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appnotes:gpxeonvmware [2010/04/12 20:07]
rulerof Formatting and layout cleanup. Lots of information here so trying to keep it as readable as I can.
appnotes:gpxeonvmware [2010/06/04 01:46] (current)
bradskins
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 Not only is using a ROM one of the fastest methods of loading and booting from gPXE on //either// a physical or virtual machine, adding a ROM in this fashion __adds gPXE directly to your VM's BIOS boot order__, and when compared to the [[pxechaining/​|PXE chainloading]],​ [[removable/​|CD,​ floppy, or USB based]] methods it is quite possibly the most secure and concise deployment method available right now. Not only is using a ROM one of the fastest methods of loading and booting from gPXE on //either// a physical or virtual machine, adding a ROM in this fashion __adds gPXE directly to your VM's BIOS boot order__, and when compared to the [[pxechaining/​|PXE chainloading]],​ [[removable/​|CD,​ floppy, or USB based]] methods it is quite possibly the most secure and concise deployment method available right now.
  
-{{ :​appnotes:​vmware-gpxe-bootmenu.jpg |gPXE as a boot option in VMware Workstation}}+{{ :​appnotes:​vmware-gpxe-bios.jpg |gPXE as a boot option in VMware Workstation}}
  
 ===== Implementation ===== ===== Implementation =====
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  * On the image creation page, set the options to:  * On the image creation page, set the options to:
  - Output format: **ROM binary (flashable) image (.rom)**  - Output format: **ROM binary (flashable) image (.rom)**
- - NIC type: **e1000_84250**+ - NIC type: **e1000_82540**
  - PCI Vendor Code: **8086**  - PCI Vendor Code: **8086**
  - PCI Device Code: **100f**  - PCI Device Code: **100f**
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 <​code>​gpxe-1.0.0+-8086100f.rom</​code>​ <​code>​gpxe-1.0.0+-8086100f.rom</​code>​
  * Now, let's skip to [[#​locating_the_vm_s_.vmx_configuration_file|locating your VM's configuration file.]] \\ \\  * Now, let's skip to [[#​locating_the_vm_s_.vmx_configuration_file|locating your VM's configuration file.]] \\ \\
- 
- 
 ==== > Option 2 (Advanced): Compile the binary ROM from source ==== ==== > Option 2 (Advanced): Compile the binary ROM from source ====
 ---------- ----------
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 user@user-ubuntu:​~/​gpxe-1.0.0+/​gpxe/​src$ user@user-ubuntu:​~/​gpxe-1.0.0+/​gpxe/​src$
 </​code>​ </​code>​
- * Now, copy the output file, **bin/​8086100f.bin**, to the directory your VM resides in+ * Now, copy the output file, **bin/​8086100f.rom**, to the directory your VM resides in
 <​code>​ <​code>​
 user@user-ubuntu:/​home/​user/​gpxe-1.0.0+/​gpxe/​src#​ cp bin/​8086100f.rom /​home/​user/​Virtual\ Machines/​WinXP/​ user@user-ubuntu:/​home/​user/​gpxe-1.0.0+/​gpxe/​src#​ cp bin/​8086100f.rom /​home/​user/​Virtual\ Machines/​WinXP/​
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  * You should now have your ROM image, which as per the example pictured here is **gpxe-1.0.0+-8086100f.rom**,​ in the same folder as the .vmx file.\\  * You should now have your ROM image, which as per the example pictured here is **gpxe-1.0.0+-8086100f.rom**,​ in the same folder as the .vmx file.\\
 {{:​appnotes:​rom-copied.jpg}}\\ {{:​appnotes:​rom-copied.jpg}}\\
- 
 ===== Editing the .vmx file ===== ===== Editing the .vmx file =====
 Now we need to open the .vmx file in your text editor of choice. ​ Unfortunately for us, .vmx files are set to open with VMware Workstation by default, so, if you're using Windows, you need to right click the .vmx file and click "Open With..."​.\\ ​ If a sub-menu comes up from clicking "Open With", click "​Choose Default Program..."​\\ ​ Now we need to open the .vmx file in your text editor of choice. ​ Unfortunately for us, .vmx files are set to open with VMware Workstation by default, so, if you're using Windows, you need to right click the .vmx file and click "Open With..."​.\\ ​ If a sub-menu comes up from clicking "Open With", click "​Choose Default Program..."​\\ ​
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  * The second line adds the gPXE ROM to the Virtual NIC's ROM:  * The second line adds the gPXE ROM to the Virtual NIC's ROM:
 <​code>​e1000bios.filename = "​gpxe-1.0.0+-8086100f.rom"</​code>​ <​code>​e1000bios.filename = "​gpxe-1.0.0+-8086100f.rom"</​code>​
-__Note__: The text "​**gpxe-1.0.0+-8086100f.rom**"​ corresponds to the file that you downloaded from ROM-o-matic and then copied to the VM's folder in the above steps. ​ Your ROM's filename will likely be different.\\ \\+__Note__: The text "​**gpxe-1.0.0+-8086100f.rom**"​ corresponds to the file that you downloaded from ROM-o-matic and then copied to the VM's folder in the above steps. ​ Your ROM's filename will likely be //​slightly// ​different.\\ \\
 {{:​appnotes:​vmx-file-modified.jpg|Example of edited .vmx file}}\\ {{:​appnotes:​vmx-file-modified.jpg|Example of edited .vmx file}}\\
  * Once you've finished adding those lines to your .vmx file, save it and close it. \\  * Once you've finished adding those lines to your .vmx file, save it and close it. \\
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 Most modern operating systems (Windows Vista/​Server 2008 and newer and more recent versions of various Linux distros) include drivers for the Intel E1000 series NICs by default. ​ However, if your guest OS is 32 bit Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, you may need to download additional driver files from Intel'​s web site [[http://​www.intel.com/​support/​network/​sb/​cs-006120.htm|here]]. Most modern operating systems (Windows Vista/​Server 2008 and newer and more recent versions of various Linux distros) include drivers for the Intel E1000 series NICs by default. ​ However, if your guest OS is 32 bit Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, you may need to download additional driver files from Intel'​s web site [[http://​www.intel.com/​support/​network/​sb/​cs-006120.htm|here]].
 +
 +==== Considerations ====
 +
 +The downside to this method when compared with PXE chainloading is that it //does// require you to change the NIC in your VM.  If you have any application or service running in that VM where a NIC "​swap"​ would be a problem, you may want to consider a less disruptive method of introducing gPXE into your environment. ​ It is worth pointing out that, considering the poor native driver support offered to PCNET32 or VMXNET NICs at this time, a PXE chainload that utilizes the UNDI driver is the best bet in those situations, but overhauling your DHCP/​ProxyDHCP deployment might likely be a more time consuming task than reinstalling a VM's NIC.
 +
 +Performing this procedure may cause VMware to generate a new MAC address for the virtual NIC.  You can permanently assign a MAC address either via the Workstation GUI (right click your VM, click "​Settings"​ and select your network adapter) or by changing lines in the .vmx configuration file.
 +
  
 ===== Notes for Advanced users ===== ===== Notes for Advanced users =====
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  * This method is particularly good when you'd like to make use of embedded gPXE scripts. ​ Of course, you could accomplish the same thing with an ISO or floppy image attached to your VM, but ROM files are nice as they aren't quite so ambiguous.  * This method is particularly good when you'd like to make use of embedded gPXE scripts. ​ Of course, you could accomplish the same thing with an ISO or floppy image attached to your VM, but ROM files are nice as they aren't quite so ambiguous.
  * To this author'​s knowledge, aside from watching while booting the VM or editing the .vmx file, there'​s no way to determine from the Workstation (or Infrastructure Manager) UI that a modified NIC ROM has been applied to a VM.  * To this author'​s knowledge, aside from watching while booting the VM or editing the .vmx file, there'​s no way to determine from the Workstation (or Infrastructure Manager) UI that a modified NIC ROM has been applied to a VM.
 + * Lines in the .vmx file can be commented out with a semicolon (;) and the next setting begins on the next non-blank new line.  If you'd like to switch back and forth between settings introduced through manual .vmx file editing, like if you had several different ROM images each with a different embedded script, you can change between them by commenting in and out different settings.

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