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    G-AVLN in front of her home

    Mostly Unix and Linux topics. But flying might get a mention too.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Installing OS into VMPlayer from a PXE boot server

    We already use an Ubuntu PXE boot server (setup with tftpd, dhcpd and lighttpd) to deploy our UNIX and Linux courses.

    However, for a particular event, I needed to install CentOS into VM rather than directly dropping it onto the hardware.

    Since vmware runs its own dhcpd, to dish out its own IP addresses, I needed to redirect it to my server. The solution is relatively simple,  but remember, it assumes that you have all PXE boot aspects already configured on the server.

    Step (1)
    Stop the vmware service:

    sudo service vmware stop

    Step (2)
    Edit vmware's own dhcpd configuration file, to point at you server (here: and its PXE boot file. Below is a snippet of the content. Notice the normally included lease information is now commented out, and the two additional lines point at my server.
    Leave the remainder of the file as is.

    sudo vi /etc/vmware/vmnet1/dhcpd/dhcpd.conf
    allow unknown-clients;
    default-lease-time 1800; # default is 30 minutes
    max-lease-time 7200; # default is 2 hours

    subnet netmask {
       option broadcast-address;
       option domain-name-servers;
       option domain-name localdomain;
       # default-lease-time 1800;           # default is 30 minutes
       # max-lease-time 7200;               # default is 2 hours
       filename "pxelinux.0";

    Step (3)
    Start the vmware service:

    sudo service vmware start

    You are now ready to start VM Player, create a new disk for a new OS (if you haven't done it already) and start the installation. Your VM should redirect to the server, obtain the IP address and continue with the installation.

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