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Macs are not recognizing my NetBoot Server

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
I have setup a 1.8Ghz PowerPC G5 running on 10.5.6 Server Edition that I want to have as my NetInstall server. I have already created the images (which are from an Intel Leopard Mac Pro and Intel Leopard iMac) and they are enabled and the Architecture and Protocol is Universal & NFS. The images rest in /Library/NetBoot/NetBootSP0/.  Also, when I try to enable Mac Address filtering, it erases its settings when I click on Save.

I have turned on AFP, NFS, and NetBoot and opened them up on the firewall.  The NFS port is 1049. This server is not a DHCP server nor DNS server since this server gets it's IP from a different server.

Any help is much appreciated.  Thank you.
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Question by:ecshelp
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by:arnold
ID: 24097099
Does your DHCP server advertise the port 67 and 68 that points to the boot server?  I think this is what you are missing.
I.e. a System boots and does a BOOTP and a DHCP request.  It gets a response from the DHCP server that gives it its IP, Netmask, and default route, but no response to the BOOTP request which tells it where the BOOT server is nor the fileshare where the data is.
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by:arnold
ID: 24097142
fileshare deals with TFTP and the path to the image file and the filename.
options 66, 67 and 68.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24097706
67 & 68 are open on our DHCP server, and BOOTP is enabled as well, but my 2006 MacBook is not picking up the NetBoot server still.
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by:arnold
ID: 24097802
What do you mean 67/68 are open?  Does your DHCP server along with the IP assignment says:
TFTP server is: your powerpc server
Filname: /something/something/bootimage
?

There is slight but significant difference between having bootp functionality enabled on the dhcp server and having the two DHCP/bootp options 66,68 defined and configured.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24097972
The PowerPC server does not have "DHCP and NetBoot client" nor "DHCP and NetBoot server" a checkmark for Allow.

Ports 67/68 are allowed on the DHCP server, which is a Linux server.
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by:arnold
ID: 24098248
Lets rely that you have correctly configured the NFS and the image on the PowerPC and you have all the requisite ports open.  How are the clients directed to retrieve the boot information from this server?  The answer is through the DHCP/BOOTP directives.
The client is likely sitting in an ARP request timeout state waiting for a proper response to its bootp request:
Where is the TFTP server and what file do I need?
These are the DHCP server's 66 and 68 options that tell the client:
option 66: this is the TFTP server you should talk to
Option 67: This is the filename you need to use from the TFTP server.

If you look at your Netinstall configuration setup, you will see that they discuss DHCP server and BOOTP server setup.  Can you setup a Bootp server on your PowerPC server.  I think it uses the rarpd.  resolve a mac address to an IP

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA26124?viewlocale=en_US
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24098345
When looking under "Services" in Server Admin, there is no option for BootP. How would I go about setting up that in Leopard Server?
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arnold earned 350 total points
ID: 24098673
I do not know, I just answered your question on why your client does not boot over the network given you setup the necessary files on the server that does not run DHCP nor DNS.
Do you have another server that provides the DHCP services or are you using a Router that provides DHCP services?

If your DHCP server is the router, but it can not be configured with additional DHCP options, your only option is to transfer the DHCP functionality from the Router (disable) and set it up on the PowerPC
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=ServerAdmin/10.4/en/c2ns18.html

http://images.apple.com/macosx/pdf/MacOSX_Leopard_Security_TB.pdf

Check the available resources at apple to add DHCP/BOOTP services.

Does the documentation you have through which you setup the netinstall, include directions on how to setup netinstall where DHCP is provided by another server.

The simplest setup is to have dhcp/bootp and netinstall configured on the same system which is often done when the Netinstall system is not really on the network.  The clients on which the install is to occur are connected through a cross or a dedicated switch with only the netinstall server accessible as the DHCP/BootP/tftp/NFS server.

What you are looking for is the scenario where you have multiple segments with DHCP servers and you need to setup a BOOTP server.
The DHCP provides the network connection information
The Bootp provides the information where the client gets the boot image
Once those two are received by the client, the boot image is loaded the NFS share is mounted and the install starts.

Your issue is that the client is not receiving a response that includes the TFTP and boot image file.
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by:arnold
ID: 24098695
Do you have an option for DHCP?  The BOOTP might be an option that is part of DHCP i.e. provide both DHCP and BOOTP information/responses.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24100060
There is an option for DHCP, however, I'm not making my DHCP server to be on the PowerPC. I have been following the documentation provided from Apple's site, which seems that they want you to use all Apple hardware to do this NetInstall.  This is my first time setting up NetInstall, but I have read other people have successfully been able to do this, but I can't find real specifics.
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by:arnold
ID: 24100139
You do not have to use all apple hardware, but you need to control a DHCP server that can also handle BOOTP functionality specifically issue the option 66 and option 67 responses when requested.

The problem you may run into is that with this setup, any system on the network that tries to boot from the network, will be told to load the netinstall.
If you control the DHCP/BOOTP on the Mac, you will have additional control to limit which Systems based on the Ethernet MAC address will be allowed to netinstall.
I.e. you will define that only systema with ETHERNET ADDRESS  can netinstall everyone else will just be stuck until the timeout booting from the network and then failing over based on the boot order.

The reason is that an error i.e. a user mistakenly hit the kit to trigger a boot from network, and the result is that their system got formatted with the OS reinstall.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24101277
Could I essentially enable BOOTP on my DHCP server (Ubuntu Server OS) and say if a certain network address is detected when doing a network boot, go to the PowerPC server and the PowerPC would start to install my image on the client?
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by:arnold
ID: 24102256
Yes.
https://help.ubuntu.com/7.04/installation-guide/i386/install-tftp.html

You can add bootp to your system apt-get bootp
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24104008
Do your client machines recognize your netboot server as a startup disk in the system preferences?
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24106412
Nappy, they don't.  Arnold, thank you for that link.  I will look into that today and get back to you.
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24106663
I don't think then that pxe boot is your problem at all.  It is your boot image.

I have a network of Apple and Windows machines and not once did I ever have to configure options 67 and 68 to pxe boot any of them.

Let's start over....

Since you say that your computers cannot even choose the netboot system folder from  the preference panes you need a new image.

Are these Intel or PPC Macs?

Did you try to create  universal netboot image from a PPC or Intel Mac?
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24106865
I created this image on an Intel Mac and it is hosted on a PPC, and the MacBook (Intel Core Duo) is trying to find that image.  Any machine that is getting Leopard is going to be Intel.
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24107075
Ok look in your netboot logs for D.O.R.A activity. That's Discover, Offer, Request and Accept. Do you see any?

Post some here please.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24107442
May I ask where the Netboot logs are stored?  I can't seem to find them under /var/log
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24107507
Open your server tools. Go to the netboot service.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24107546
Ok, duh me.  Sorry.  There is nothing showing in the logs. It's blank.
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24107828
Ok. The first thing that we then need to get your machines to recognize the netbook system from the system preferences. I will ask you to make a new netboot image using your os x cd. Can you do that?
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24108118
Yeah, I can do that.  I'll let you know how it goes.
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by:arnold
ID: 24108222
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24109330
That link is not valid. OS X can only netboot from os x serveer.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24110292
Couldn't I essentially use this as a guide to make sure NetBoot is correctly setup on my PPC server though?
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24111620
It certainly won't hurt but using the server tools walks you thru the steps rather quickly. No matter which tool you choose, if you can't see the netboot file system in the system preferences as selectable, your image is not correct.

Also always use the most recent installer dvd you have for backward compatibility.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24115214
Well, I have also noticed the BootPd.plist settings recently.  It states...

Bootp_enabled - No
detect_other_dhcp_server - No

Maybe by turning on these settings I could get NetBoot to work?  Setting up a Bootptab file as well?
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by:arnold
ID: 24115447
Enable bootp on the Mac and see if that fixes your issue.
You may need to enable the detect_other_dhcp_servers as well possibly to prevent the start of DHCP service on the Mac or to get the bootp on the Mac to "register" with the existing DHCP server on the network.
My knowledge only extends to what/how network boot works in general.
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24115608
How many DHCP servers do you have on your network and what OS are they running on?

You should only have one.  Mine is a Windows and it does not have options 67 or 68 set and Netboot for OS X and PXE boot for RIS/WDS for Windows functions just fine.

IS your netboot image now selectable in the system preferences?
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24115623
We have two, but one is a backup and is pretty much rsynced with the primary server.  It runs Ubuntu Server.

However, the PPC server does server as other functions as well, thus, I need to talk with the Network Admin to get the PPC server restarted shortly to see if that helps anything to the changes I have made.
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by:arnold
ID: 24115739
If I am not mistaken, WDS prompts to register a setting with the DHCP server/s.
nappy_d, could you check the option/global scope on your DHCP servers? Or the WDS disables the bootp functionality of the DHCP server.

I do not believe a restart is necessary.  You may need to start the bootp service if any on the powerPC.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24116123
My bootpd.plist now has:

bootp_enabled - Yes
detect_other_dhcp_server - Yes

netboot_enabled = en0

However, what is "relay_enabled" and "relay_ip_list"?  Or should I not worry about them?
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by:arnold
ID: 24116376
I think those apply if you have multiple router separated segments but you only want to maintain a single boot server.  The relay settings are likely bootp relay.
This is a boot server equivalent to a DHCP relay agent.
i.e. you have the boot server on segment A.
on segment B you have a boot relay agent. Anytime it receives a BOOTP request it forwards it to the boot server on segment A through the relay_ip_list.
DHCP and BOOTP broadcasts (broadcasts in general) do not cross router boundaries.

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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24116397
Reading the BSD manual about Bootpd, then looking in activity monitor, it seems that bootpd is not running.

This is what it states for "detect_other_dhcp_server:"

detect_other_dhcp_server -  (Boolean) If this property is set to true, bootpd calls exit() if it detects
                               that another DHCP server is present on one of the interfaces that DHCP is
                               enabled on.  The default value is false.

I'm thinking I should set this value to false then.  Now my question is, should I be setting up the bootpd on the Ubuntu DHCP server or try to attempt on the PPC server?  
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24116420
In all my years of RIS and of late WDS, those otions have never had to set for me on pxe boot. As for Netboot/Netinstall, the same applies.

Ecshelp, have you confirmed if you can now see the netboot image as selectable in your system preferences?

Also, if you boot with the option key held down, can you see your netboot option as available?
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24116505
I'm still not getting the images to be detected at all thru System Preferences nor thru holding the Option key down at startup.  I do not believe that it is something wrong with the NetInstall images though.  I have these images all setup with the proper settings and software, and I would like this to be the method from which I create my NetInstall images.  That's why I believe it might be in the NetBoot setup on the PPC Server.  

Now, I'm not setting up NetBoot thru the Root account, only thru a Admin Domain account.  Would that make any difference?  
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by:arnold
ID: 24117131
I do not believe what account is used to setup the image is of any significance as long as where the images are that the NFS (or which ever) share is used is readable by all.

Having the images setup, you need to have something advertising where the boot image is which is part of the BOOTP/DHCP mechanism.

Do you have network monitoring tool such as wireshark, tcpdump on the OS X powerPC?  Launch it and monitor the network.  What you are looking for is an ARP, DHCP and BOOTP requests.

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by:ecshelp
ID: 24118379
Ok, I used Wireshark.  The source is coming from my Intel MacBook, it keeps repeating about DHCP inform.
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by:ecshelp
ID: 24118415
This is when I'm filtering for "bootp." ARP just keeps asking who has this IP address, tell this ip address.
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by:arnold
ID: 24118512
Add the bootp options to your Ubuntu DHCP server that tell where the powerpc is and the bootimage:
option 66 IP of the PowerPC (TFTP server).
Option 68 tftp path to the bootimage on the PowerPC.

Make sure you are able to tftp the file from the powerPC.

You can put the image on your ubuntu server if you want.
/tftpboot/mac/bootimage provided this is the root of the tftp homedir.

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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24131509
So this is what I have enabled so far on the DHCP server under the dhcpd.conf file:

option tftp-server-name "ip of PPC";

Is this right so far or does it also need the number?  Plus, what is the statement I need to put in for the path of the Bootimage?  Does the ownership also matter on the NetInstall images?  Right now, they are set at root:wheel.
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by:arnold
ID: 24131691
if the tftp server root is /tftpboot and the location of the boot image on the server is /tftpboot/mystuff/macosx/bootimage_file
The path should be /mystuff/macosx/bootimage_file

See whether on the ubuntu server you can tftp the images.

tftp ip of PPc
get /mystuff/macosx/bootimage_file

The permissions on the image need to be such that it can be retrieved through the TFTP server.
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24131889
Well, I even tried doing a tftp from a client (non-Ubuntu) and it continues to time-out. I am able to connect, but when I try to get a testfile, it just timed-out.  I have tftp open on my PPC firewall.
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24131904
However, when locally done on the PPC, tftp does work of course.
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24132310
I really think you need to step back here....We need to understand why, your machines are NOT able to see your netboot image from the system preferences....
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 24132362
Does your server admin log for net boot have any info in it such as my screenshot?
Picture-1.png
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24132378
I guess if I had my DHCP server running on the same server as my NetBoot images, I guess it would be easier to see my images from the clients machines.  However, I'm NOT going to put my DHCP server on the PPC server, DHCP will be staying on an Ubuntu server.
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24132428
No it does not.  However, it states that 2 of my NetInstall images are enabled and NFS is running as well.
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24132660
I use a Windows DHCP server...so your statementmakes no sense...

Let's get back to basics here..

We need to get your netboot server listening for requests...
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24132725
Well, low and behold, we just turned on a couple of ports in the Firewall.  Got the NetInstall images to be recognized in System Preferences.  We're just seeing what happens over night now...
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24132745
Now you're cooking with Crisco!!

Test booting from system preferences by changing your startup disk..
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24132768
Already did that.  However, not sure how long it will take and I'm leaving for the day, so, we'll see in the morning.  
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24132870
I am confident that you are gonna be able to netboot without having to set options 67 and/or 68..it is very rare to have to set these options.
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by:nappy_d
ID: 24136598
How is your netboot working out?
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24137740
Well, thanks to opening up a couple of ports on the firewall, we got to Apple Software Restore and as of now, we are installing a custom image. :)
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 24137753
I would also recommend you disable any options 67 and 68 you have set.
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24137851
As much as I would want to, that was actually the problem as to why nothing was being recognized in the first place.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 24137943
those options should not be preventing your OS from recognizing startup disks.  But that's been my opinion and experience.
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Author Comment

by:ecshelp
ID: 24137992
Of course. For now, we will just leave it as is, with it well-documentated since the PPC server is being switched to an Intel. :)
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Expert Comment

by:ksluis
ID: 25229654
Hi ecshelp,

I am having the identical problem and would like to know what ports on the firewall you opened in order to get your Netboot working?
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