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About EtherBoot

We the Etherboot Project, create network booting code, which allows computers to load their operating system from a network. Our code can be stored in a number of places, including BIOS Flash, EPROMs, floppy, CD, HD, or other bootable media.

We have been around since about 1993.

Our Code

The next version of our code will be called “gPXE”. Up to this point, our code has been called Etherboot, which is also the name of our project. Another piece of software we maintain is “mknbi”, which creates files in “.nbi” format, or “Network Bootable Image” format.

We operate the website, which dynamically generates Etherboot (and soon gPXE) images in a variety of formats.

Or, if you prefer, you can download the full Etherboot package from our SourceForge Project Page.

New Members

We welcome new members. We have a number of areas where we can use some help including coding, debugging, and documentation.

A lot of what we do is centered around our Etherboot-Discuss mailing list, and we encourage you to join if you are interested in our project. You may also wish to browse our Archives to see what sorts of things we are doing.

If you are interested in coding, please note that our mission to create network boot code means that it is important that you be comfortable with low-level programming – that is, C and possibly some x86 assembler. You should also understand that efficiencies of code size, runtime size, and execution speed are important to us. Low-level, or “bare-metal” programming requires patience and focus, but the sense of control and deep understanding of what is happening, and why, can be very exhilarating.

We expect anyone who wants to work with us to be comfortable having their code reviewed and commented on by others in our project community. We do endeavor to maintain an environment of open discourse, with a reasonable level of civility and mutual respect. Reading our mailing list archives may be useful for getting a sense of how we work together.

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