Serva PXE - AN01: Ubuntu Install

Network install Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04 & 12.04) without Internet connection.

The idea is being able to perform a network installation but not requiring of an Internet connection. The install can be performed on a real PC or in a virtual environment (VMware). I tried this last method.

For an automated PXE approach please see Serva PXE/BINL - AN03: Non-Windows Boot/Install

Required software :
ubuntu-12.04-server-i386.iso (other versions could also work)
Serva 2.0 or higher

1- The hardware lay-out is very simple;

  1. Server PC running Serva32 offers the Ubuntu CD + PXE
  2. Target PC net boots (PXE Client) and installs Ubuntu


2- The Ubuntu ISO image can be downloaded and burned on a CD or just mounted using Daemon Tools. For the purposes of this application note let's consider it is being offered as drive G: on the Server.

3- Unix install images are made with Rock Ridge extensions allowing longer file names, symbolic link support, and other features not included on the Microsoft's chosen ISO-9660-Joliet standard. For this reason we need a couple of workarounds; Let's copy from the read only CD image to the Server HDD

copy G:\install\netboot\*.*  to  C:\netboot\
copy G:\install\netboot\ubuntu-installer\i386\pxelinux.0  to  C:\netboot\
delete file C:\netboot\pxelinux.cfg
create directory C:\netboot\pxelinux.cfg\
copy G:\install\netboot\ubuntu-installer\i386\pxelinux.cfg\default  
	to C:\netboot\pxelinux.cfg\default
copy G:\install\netboot\*.*  to  C:\netboot\
copy G:\install\netboot\ubuntu-installer\i386\pxelinux.0  to  C:\netboot\
create directory C:\netboot\pxelinux.cfg\
copy/rename G:\install\netboot\ubuntu-installer\i386\boot-screens\syslinux.cfg
	to C:\netboot\pxelinux.cfg\default

4-Let's configure Serva32. The IPs offered by the DHCP service belong to the network that link the Serva32 Server and the Target PC. Router and DNS IPs are set to the IP of the Serva32 interface that connects to the Target PC.





5- Let's boot the PXE enabled PC or a VMware install without DHCP nor NAT enabled.



6- follow the normal install until this screen; Choose a mirror of the Ubuntu achive

then press Home (enter information manually) and enter as Ubuntu mirror the name of the computer running Serva32 obtained from the Server control Panel

7- We change the default /ubuntu/ option for just /


-The install continues normally... Serva32 Log windows give a good idea about what's going on 8behind scenes.

9- Now the base system is downloaded from Serva32 HTML service, configured, and installed.

10-We are invited to create the default user and later to install additional packages.

11-We're finished. Everything network installed but w/o an Internet connection.



No IP assignation allowed (proxyDHCP)

There are situations where we want to use PXE install but we cannot disturb the network with IP assignations because the network already has a DHCP server. On these cases running our Serva DHCP service is not an option; we need the Serva proxyDHCP service instead.
When proxyDHCP is selected the Serva's DCHP service remains silent except for providing the bootfile name and the TFTP server IP address to PXE clients.