Welcome to the home of OpenPXE. This project is still in it's early stages. Please check back often for updates.


What is OpenPXE?

OpenPXE is a set of scripts which aim to help you configure, edit, compile, and distribute Ramdisk ("rd") Kernels. The Open comes from the fact that the bsase system is OpenBSD (3.7). The PXE comes from Preboot eXecution Enviroment. Here is a good document on PXE. Currently, it consists of one shell (sh) script. I am attempting to contact owners of the respective files to which I would like to include.


What is a Ramdisk Kernel?

A Ramdisk kernel is a Kernel which is designed to be run entirely from RAM. This means that the machine itself does not require a Hard Drive, Floppy, or CD-ROM drive.


Why would I want this?

Various reasons. My goal with this was to make PXE bootable clients. What about if you have a small form factor machine? Hard drives generate noise and heat, and do fail. Replace your hard drive with a CF to IDE adapter. Instead of using the CF card as a hard drive and constantly reading/writing to it, boot into a ramdisk kernel. What about a Soekris/WRAP?
What about SECURITY? With a ramdisk Kernel, any changes are to the temporary filesystem. Got Hacked? Unstable? Reboot the machine. No permenant changes are made to the Kernel of File System itself. Instant shutdown. No need to umount anything, as all contents will be erased as soon as the machine reboots.


So this can replace my Hard Drive?

Yes and no. Currently, I have been able to compile and install around 14MB ramdisks. Keep in mind, I am also booting PXE over the network. A full OpenBSD installation is quite bigger. A RD kernel would be ideal for a firewall, thin-client, low usage workstation, etc.


What are the requirements?

You will need a machine to configure and compile on. Any machine that OpenBSD can be installed on will work. I have only tested on i386 platform. You may wish to use a recent machine though, as you will be compiling a new Kernel. This may take some time. The workstation itself does not need to be anything special. If you wish to boot PXE, make sure the NIC/motherboard can handle it.


Anything else?

Yes! This project is not very mature, and I am developing it by myself, in my free time. If you would like to help, please do! I'm learning as I go along, so bear with me. If you have any comments or questions, please do contact me. fcisler .AT. gmail .DOT. com. Thanks! Logo