[UPDATE] PXE booting qemu-kvm VMs with Windows DHCP and WDS

OK, so I now have a combination of things that will successfully PXE boot a Linux qemu-kvm virtual machine with Windows DHCP services and Windows Deployment Services (WDS). I'm using the gPXE CD ISO image to PXE boot the VMs. Now the WDS PXE process works as expected.

We have our WDS/RIS server setup similar to the following wiki article on the syslinux wiki:


Here's what I did on my workstation (I'm using Fedora 11):

  • Installed the virtualization group, syslinux, and gpxe RPMs on my workstation

  • yum groupinstall Virtualization
    yum install syslinux gxpe

      Used the Virtual Machine Manager GUI tool to create a new VM.
      Add a virtual CDROM storage device and point that device to the gpxe.iso located in /usr/share/gpxe/gpxe.iso
      Set the VM to boot off the CDROM

    That's it. The VM now PXE boots correctly and shows the WDS boot menu.

    By the way, this method of booting via PXE and WDS also works with XenServer 5.5 virtual machines as well. Just place the gpxe.iso file in a storage repository that is accessible to your XenServer and then set your Xen VM to insert the ISO as it's DVD-ROM. Make sure that the DVD-ROM is higher in the boot order than the Network or Hard Disk and the Xen VM will PXE boot with the gPXE code instead of the standard XenServer PXE boot code (which is based on older Etherboot code).

    I'll put some more detailed instructions up soon.