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Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines Install
I often need to install OSs on Intel boxes, which frequently come without CDs or floppy these days. After some playing, here is how I use my PowerBook running OS X to do the job via pxeboot. The following example shows OpenBSD as the OS to install on the Intel box.

Read on for the step-by-step...

Here's what you need to do:
  1. Physically connect the two machines, via an Ethernet cable.

  2. Add a configuration for the Intel box. In the Apple menu, choose Location -> New:
    • Ethernet IP address = 10.20.30.1
    • Mask = 255.255.255.0

  3. Add a configuration for the intel box client. In Applications/Utilities, open NetInfo Manager. Go to / -> Machines, and thenc click New to add one:
    • name: xyz
    • ip_address: 10.20.30.2
    • bootfile: pxeboot
    • en_address: 00:11:22:33:44:55:66 (strip leading 0s)

  4. Add the boot files for Intel client.. Copy pxeboot and bsd.rd from ftp.openbsd.org into /private/tftpboot (with global read permission).

  5. Start relevant services.
    $ sudo /sbin/service bootps start
    $ sudo /sbin/service tftp start
  6. Boot up the client Intel machine, and monitor via:
    $ tail -f /var/log/system.log
    Sample output (line breaks added to narrow display):
    Nov 29 14:40:53 utopia bootpd[26471]:
      interface en0: ip 10.20.30.1 mask 255.255.255.0
    Nov 29 14:40:53 utopia bootpd[26471]:
      ni_pathsearch '/config/dhcp' failed: No such directory
    Nov 29 14:40:53 utopia bootpd[26471]: 
      server name utopia
    Nov 29 14:40:53 utopia bootpd[26471]: 
      subnets init using domain . failed: No such directory
    Nov 29 14:40:57 utopia bootpd[26471]:
    dd  BOOTP request [en0]: xyz requested file ''
    Nov 29 14:40:57 utopia bootpd[26471]:
      reply sent xyz 10.20.30.2 pktsize 300
  7. At boot> prompt on Intel client, type boot bsd.rd
The PowerBook has now served up enough files to boot the Intel client, and could also provide files for complete OS install via FTP (ftpd) if required.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one...]
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Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines | 10 comments | Create New Account
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Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: markuswarren on Dec 16, '05 07:18:00AM

Very interesting indeed.
Question I have would be this. If you wanted to install Windows XP, then what files would you copy into /private/tftpboot ? The whole XP CD?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: pete_v on Dec 16, '05 07:58:32AM

Hi,

To installing windows using this method works fine, MS calls it RIS just to be different. For more info see:

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/prbc_cai_bowe.asp



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: gaoshan on Dec 16, '05 09:37:38AM

Use a Mac to install Windows? Sounds rather sordid to me. ;)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: ctopfel on Dec 16, '05 07:41:53AM

Sounds very interesting, but I have a question:

what is the pxeboot file? where can i get this one?
Or if I want to install maybe a SUSE linux, just put the DVD Image into /private/tftp ?

thanks for the great hint



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: pete_v on Dec 16, '05 08:03:42AM

SUSE via pxe looks fine too, google is your friend, for example:

http://www.sun.com/products-n-solutions/hardware/docs/html/817-5250-15/chapter6.html#36717



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: nvdingo on Dec 16, '05 09:18:17AM

see step 4



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: harrie on Dec 17, '05 01:42:54AM

Both files are in the directory /pub/OpenBSD/3.8/i386 on ftp.openbsd.org

pxeboot is the remote boot command that a.o. loads the remote kernel

The bsd.rd file is a ramdisk with the kernel and utilities.

I've been looking for this solution for some time already, to help me boot an HP E-PC without CD-ROM. Thanks for your hint! It will help me a bit further.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: ework on Dec 16, '05 09:49:15AM

This hint came just in time. I was going to attempt to do something like this to install Linux on a cd-rom less machine this morning.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: Hodag on Dec 16, '05 10:29:07AM

Could you do this for a Mac? i.e a machine that won't support netboot

---
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Adam C.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use an OS X Mac to install OSs on Intel machines
Authored by: willgonz on Apr 23, '10 10:07:04AM

Is there an update to this for the current version of Leopard? 10.6.3 non-server?
I notice with the bootp daemon you can specifiy -m to Enable Netboot.
I am interested in using it to PXE boot PC's and have a diskless boot for IT utilities.



[ Reply to This | # ]