pxkxc - a simple utility to boot a PXE target with kexec

Marko Myllynen myllynen at redhat.com
Mon Jun 14 13:50:06 UTC 2010

Hi all,

announcing pxkxc - a simple utility to boot a PXE target with kexec.

pxkxc combines the simplicity of PXE and the power of kexec to allow
booting of any kernel/initrd image from a PXE server without the need
for HW support, boot images, or even rebooting the system. For example,
one can initiate Fedora installation from BFO without any boot media.

pxkxc provides a newt based user interface and as it's implemented in
Python it makes it easy to enhance and customize pxkxc as needed.

Some example use cases:

- a user has decided to do a fresh Fedora installation onto a system
currently running some recent Linux distribution with kexec support. The
user simply runs pxkxc as root and chooses the appropriate menu entry
from BFO. The installer will start automatically without separately
downloading or writing any boot images and all the hardware supported by
Fedora can be used to carry out the actual installation.

- a company has several types of systems on their network, many of them
supporting PXE in hardware level. Some of the systems missing PXE
support are compatible with gPXE. However, porting new drivers or even
entire kernel subsystems to make all the NICs supported by gPXE would a
daunting and time consuming task. By creating a boot image consisting of
a recent Fedora kernel and a modified initrd which launches pxkxc the
company can do PXE based installations on all their systems regardless
of the level of PXE/gPXE support of their hardware. Also adding local
customizations like HTTP proxy settings or any other adjustments
depending on the detected network environment becomes simply a matter of
scripting and defining local policies instead of a matter of hardware

So far pxkxc has been mainly tested against BFO using F12 and F13, other
combinations might also work. pxkxc tar ball can be download from


If people see this as a useful utility perhaps it could be properly
packaged for Fedora.


Marko Myllynen

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