Intel® Business Client Software Development
Support for Intel® vPro™ software development and technologies associated with Intel vPro platforms.

Network Boot from BIOS


Hello all.

Does anyone know of any plans to enable future BIOS updates to do real OS boots over a network? The closest to this at the moment is obviously PXE Boot but has many limitations. What would be nice to see if the ability to have a limited IP stack that enabled the user to enter the hosts IP address/subnet/gateway and then some protocols such as http or sftp to get a boot image and boot from it. Sun already do this as part of their Wanboot offering. When's everyone else going to catch up?


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2 Replies

Hello Simon,

Thanks for the post on the forum. Intel AMT offers a feature called IDE redirection which is different from PXE. With IDE Redirection, you will be able to boot from a image that is located on the network.

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I have gotten this feature request a few times, and we are aware of it's uses. For example: A diskless workstation would use such a setup to boot a network image from a server on a different subnet. Intel AMT security could be used to setup the boot and assure that the right image is loaded, by providingsecurehash of the image.

Someone could use Intel AMT IDE-R for this, but IDE-R is console initiated and to pull it off, a console would have to listen for reboot events and immidiatly initiate another reboot with IDE-R. It would look a bit fleaky to the user who would see two boots, but it would be very secure and fully routable.

By the way, PXE is a BIOS feature and loads the entire boot image to RAM before booting to it. IDE-R is an Intel AMT feature and performs redirection of IDE requests to the console. So, there are big protocol differences between the two.

So many blogging ideas!
Ylian (Intel AMT Blog)

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