PXE Network Boot support?

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NigelM
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PXE Network Boot support?

Post by NigelM »

Hello:

Does the firmware of the ODROID H2 support PXE network boot?

Has anyone actually tried it?

(Specifically, has anyone used Ubuntu MAAS to provision a cluster of H2's all the way from PXE boot up to the installation of Ubuntu Server onto the M.2 drive in each H2? Any issues or problems with the PXE booting or full installation of Ubuntu? The use case I'm investigating is a cluster of 50 to 100 H2's to run a mixture of Docker containers and QEMU+KVM VMs, but each node must support PXE boot and automatic provisioning through Ubuntu MAAS (https://maas.io). It must be 100% hands-free after the initial configuration of the H2 node.)

Thank You,
NM

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Re: PXE Network Boot support?

Post by odroid »

Yes. User @KuJoe already tried it.
viewtopic.php?f=168&t=33253
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NigelM (Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:11 am)

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Re: PXE Network Boot support?

Post by mad_ady »

The whole maas idea sounds like a great Odroid Magazine article. Please document and share your work. PXE boot can only boot EFI images.
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NigelM (Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am)

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Re: PXE Network Boot support?

Post by fvolk »

I also consider a headless mini cluster of H2s for testing distributed code (as a replacement for my C2 cluster...)

Is possible to run 2x H2 from one power supply with a Y-cable when there is only CPU load and no local storage devices, no active video, no USB etc.
...60W should be enough for two... or even three H2?
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NigelM (Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am)

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Re: PXE Network Boot support?

Post by odroid »

Yes, you can run two H2 boards with one 60W PSU if you don't attach any peripherals.
I think CPU+GPU(openCL)+DRAM+Ethernet will eat around 20Watt at full load.
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NigelM (Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am)

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Re: PXE Network Boot support?

Post by NigelM »

Yes, I can confirm that the H2 Rev B (purchased June 2019) successfully PXE boots to install Ubuntu server 19.04 and 18.04 LTS onto the NVMe M.2 drive of the H2.

H2 firmware was American Megatrends BIOS version 5.13, GLK-SF Project version 1.05, Build Date 05/10/2019 15:04:37. No additional EFI modules or drivers had to be loaded.

The PXE boot server was Ubuntu MAAS 2.5.0 running on Ubuntu server 19.04:
Successful IPv4 PXE boot for hardware tests, commissioning, acquisition, OS deployment, release, and OS re-deployment.
Successful deployment of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, with registration of the H2 as a KVM host in MAAS.
Successful release and re-deployment of Ubuntu 19.04, with registration of the H2 as a KVM host in MAAS.
H2 power type set to "Manual" in MAAS (no IPMI or similar BMC capabilities in the H2).
H2 set to boot automatically when power is re-applied after power cut (State After G3 --> S0), and it worked fine.

Installing to eMMC or SATA was not tested.
IPv6 PXE boot not tested.
IPv4/IPv6 HTTP boot not tested.

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Re: PXE Network Boot support?

Post by odroid »

Thank you for sharing the valuable test results.

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Re: PXE Network Boot support?

Post by fvolk »

can also confirm PXE boot works with IPv4, tested with dnsmasq

observations:
* seems to work if dnsmasq provides DHCP and(!) PXE+TFTP services
* does not work in dnsmasq dhcp-proxy mode, meaning DHCP is provided by another server and dnsmasq only provides PXE reply and TFTP
* the reports I was able to find are not clear whether dhcp-proxy mode and UEFI should work at all :-/
* I had also a configuration where UEFI waits 60s at PXE, resets, trys again ...and then it works - some timeout?
* enabling only IPv4 options in UEFI and setting IPv6 to "manual" instead of "auto", according to my packet captures UEFI always wants to DHCP a IPv6 address?

...do you have a working config for dhcp-proxy mode for dnsmasq? :-)

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Re: PXE Network Boot support?

Post by InsideJob »

I also want to network boot a couple of these to run Xubuntu (my distro of choice}, though my use case is slightly different. I'm cheap by nature so thought I could order three and only buy storage for one by running the other two diskless. Guess I might need to make a couple short gigabit crossover cables if the driver won't do it automagically but otherwise LTSP.org has everything I need. The diskless workstations can probably share a power supply too, so I save even more moolah there. Only tricky thing seems to be setting up LTSP to run apps locally... I still want to fully utilize all my CPUs.

Anywho, won't hijack your thread, just going nuts waiting to order my H2s. ๐Ÿคฌ

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