PXE Question: MTFTP - TCP-IP

This is a discussion on PXE Question: MTFTP - TCP-IP ; I'm working on a Linux system (CentOS 3.1) and trying to get MTFTP working (it's an Intel nonstandard multicasting TFTP). The DHCP server passes off to the PXE server, and the PXE server responds (both with proxyDHCP and with Boot ...

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Thread: PXE Question: MTFTP

  1. PXE Question: MTFTP

    I'm working on a Linux system (CentOS 3.1) and trying to get MTFTP
    working (it's an Intel nonstandard multicasting TFTP).

    The DHCP server passes off to the PXE server, and the PXE server
    responds (both with proxyDHCP and with Boot Server facilities). Then
    the client, more often than not, attempts an TFTP download.

    I want to use MTFTP. I'm using multicasting Boot Server Discovery,
    but beyond that I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

    I've tried using the following as MTFTP servers:

    * atftpd
    * in.mtftpd (from Intel's PXE server)

    And the following as PXE servers:

    * pxe from kano.org.uk
    * pxe from Intel (with in.mtftpd included)

    I'm convinced that my troubles stem from the configuration of the PXE
    server. I think I did get it to work once (with the Intel
    pxe/in.mtftpd) but can't repeat it and would like to stick to the
    kano.org.uk server.

    Can someone help? I've been through Google (web and newsgroups) and
    to the PXE wiki, and to the specifications, and to the #pxe IRC
    channel on freenode. If I didn't want to use MTFTP I'd be all set :-/

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Re: PXE Question: MTFTP

    David Douthitt wrote:
    > I'm working on a Linux system (CentOS 3.1) and trying to get MTFTP
    > working (it's an Intel nonstandard multicasting TFTP).


    What is the benefit of a nonstandard, multicasting TFTP over a
    "standard" TFTP in this situation? Are there likely to be very many
    clients trying to TFTP the same file at the same time?

    > The DHCP server passes off to the PXE server, and the PXE server
    > responds (both with proxyDHCP and with Boot Server facilities). Then
    > the client, more often than not, attempts an TFTP download.


    Isn't that a function of the firmware (BIOS/EFI/etc) on the client?
    Or is it the expectation that the client firmware isn't aware it is
    using multicast and is simply given a multicast IP to use for the TFTP
    server IP?

    > I want to use MTFTP. I'm using multicasting Boot Server Discovery,
    > but beyond that I don't know what I'm doing wrong.


    > I've tried using the following as MTFTP servers:


    > * atftpd
    > * in.mtftpd (from Intel's PXE server)


    > And the following as PXE servers:


    > * pxe from kano.org.uk
    > * pxe from Intel (with in.mtftpd included)


    > I'm convinced that my troubles stem from the configuration of the
    > PXE server. I think I did get it to work once (with the Intel
    > pxe/in.mtftpd) but can't repeat it and would like to stick to the
    > kano.org.uk server.


    What do you see on the wire from the client's MAC when you are doing
    all this?

    rick jones
    making lots of guesses...
    --
    oxymoron n, Hummer H2 with California Save Our Coasts and Oceans plates
    these opinions are mine, all mine; HP might not want them anyway...
    feel free to post, OR email to rick.jones2 in hp.com but NOT BOTH...

  3. Re: PXE Question: MTFTP

    Rick Jones wrote:
    > David Douthitt wrote:
    >> I'm working on a Linux system (CentOS 3.1) and trying to get MTFTP
    >> working (it's an Intel nonstandard multicasting TFTP).

    >
    > What is the benefit of a nonstandard, multicasting TFTP over a
    > "standard" TFTP in this situation? Are there likely to be very many
    > clients trying to TFTP the same file at the same time?


    The main benefit is learning ;-)

    There is also the *standard* Multicasting TFTP (RFC2090); this is
    unrelated to that. I'm a big proponent of following standards
    (especially open ones) but PXE requires MTFTP over RFC2090.

    > Isn't that a function of the firmware (BIOS/EFI/etc) on the client?
    > Or is it the expectation that the client firmware isn't aware it is
    > using multicast and is simply given a multicast IP to use for the TFTP
    > server IP?


    The client is the one that shifts from the DHCP server (port 68) to
    the PXE server (port 4011). There seems to be four exchanges using
    DHCP - the first two to the DHCP server, the second two to the PXE server.

    > What do you see on the wire from the client's MAC when you are doing
    > all this?


    The DHCP exchange I mentioned above. The third of the DHCP exchanges
    is to the multicast address of the PXE server.

    Then the PXE client shifts straight away to the TFTP server.


  4. Re: PXE Question: MTFTP

    David Douthitt wrote:
    > I'm working on a Linux system (CentOS 3.1) and trying to get MTFTP
    > working (it's an Intel nonstandard multicasting TFTP).


    I've found something...

    The kano.org.uk pxe server, at least, does not appear to be configured
    to use MTFTP directly. The Boot Server's DHCP ACK must contain the
    MTFTP server data, and it never did. When I added the capability, it
    worked fine.

    However, sometimes the kano.org.uk server would work only in debug
    mode (and not in daemon mode)! It read its configuration file in
    debug mode, but not in daemon mode. Methinks it needs some work....

    I'm sure the Intel PXE server did successful MTFTP, but I'm still
    trying to recreate it.

    Does no one use a PXE server with MTFTP on a Linux box?

  5. Re: PXE Question: MTFTP

    "David Douthitt" wrote in message
    news:44ff0c32$0$47250$ae4e5890@news.nationwide.net ...
    > I'm working on a Linux system (CentOS 3.1) and trying to get MTFTP
    > working (it's an Intel nonstandard multicasting TFTP).
    >
    > The DHCP server passes off to the PXE server, and the PXE server
    > responds (both with proxyDHCP and with Boot Server facilities). Then
    > the client, more often than not, attempts an TFTP download.
    >
    > I want to use MTFTP. I'm using multicasting Boot Server Discovery,
    > but beyond that I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
    >
    > I've tried using the following as MTFTP servers:
    >
    > * atftpd
    > * in.mtftpd (from Intel's PXE server)
    >
    > And the following as PXE servers:
    >
    > * pxe from kano.org.uk
    > * pxe from Intel (with in.mtftpd included)
    >
    > I'm convinced that my troubles stem from the configuration of the PXE
    > server. I think I did get it to work once (with the Intel
    > pxe/in.mtftpd) but can't repeat it and would like to stick to the
    > kano.org.uk server.


    i have had to debug a PXE multicast system (tills in a shop).

    the conclusion we came to was that the IBM firmware implementation might be
    broken, but the protocol was very delicate and had some race conditions that
    could cause sessions to drop out.

    We also never actually saw any real use of a session by 2 or more device
    unless we powered down every device and restarte simultaneously - and reload
    was then slower than if each device started separately.

    in our case, we swapped a 10M only Ethernet hub for a 10/100 Ethernet switch
    and everything started to work, but a replacement hub that had worked at a
    different site using the same ports recreated the problem - never did track
    down the cause........
    >
    > Can someone help? I've been through Google (web and newsgroups) and
    > to the PXE wiki, and to the specifications, and to the #pxe IRC
    > channel on freenode. If I didn't want to use MTFTP I'd be all set :-/


    black magic protocols are really painful - avoid if at all possible.

    given modern server performance for simultaneous unicast TFTP sessions
    unless you actually have 100's of clients rebooting simultaneously, this
    protocol seems not worth the hassle.

    >
    > Thanks in advance!

    --
    Regards

    stephen_hope@xyzworld.com - replace xyz with ntl



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