# Windows Server 2008, WDS + Ubuntu Images

I need to deploy ubuntu current release 12.4 through server 2008 R2's WDS.

I am following the guide available at: http://thommck.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/installing-linux-via-pxe-using-windows-deployment-services-wds/

Step One – Install WDS

This should be obvious and if you are reading this I imagine you’ve done it already. Ours is running on a Windows Server 2003 box but it should work fine with the latest, more secure, stuff.

We will be adding bits to the folders within the \\WDS\REMINST share


Step Two – Install PXELinux

PXELinux is part of the SysLinux package

Download SysLinux from here
There’s quite a bit in SysLinux but you only need to extract the following files
ZIP\core\pxelinux.0
ZIP\com32\modules\chain.c32
Copy the files into \\WDS\REMINST\Boot\x86
Rename pxelinux.0 to pxelinux.com
You also need to make copies of two original WDS files in this folder
Copy pxeboot.n12 and rename it to pxeboot.0
Copy abortpxe.com and rename it to abortpxe.0
Create to new subfolders
\\WDS\REMINST\Boot\x86\Linux
\\WDS\REMINST\Boot\x86\pxelinux.cfg
The pxelinux.cfgfolder is where you store the files that make up the PXE boot (F12) menu.
All the files we will put in there are text files, even though they don’t use a .txt extension
First create a new text file called default.  This is the first menu that loads.
Paste the following text into it
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PROMPT       0

MENU AUTOBOOT Starting Local System in 8 seconds

# Option 1 - Exit PXE Linux & boot normally
LABEL bootlocal
localboot 0
timeout 80
TOTALTIMEOUT 9000
# Option 2 - Run WDS
LABEL wds
KERNEL pxeboot.0
# Option 3 - Exit PXE Linux
LABEL Abort
KERNEL abortpxe.0
Now create a text file called graphics.conf
This file controls how the menu is displayed. It’s very versatile so have a play around until it looks as basic or as flashy as you like
Paste the following text into it
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MENU COLOR BORDER 30;44     #00000000 #00000000 none
MENU COLOR SCROLLBAR 30;44      #00000000 #00000000 none
MENU COLOR TITLE 0      #00269B #00000000 none
MENU COLOR SEL   30;47      #40000000 #20ffffff
NOESCAPE 0
ALLOWOPTIONS 0
If you want to use a custom background, place it in the \\WDS\REMINST\Boot\x86folder.
The image should be a 640×480 jpeg file.
Make sure it has the same name as specified in the MENU BACKGROUND line in graphics.conf
Now we need to change the default boot program in WDS
Open the Windows Deployment Services Console
Right Click on your Server and select Properties
From the Boot tab change the default boot program for x86 architecture to \Boot\x86\pxelinux.com
In Server 2008 R2 you have to use the wdsutil  command line to set the the default boot program with these commands


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wdsutil /set-server /bootprogram:boot\x86\pxelinux.com /architecture:x86 wdsutil /set-server /N12bootprogram:boot\x86\pxelinux.com /architecture:x86

Step Three – Test it out

Before you go any further, do a test PXE boot to check everything is OK.

I use a Hyper-V VM to make this testing process quicker. Just make sure it’s set to boot to a legacy network adapter in the settings

If it doesn’t load make sure you have the following files and folders in the right place within the \WDS\REMINST share

\Boot\x86\pxelinux.com
\Boot\x86\chain.c32
\Boot\x86\pxeboot.0
\Boot\x86\abortpxe.0
\Boot\x86\background.jpg
\Boot\x86\Linux\
\Boot\x86\pxelinux.cfg\
\Boot\x86\pxelinux.cfg\default


## \Boot\x86\pxelinux.cfg\graphics.conf

I am done uptil here, I tested and got the Ubuntu Menu option during PXE boot. But I am fully lost how the installation will be kick off? Is it only limited to CD install, or I can deploy the custom image as well.

In both cases I need assistance how to do this.

I aobtained the NetBoot Files for the ubuntu 32bit edition, got the initrd.gz and linux files.

In the Default file under the RemoteInstall folder (x86 and x64), I have the correct entry as: append priority=low vga=normal initrd=/Linux/Ubuntu/initrd.gz

........................................................ When I PXE boot it, it displays the menu, how to host the Operating System so PXE request can be facilitated.

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