PXESERVA/SYSLINUX Password Hash Calculator

Password protecting PXESERVA/SYSLINUX menu entries requires adding the "MENU PASWD" statement to the menu configuration file. This statement takes as argument a plain text password or a password "hash". You should never use plain passwords. i.e.

a) Serva automatically created "Windows 8" menu item

 menu label 	^  2) Windows 8, x86
 kernel		pxechain.cbt
 append		::WIA_WDS\w8_32\_SERVA_\pxeboot.n12

b) Manually customized (now password protected) "Windows 8" menu item

 menu label 	^  2) Windows 8, x86
menu passwd $5$2T5Bidc2$.BbmhroqhplGQZhqv9WAUGMiiWb5XDG6rSHbM2FCli3$ kernel pxechain.cbt append ::WIA_WDS\w8_32\_SERVA_\pxeboot.n12

Where the highlighted string of characters is in this case a SHA2.256 cryptographic hash (digital fingerprint) of the chosen menu entry password or pass-phrase. A valid hash has to be obtained following the SYSLINUX MD5/SHA1/SHA2.256/SHA2.512 conventions and it can be done right here by using the following "off-line" hash calculator.

- PXESERVA/SYSLINUX Hash Calculator -
Password Show Pwd
Hash Type


  1. The different hash types are presented in increasing order of security.
  2. This hash calculator is a Java script that can be easily downloaded for analysis if required. Once this page is loaded the script is able to work off-line (disconnected from Internet) this way you can rest assured this page does not send your install menu password anywhere.
Even when the calculated hash uses a randomly generated 8 character "salt", which makes password recovery from its hash very difficult if not impossible, all the good practices for password selection still apply.