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Tiny PXE Server Guide


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#1 misty

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 09:15 AM

Tiny PXE Server guide is available here - http://www.mistyrebo...rver/index.html

I'm currently locked out of my reboot subdomain awaiting a password reset - hence the altervista subdomain. I intend to add the guide to my mistype.reboot.pro site in the future.

Feedback welcome.

Thanks to erwan.l for his patience and time - without his help this guide wouldn't have happened. :thumbsup:

:cheers:

Regards,

Misty

P.s. I'll be taking a break from the forum for the next month due to other commitments, but will be checking in.
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#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 10:01 AM

At first sight very, very good work. :thumbsup:

 

A couple of preliminary notes...

 

Tiny typo/slip of the finger here:

http://www.mistyrebo...files/win5x.htm

Run winnt.exe

 

 

You are running WINNT32.EXE (the Windows version) and not the WINNT.EXE (the DOS version of the installer). 

http://www.mistyrebo...files/win5x.htm

 

An observation (more a doubt/guess than anything else) about the (BTW nice) idea of capturing network packets with nc.exe here:

http://www.mistyrebo...s/forensics.htm

I believe this should be accurately tested as basically *anything* coming from the client is piped to dd and ends on the image on the server, there is a risk that the PE/OS on the client has some other network service/whatever running that may render the image corrupt. :unsure: :dubbio:

At first sight I prefer the idea of mapping a network drive

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 misty

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 11:27 AM

@Wonko

At first sight very, very good work. :thumbsup:

:cheers:

Well spotted on the winnt.exe > winnt32.exe error - I'm confident that the more you read the more errors/typos you will find!

The Installing Windows NT 5.* page was a bit rushed and not proofed properly - just noticed a couple of other errors that I'll fix later.

Also noticed some screenshots are not displayed- I suspect due to the wrong case in the file extension. This was not an issue when tested locally - but is when viewed online. I blame my web development platform - notepad.exe!

This guide is a work in progress - after all, Tiny PXE Server is a moving target thanks to Erwan's ongoing development of the program.

Regards,

Misty

#4 erwan.l

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:46 PM

Excellent work !

This was the missing part of Tiny PXE Server since day 1 : a comprehensive and exhaustive documentation.

You did it : thanks a million for that :cheerleader:

 

Respectfully,

Erwan



#5 erwan.l

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:47 PM

An observation (more a doubt/guess than anything else) about the (BTW nice) idea of capturing network packets with nc.exe here:

http://www.mistyrebo...s/forensics.htm

I believe this should be accurately tested as basically *anything* coming from the client is piped to dd and ends on the image on the server, there is a risk that the PE/OS on the client has some other network service/whatever running that may render the image corrupt. :unsure: :dubbio:

At first sight I prefer the idea of mapping a network drive

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

I had not thought about nc+dd : nice trick.

 

I myself am a big fan of devio (from Olof) actually to achieve the same purpose : restore/backup a disk/partition over the network.



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:08 PM

I had not thought about nc+dd : nice trick.

 

I myself am a big fan of devio (from Olof) actually to achieve the same purpose : restore/backup a disk/partition over the network.

Yep :), but (AFAICU) devio is a "redirector device" (or something like that, anyway it is something where the target is "named") whilst NC.EXE will capture *anything* sent on the network to the machine, this is the doubt I have :dubbio:.

 

Could you post an example use of devio as an alternative to the nice nc+dd trick?

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 misty

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:36 PM

@erwan.l

Excellent work !
This was the missing part of Tiny PXE Server since day 1 : a comprehensive and exhaustive documentation.
You did it : thanks a million for that :cheerleader:

Thanks Erwan. And it was a pleasure - I've learned loads along the way - and had fun experimenting with the pretty amazing Tiny PXE Server - it's a great application.


@Wonko and erwan.l
I can't take any credit for the use of Netcat and dd. The commands in the guide were adapted from an example here - http://gmgsystemsinc.com/fau/
 
DD and netcat support the following compression algorithms:  "zlib", "zlib+", "gzip", " gzip+", "bzip", "bzip+", "lznt1" and "lznt1+".  The "lznt1" algorithm is the most efficient and dramatically improves network throughput.  For example:

dd.exe -v if=\\.\F: of=192.168.0.1 conv=noerror --iport 3000 --comp lznt1 --log --cryptsum md5 --cryptsum sha1

nc -v -n -L -p 3000 -s 192.168.0.2 --decomp lznt1 -O h:\servername\filename.img –localwrt

Note that the log and cryptographic checksum files also will be transmitted over separate sockets to the same destination TCP port (3000 in the example above).  
The --iport switch is used to specify a TCP port number - so only traffic on the designated port should be captured.

Networking is out of my area of expertise (not sure what my area actually is to be honest!) so I'll leave this discussion to you guys.

Regards,

Misty

P.s. The example on the FAU site shows the real advantage of this method - on the fly compression.

#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:46 PM


P.s. The example on the FAU site shows the real advantage of this method - on the fly compression.

 

... and on the fly decompression. :)

This last bit gives me much more confidence :yahoo:, since if NC - for any reason - captures *anything* else the decompression algorithm would choke on it.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#9 Zoso

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 12:26 AM

hi misty,

another great guide! this will be very useful for many people Im sure! I want to try Tiny PXE someday when I have time because network booting is fascinating to me.

Im sure will save erwin.l lots of time too since he wont need to be answering as many questions about it.

you guys are awesome! thanks

#10 misty

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 07:55 AM

Corrected a few typos, added using compression to the Digital Forensic Acquisition page, and added the following new pages -Regards,

Misty

P.s. @Zoso - thanks for the nice feedback.

#11 misty

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 09:27 PM

Draft version of a new Tiny PXE Server guide is temporarily available here.

Additions to the guide are focused on Windows Network Boot via AoE and iSCSI.

Feedback as always welcome.

Any errors are mine.

Misty

P.s. The draft refers to an older version of Tiny PXE Server (1.0.0.19 - from July 2015) - I'm anticipating Erwan making some UI changes and am too lazy to update until they are finished due to time constraints and the hassle of capturing screenshots!

#12 erwan.l

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 09:53 PM

Draft version of a new Tiny PXE Server guide is temporarily available here.

Additions to the guide are focused on Windows Network Boot via AoE and iSCSI.

Feedback as always welcome.

Any errors are mine.

Misty

P.s. The draft refers to an older version of Tiny PXE Server (1.0.0.19 - from July 2015) - I'm anticipating Erwan making some UI changes and am too lazy to update until they are finished due to time constraints and the hassle of capturing screenshots!

 

This is excellent work and such a great addition to Tiny PXE Server !

 

Thank you so much for that.

 

I link it from within TPS in next version.



#13 misty

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 10:05 PM

This is excellent work and such a great addition to Tiny PXE Server !
 
Thank you so much for that.
 
I link it from within TPS in next version.

My small contribution to your fantastic work.

:cheers:

#14 misty

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 12:02 AM

As mentioned in the Bug Reports, Requests, HowTo's about Tiny PXE Server thread, (Draft) Guide updated with most recent build (which I've not thoroughly tested), but with screenshots from the Tiny PXE Server version 1.0.0.20 Feb 10, 2017 - 22:48 build. I just can't keep pace with development!

Misty

#15 misty

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:12 PM

Guide updated. It's still in draft.
 

...About TPS running as a service it has been discussed here and here.

I checked Mysty guide and actually I am not sure the guide covers that part yet....


New page - Run as a Service (easy work as erwan.l had practically written the instructions in his posts anyway ;) )

Re-written page - WinPE (wimboot) (bloody hard work!)

The wimboot page has been re-written as I now understand a lot more about paths and the wimboot Virtual Filesystem.

Regards,

Misty

#16 misty

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 08:04 PM

And another new page added - Troubleshooting

Feedback welcome.

:cheers:

Misty

#17 misty

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:17 PM

And another one - iPXE - How to Build

:cheers:

Misty

P.s. I will at some point make a .zip file containing the guide available for download.

#18 misty

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 08:56 PM

Guide updated to include a new page - installing ubuntu/lubuntu 16.04 to an iSCSI Target (see here)

Misty

#19 erwan.l

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 02:21 PM

Excellent guide, as always.

If I may contribute, I myself use the below in my config.ini.
This way, I dont have to download any files on my local disk (where TPS is running).
My "to be installed" host will boot right away in ubuntu install (no need to boot a live distri first) and during the install I choose to install to ISCSI directly or if the OS does not propose that option, you need to use sanhook first then chain the bootloader.

TPS TFTP server will automatically detect that it has to retrieve file(s) from a remote http server and not from local hard disk.
All files needed by the ubuntu installer will be retrieved from http ubuntu mirror while the client will download it from TPS over tftp.
root=http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/xenial-updates/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot
filename=pxelinux.0 

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#20 misty

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:08 PM

A few more pages for the guide -A big thanks to erwan for his last post - and putting me on to the Debian and Ubuntu Netinstall methods.
 
:cheers:
 
Misty

#21 erwan.l

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:08 PM

A few more pages for the guide -

A big thanks to erwan for his last post - and putting me on to the Debian and Ubuntu Netinstall methods.
 
:cheers:
 
Misty

 

 

Impressive work : you have been busy !



#22 misty

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 07:30 PM

Impressive work : you have been busy !


Thanks erwan - based on the amount of hours spent testing the various OS and methods (though not necessarily writing) that's actually an understatement!

Draft guide moved to here - replacing the August 2015 version. The web pages are still marked as a draft.

Any hard links in this thread to http://mistyrebootfi...ents/TPS_draft/ should be automatically redirected.

A copy of the guide in .htm format is available here for offline use - the download is 8.77 MB (mainly due to screenshots).

Regards,

Misty

#23 erwan.l

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 07:41 PM

Thanks Misty, next release will include a link to Misty's guide here (probably in the 'about' button).

 

I will probably not include the htm format in my zip file (although tempting) or else pxesrv.zip would be too "fat".

 

Thz zip will however also include a url file pointing to your online guide.



#24 misty

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 07:55 PM

NOT including a guide twice as big as the current TPS package is a very sensible decision :thumbsup:

A light version for including in the TPS download (with just the main config/gui settings) should be pretty straightforward - let me know if this is required. Getting rid of the majority of screenshots and all non TPS pages should cut the size down to well under a megabyte.

Misty

#25 erwan.l

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 04:05 PM

Thanks Misty, next release will include a link to Misty's guide here (probably in the 'about' button).

 

I will probably not include the htm format in my zip file (although tempting) or else pxesrv.zip would be too "fat".

 

Thz zip will however also include a url file pointing to your online guide.

 

Latest version contains a link to the online guide (in the about box).

The zip also contains a url file pointing to the online guide.

Tiny PXE Server version 1.0.0.21
March 03, 2017 - 16:54
CRC32: BB131C32
MD5: 5D7CA5B86A12958FCE89AD8BECF21077
SHA-1: 2472D784C3244CB5F232796EFE3FF5D55E6B9855





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