHCP Server as well?

    Can you separate from the Campus network? Doing this will require you to either have your own router, or install the DHCP Server on the FOG Server.
    [/quote]

    The version of FOG is 0.32. Live CD is a menu option, the way I have it set up, there’s a category for “linux” in the menu and under that, the live CD is an option.
    What exactly do you mean by “start small”?
    I have more than one LAN port. Both the laptop and the PC are plugged in to the same network, and are both on the same router, one of a couple Cisco 2950s that serve this floor of my building. The extent of my control over the network is access to the closet that contains these routers.
    No I’m not trying to PXE boot the server.
    Yes I did install the DHCP server. I’m thinking that might be a source of my problems, because the campus network must also have a DHCP server and I’m not sure they’re playing nice together.
    I can’t separate from the campus network because I don’t have a router. I’m looking for one, though.
    I don’t know if the campus network has its own PXE server or not, and the people in charge don’t like to answer questions about how the network is set up.
    So I suppose the best way to go forward is to locate a router and remove the campus network from the equation.


  • Senior Developer

    Couple of questions, alongside Vincent’s.

    What version of FOG did you install?

    Is the “Live CD” a menu option on your PXE menu?

    Can you start small then work your way up?

    You’ve installed FOG on a laptop. So I’m going to assume you have one LAN port on the system, is this correct?

    When you are trying to PXE boot a system, you’re not trying to PXE boot the FOG Server correct?

    When you installed FOG, did you install the DHCP Server as well?

    Can you separate from the Campus network? Doing this will require you to either have your own router, or install the DHCP Server on the FOG Server.

    My guess as to some of the issues you’re seeing, is that the network is extremely faulty. Why I think this is the “Freezing” on the menu options. I’m certain it’s not the PXE part itself, but rather it’s not copied the full pxelinux.0 file across the network. So you get enough to see the menu, but not enough to actually get the menu’s. Once the pxelinux.0 file is “downloaded” to the system it doesn’t need the network again until it’s downloading the init.gz and bzImage or the ISO as you’ve stated here.

    If you separate the server and the “test” clients from the Campus network, you should see many of these problems disappear, as you’ll have control over your new network.

    Another guess to the 50% problem is the campus network might already have their own PXE server. This could be for VoIP or imaging their systems. I don’t know their network setup so I can’t really be helpful in fixing their issues.


  • Moderator

    you say you have no control over the network… did you have the DHCP options put into the campus DHCP server?

    What sort of PC is it that you are trying to boot? new/old?
    What OS are you trying to install?
    Have you managed to upload your image to the server?
    are you just deploying 1 PC or many?


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