Editing the PXE Boot Menu using Ubuntu 18.04 LTSP

I had the idea to present the user with a PXE menu to install Ubuntu. After researching the idea, I decided to forgo this option, and utilize instead a zenity menu that could also be accessed by epoptes: github.com/jphein/boxen/…

However if you are interested in the PXE boot menu, and netbooting into a install here is some great info:


<pre>#Add to MAC of second server your existing dhcp conf to tell it to run the installer by default when it PXE boots
[<mac address>]
filename /-installer/amd64/pxelinux.0

#Log in remotely into second server, after install
ssh [email protected]<ip from dhcp syslog> -p

General Info

* Create PXE menu installer for both client and server.
* Client –> LTSP menu (default)
* Install boxen baby ( or vpn remote) client — bionic desktop minimal install with xfreerdo-ngihtly
* Install boxen brain server — preseeded with boxen install script
* Boot first HD
* netboot.xyz netboot.xyz/booting/tftp…

* Create Preseed file for PXE installers.
PXE booting

#### Contents of the preconfiguration file (for wheezy)
### Localization
# Preseeding only locale sets language, country and locale.
d-i keyboard-configuration/xkb-keymap select us
d-i debian-installer/locale string en_US
d-i console-tools/archs select at
d-i console-keymaps-at/keymap select American English
d-i debian-installer/keymap string us
d-i keyboard-configuration/toggle select No toggling
# Pick the interface to configure
d-i netcfg/choose_interface select eth0
# If you want the preconfiguration file to work on systems both with and
# without a dhcp server, uncomment these lines and the static network
# configuration below.
d-i netcfg/dhcp_failed note
d-i netcfg/dhcp_options select Configure network manually
# Any hostname and domain names assigned from dhcp take precedence over
# values set here. However, setting the values still prevents the questions
# from being shown, even if values come from dhcp.
d-i netcfg/get_hostname string unassigned-hostname
d-i netcfg/get_domain string unassigned-domain
# Disable that annoying WEP key dialog.
d-i netcfg/wireless_wep string
# If non-free firmware is needed for the network or other hardware, you can
# configure the installer to always try to load it, without prompting. Or
# change to false to disable asking.
d-i hw-detect/load_firmware boolean true
### Mirror settings
d-i mirror/country string manual
d-i mirror/http/hostname string ftp.uk.debian.org
d-i mirror/http/directory string /debian
d-i mirror/http/proxy string
# Suite to install.
d-i mirror/suite string wheezy
# Suite to use for loading installer components (optional).
d-i mirror/udeb/suite string wheezy
### Account setup
# Skip creation of a root account (normal user account will be able to
# use sudo).
d-i passwd/root-login boolean true
# skip creation of a normal user account.
d-i passwd/make-user boolean false
# Root password, either in clear text
d-i passwd/root-password password r00tme
d-i passwd/root-password-again password r00tme
### Clock and time zone setup
# Controls whether or not the hardware clock is set to UTC.
d-i clock-setup/utc boolean true
# You may set this to any valid setting for $TZ; see the contents of
# /usr/share/zoneinfo/ for valid values.
d-i time/zone string Europe/London
# Controls whether to use NTP to set the clock during the install
d-i clock-setup/ntp boolean true
# NTP server to use. The default is almost always fine here.
#d-i clock-setup/ntp-server string ntp.example.com
### Partitioning
## Partitioning example
# If the system has free space you can choose to only partition that space.
# This is only honoured if partman-auto/method (below) is not set.
d-i partman-auto/init_automatically_partition select biggest_free
# Alternatively, you may specify a disk to partition. If the system has only
# one disk the installer will default to using that, but otherwise the device
# name must be given in traditional, non-devfs format (so e.g. /dev/hda or
# /dev/sda, and not e.g. /dev/discs/disc0/disc).
# For example, to use the first SCSI/SATA hard disk:
#d-i partman-auto/disk string /dev/sda
# In addition, you'll need to specify the method to use.
# The presently available methods are:
# – regular: use the usual partition types for your architecture
# – lvm: use LVM to partition the disk
# – crypto: use LVM within an encrypted partition
d-i partman-auto/method string regular
# If one of the disks that are going to be automatically partitioned
# contains an old LVM configuration, the user will normally receive a
# warning. This can be preseeded away…
d-i partman-lvm/device_remove_lvm boolean true
# The same applies to pre-existing software RAID array:
d-i partman-md/device_remove_md boolean true
# And the same goes for the confirmation to write the lvm partitions.
d-i partman-lvm/confirm boolean true
d-i partman-lvm/confirm_nooverwrite boolean true
# You can choose one of the three predefined partitioning recipes:
# – atomic: all files in one partition
# – home: separate /home partition
# – multi: separate /home, /usr, /var, and /tmp partitions
d-i partman-auto/choose_recipe select atomic
# This makes partman automatically partition without confirmation, provided
# that you told it what to do using one of the methods above.
d-i partman-partitioning/confirm_write_new_label boolean true
d-i partman/choose_partition select finish
d-i partman/confirm boolean true
d-i partman/confirm_nooverwrite boolean true
## Controlling how partitions are mounted
# The default is to mount by UUID, but you can also choose "traditional" to
# use traditional device names, or "label" to try filesystem labels before
# falling back to UUIDs.
d-i partman/mount_style select uuid
### Base system installation
# Configure APT to not install recommended packages by default. Use of this
# option can result in an incomplete system and should only be used by very
# experienced users.
d-i base-installer/install-recommends boolean false
# By default the installer requires that repositories be authenticated
# using a known gpg key. This setting can be used to disable that
# authentication. Warning: Insecure, not recommended.
d-i debian-installer/allow_unauthenticated boolean true
# Individual additional packages to install
d-i pkgsel/include less file sudo openssh-server build-essential
# Whether to upgrade packages after debootstrap.
# Allowed values: none, safe-upgrade, full-upgrade
d-i pkgsel/upgrade select none
# Some versions of the installer can report back on what software you have
# installed, and what software you use. The default is not to report back,
# but sending reports helps the project determine what software is most
# popular and include it on CDs.
popularity-contest popularity-contest/participate boolean true
# Avoid that last message about the install being complete.
d-i finish-install/reboot_in_progress note
# This will power off the machine instead of just halting it.
d-i debian-installer/exit/poweroff boolean true

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#ltsp: This is the place for support of LTSP. Ask your question and hang around for an answer. Check IRC logs at http://irclogs.ltsp.org
[19:56] == jphein [[email protected]/web/freenode/ip.] has joined #ltsp
[19:56] -ChanServ- [#ltsp] Welcome to the  Terminal Server Project's irc channel
[19:58]  Hello to everyone. =] I have a nice LTSP install in KVM. It's using  18.04.1, with the chrootless dnsmasq proxy method
[19:59]  However, when I run ltsp-update-kernels my pxe config doesn't pick up the changes I make in /etc/ltsp/udpate-kernels.conf
[20:00]  my /var/lib/tftpboot/amd64pxelinux.cfg/ directory remains unchanged
[20:01]  When I make the changes directly in the files it works well
[20:09]  Am I missing something?
[21:56]  jphein: yes, /usr/share/ltsp/update-kernels
[21:56]  This transfers /etc/ltsp/update-kernels.conf to /boot/pxelinux.cfg/default
[21:56]  Then ltsp-update-image puts it in /opt/ltsp/images/amd64.img
[21:57]  And finally ltsp-update-kernels gets it from amd64.img and puts it to tftp
[21:57]  Thank you! I'll try it out. =]
[21:57]  It's so complicated that I wanted to get rid of it and just use a static file :D
[21:59]  hahaha
[22:08]  So it never goes to /var/lib/tftpboot/ltsp/amd64/pxelinux.cfg/ ?
[22:17]  I'd like to install Ubuntu as a pxe option before my ltsp menu
[22:32]  jphein: sure, it goes to pxelinux.cfg after the 4 steps I mentioned above
[22:38]  lol!


#ltsp: This is the place for support of LTSP. Ask your question and hang around for an answer. Check IRC logs at http://irclogs.ltsp.org
[21:36] == jphein [[email protected]/web/freenode/ip.] has joined #ltsp
[21:36] -ChanServ- [#ltsp] Welcome to the  Terminal Server Project's irc channel
[21:37]  Hello! =] Does anyone know where I would put my install- kernels so that update-kernels picks them up and presents them on the PXE menu?
[21:39]  Or, do I have to edit the pxelinux.cfg/default symlink manually?
[21:39] == vagrantc [[email protected]/vagrantc] has joined #ltsp
[21:41]  This is my https://github.com/jphein/boxen/blob/master/etc/ltsp/update-kernels.conf
[21:44]  I suppose I can edit my dnsmasq.d/ to add the mac address of the client I'd want to install. With the ubuntu-install pxe boot config.
[21:48]  I'm also having issues with the chrootless method in the Azure cloud. Seems the Azure kernel may not have all the right input drivers for KVM?
[22:25]  jphein: I'm not sure what you're asking; why do you need more than one kernel?
[22:25]  If you only keep one kernel, then ltsp will pick them up
[22:26]  Now if you want multiple kernels, ltsp will pick up the latest
[22:26]  Sorry, let me rephrase that. Do you know of a simple way to present the PXE client user with a menu to install Ubuntu?
[22:26]  So if e.g. azure has 4.1, and you manually install 4.15, then the server will have 4.1 and the clients 4.15, without involving any configs
[22:26]  cool
[22:26]  jphein: ah sure, you just expose the .iso etc
[22:27]  But the "ltsp way to install a client" is to netboot it and cp -a /run/initramfs/rofs /target
[22:27]  I.e. to clone the ltsp image...
[22:27]  that's exactly what i want
[22:28]  You can also easily netboot it, and run: kvm -cdrom /path/to/windows -hda /dev/sda, so that you can even install windows while booted as an ltsp client
[22:28]  All those don't involve pxelinux at all
[22:28]  You do those via epoptes after the client boots normally via ltsp
[22:28]  oh yes kvm
[22:28]  (or locally)
[22:29]  with epoptes
[22:29]  nice
[22:29]  I usually don't want to leave my chair, so I do all clients via epoptes
[22:29]  haha =]
[22:29]  So I can be installed 3 different OSes on 3 clients without me going there
[22:30]  *I can install, meh
[22:30]  I can be installing. OK, got it :P
[22:30]  thank you , again!
[22:30]  np
[22:30]  I like that solution a lot.
[22:31]  Do you know the simplest way to preseed an Ubuntu installation with a few changes?
[22:32]  wcp -a /run/initramfs/rofs /target
[22:32]  Do I make a screen script?
[22:33]  jphein: let's clear something up
[22:34]  cp is for cloning the ltsp image
[22:34]  kvm is for installing ubuntu from an .iso
[22:34]  preseeding only applies to the iso
[22:34]  So which one are you asking about?
[22:35]  hahaha, I'm just very curious
[22:35]  =]
[22:35]  i like all of them
[22:35]  but I want to know more about the cp -a
[22:35]  it's a simple as that?
[22:36]  cloning
[22:36]  I don't make screen scripts for such simple things; I do make scripts that I run either from epoptes or directly from the client
[22:36]  cp, add user, install grub
[22:36]  You can also have a vm on the server, and use dd, to avoid all that
[22:36]  oh i see
[22:37]  using qcow?
[22:37]  or raw img
[22:37]  E.g. I have bionic-mate in vbox, then i expose it via nbd, and I dd if=/dev/nbd2 of=/dev/sda on the clients, and it's ready
[22:37]  Both can be done, qemu-nbd supports qcow and vdi and vmdk and raw
[22:38]  so many ways
[22:38]  that is the one i'll use since I already have the vm
[22:38]  You can even login normally as a user on the client, so that your image is accessible by sshfs in /home/username
[22:38]  So then you do dd if=/home/username/vms/myvm of=/dev/sda, done
[22:38]  No scripts, no screen scripts, nothing
[22:39]  You may only need to resize2fs /dev/sda1 afterwards, so that it extends to all the disk size
[22:39]  right
[22:41]  and you're doing this in a user with sudo privledges or something?
[22:41]  yes
[22:41]  Yup, with LDM_HASH_PASSWORD=True; or via epoptes :)
[23:34]  Which commands do you run after a cp -a /run/initramfs/rofs /target ? Install grub?
[00:16]  jphein: mount /dev/sda1 /mnt; cd /mnt; for d in proc sys dev dev/pts; do mount --bind /$d $d; done; chroot . dpkg-reconfigure grub-pc; umount dev/pts dev sys proc


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