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I have a CI/CD pipeline using Packer to create a Ubuntu Desktop image from a Server image for virtual machines. I want to be able to use this method (or something similar) for physical machines.

I am new to PXE boot, but what is the difference? When booting a physical machines (e.g laptop or desktop) you only need a bootable USB with an ISO image. Can I use the same ISO image from the "virtual machine" pipeline?

  1. Can I use the existing CI/CD pipeline for a PXE boot image?
  2. Is it possible to use the Ubuntu Desktop image instead of Server image with a preseed for PXE boot?
  • For Packer, there are a number of ways to make a "bare metal" builder. You need to make sure that there is enough smarts in the VM to run a "live boot" environment For example, see: github.com/hashicorp/packer/issues/955 – Phillip Remaker Sep 16 at 23:32
  • But, PXE boot can get tricky with UEFI: wiki.ubuntu.com/UEFI/PXE-netboot-install. Can you say more about the environment that needs to PXE boot? – Phillip Remaker Sep 16 at 23:33
  • I'm just going to reinforce @PhillipRemaker ... PXE predates UEFI and it gets very tricky if you aren't using legacy BIOS...be warned if this is a CI/CD pipeline for production or such. – Mark Sep 17 at 0:44
  • Sorry for inactivity. Yes, I'm familiar with the github.com/hashicorp/packer/issues/955, and it's probably close to what I want to accomplish. I have very little experience with PXE boot, so what I want to accomplish is to use something like the one in the Github link, to automatically update the PXE server, makes sense? – user17378 Sep 17 at 6:48
  • The environment is a mixture of UEFI and BIOS.... – user17378 Sep 17 at 6:48
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Packer CI/CD pipeline mentioned would not provide functionality to create PXE boot image or ISO image as of now. Packer doesn't provide PXE boot builder as of writing this answer (Date: 18/09/2020).

It is possible to use Ubuntu desktop image instead of Server image with a preseed for pxe boot.

Packer is great tool for building server images, you can use it for Desktop images. It will create images in form of Virtual machine or cloud provider image. According to me Considering your use case, Packer is not correct choice.

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