Saturday, 23 March 2013

Change the kernel that Fog clients use for PXE boot

Change the kernel that Fog clients use for PXE boot


We recently tried to use FOG to image a Dell Latitude E6510, and had problems due to the kernel that FOG was pushing to it. The kernel didn't support the Intel 82577LM Gigabit NIC. Here are the steps I
took to change the kernel to one that supported the NIC.

 

Download the kernel you want to use

  • Log into the FOG web management interface. Click on the about icon.
  • Click on Kernel Updates on the left side. The page will list all of the available kernels that FOG has compiled. For me, the Kernel -2.6.37 Core worked for us, and is the most up-to-date kernel they offered (there will be new ones on there now!. 
  • Click on the kernel you would like to download, and name the kernel something other than bzImage, in case something goes wrong. We used Feb11bzImage for the name. Click the next button.

Configure TFTP Server in web interface

  • While still logged into the web management interface, click on the about icon, and click on the FOG Settings button on the left side.
  • Scroll down to TFTP Server section. Change the entry for FOG_TFTP_PXE_KERNEL to read fog/kernel/kernelname, where kernelname is the name you gave to the kernel you downloaded (Feb11bzImage for me).
  • Click Save Changes.

Configure FOG Server

  • Log into the fog server. The default credentials are username:root and password:password. When presented with the FOG Server (unless you have changed the defaults,  and obviously you should change them from these)
  • Configuration Menu, type q for quit, press enter.
  • Type: cd /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/
  • This changes the current directory
  • Type: cp default default.old
  • This creates a copy of the default file, in case something goes wrong when changing it.
  • Type: vim default
  • This opens the default file with the vim editor (replace the command "vim" with the one for an alternative editor if you prefer: ie gedit)
  • Everywhere in the file where the line: kernel fog/kernel/bzImage appears, change it to: kernel fog/kernel/kernelname
  • After you are done editing the file, press escape, press the colon key, and type: wq!

Restart FOG Server

  • Restart the FOG server.

Test imaging

  • Try imaging a client with the new kernel.

Conclusion

These are the steps I took to get FOG 0.29 to successfully image our Dell Latitude E6510 machines. From what I have read, updating the kernel is usually a good idea solely for support of new hardware, and updated drivers. If anything goes wrong, you should be able to deletethe default file, and rename the default.old file, and change the one entry in the web interface to roll back to the old kernel.

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