Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

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Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby DMSM » 21. Aug 2017, 15:28

Hello, colleagues!

what do you think about to add PXE boot possbility in EFI mode?

I think it will be very usefull.
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby scottgus1 » 21. Aug 2017, 16:02

Could be useful. How long it would take to implement might not be useful. :wink:

Oracle's development on free Virtualbox comes from developments on Oracle's pay-for virtualization system which is derived from Virtualbox. The license to begin getting developer support on Oracle's pay-for virtualization product starts at $1220 for the "Socket" version (whatever that means) or $6100 (that's $61 per license, 100 license minimum, for the multi-seat license). The developers have said they have their hands over-full handling Oracle's customers' development needs, so enhancements suggested by free users may not be be high on the list unless the enhancements coincide with rich paying customers' needs, or unless the developers see it on the Bugtracker and fall head-over-heels in love with it. That said, users can contribute code, and free Virtualbox is open-source, so someone could figure out how to implement what they'd like Virtualbox to have and submit a code suggestion.
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby CDress » 11. Oct 2017, 20:48

It works on Oracle VM Manager 3.4.

I just moved one of my UEFI VM desktops to the OVM server and it boots to network just fine. I will open a ticket and keep you updated.
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby rohan verma » 12. Oct 2017, 16:20

Same quiry I am unable to find proper solution :(
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby socratis » 12. Oct 2017, 16:26

You can't find a solution because the solution is not implemented yet. It's not there.
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby michaln » 13. Oct 2017, 08:58

We'd like to hear more about the business case for investing effort into implementing and supporting this feature...
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby Rusty_Almighty » 27. Oct 2017, 04:17

Well. I can understand why maybe this might not be a common use case. After all, if a user want's multiple deployments of a machine, a machine can be cloned. Since users can clone VM's and then migrate the VM's between machines, this leaves very little to be desired when using or setting up a network boot option.

However, it doesn't sound like it would be difficult to accomplish, by a relative standard, and it's implementation would solve a great many 1-off use cases like any of the following:
  1. Trouble shooting PXE installs
  2. People who want to utilize an already existing pxe server for installation
  3. Virtual machines which have no associated hard disk. (Some banks and governments do this for added security and insulation against a cyber attack; each person that logs in gets a fresh VM and then the vm is destroyed when the user logs out. However, you don't want anything stored on the host machine either, because it doesn't even have a hard disk... There's only a single iscsi High Availability SAN for the entire site running off a set of 10 NVME drives and all of the machines use it to boot a ramdisk live image to serve up virtual machines to handle webrequests) Which leads to the next bullet point...
  4. Booting a virtual machine off of an iscsi target. (Used extensively to migrate VM's between machines in extremely rapid fashion in the event of failures.)
  5. Feature parity to real hardware which is what most people look for in a virtual machine. (This may not be a direct ROI, but it does draw more people to the product like students, professors, enthusiasts, and even professionals who haven't yet made up their mind about which direction they should take their business.... )
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby michaln » 2. Nov 2017, 11:40

Rusty_Almighty wrote:However, it doesn't sound like it would be difficult to accomplish, by a relative standard

Everything is always easy to accomplish when you're not the one doing the work :)

4. Booting a virtual machine off of an iscsi target.

That can be done in a completely different way, by presenting a standard disk to the VM but handing the iSCSI communication on the host. That's something VirtualBox has been able to do for many years. Doing iSCSI in the VM itself can only be slower.
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby DebianFanatic » 20. Dec 2017, 23:18

michaln wrote:We'd like to hear more about the business case for investing effort into implementing and supporting this feature...

In my case, I'm building a master image that will be cloned a few hundred times. The clones need to be able to UEFI PXE boot, which means the master needs to be able to UEFI PXE boot.

Maye there's another way of doing it, but if I were using real hardware instead of a VM, I'd simply set the firmware to boot PXE using UEFI and be done with it. That's what I expected to happen with VirtualBox, only to find it didn't work, and then to waste a couple of hours troubleshooting/researching to finally discover that VirtualBox doesn't have the capability.

EDIT: I put this project on the back-burner for half an hour after writing the above, and my brain must've been processing in the meanwhile, and it has just now come to mind that I don't need to boot into UEFI mode for the cloning process, just for the building process. It's a bit of a hassle to change modes mid-project, but I think it'll work (I'm testing it now - wow, PXE booting is *slow*; or has it frozen? mehbee....). I just set VB to UEFI mode, boot off my CD, build my master image, shut down, change the VB settings to non-UEFI mode, and boot into my clone-grabber system.

So, no longer a "need", but it should would be nice (and would have saved me several hours today.

SECOND EDIT: Yeah, it has frozen, but a reboot got it working. This time it was quite speedy.
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby wolfbardo » 9. Nov 2018, 16:11

michaln wrote:We'd like to hear more about the business case for investing effort into implementing and supporting this feature...

Installing windows / linux via pxe works like a charm in virtual box.

So it would be great, if one can test uefi-PXE in virtual box also.

Kind regards,
bardo wolf
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby mpack » 9. Nov 2018, 18:48

Conspicuously absent from your post is your description of the business case, i.e. the amount of $$$$$ Oracle can expect to earn from this feature.

The fact that you would like it done is not a business proposition. :lol:
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby wolfbardo » 9. Nov 2018, 21:04

First of all thanks for your answer and apologize my bad english!

For me it is obviously that developing uefi-pxe support in virtual box is nontrivial.

We use at the moment different virtualizsation technologies for automatic testing pxe-rollouts of linux/windows, using proxmox, kvm/qemu, for uefi a virtualization of one of yours competitors.

Proxmox and kvm/quemu seems to have some kind of growing uefi-pxe support.

In some cases we use virtual box, because its very smooth under linux/windows, I like this tool.

Since the hardware vendors switch to UEFI, the lack of missing UEFI-PXE Support limits the usage of virtual box for me.

If one can give me an idea for a price for using uefi-pxe boot within virtual box, I can discuss this in our company.

Besides my interest such a feature might be interesting for others too.

Kind regards,
Bardo Wolf
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby wolfbardo » 7. Jan 2019, 16:07

On Virtual Box Version 6.0.0 r127566
  • system efi
  • Chipsatz ich9
  • Grafik VBox/Vga
  • Network Adaptertyp virtio
UEFI PXE boot and installing Windows Client with virtio drivers for windows works for me!

Thank you very much,

regards,
Bardo Wolf
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby Shivansps » 18. Apr 2019, 06:40

Im really not sure why this is taking so long, the solution has been avalible for several years now, just use iPXE along with iPXE.efi, problem solved, im really not sure WHY no one fixes this Virtualbox USES IPXE for Bios PXE boot, so i dont understand.

-In case anyone looking for a solution on how to PXE boot on Virtualbox EFI Mode-
Just download the ipxe.iso and ipxe.efi, they are avalible on the ipxe website, i cant post links but if you are having trought finding the ipxe.efi file just use google, its not on the download page, is on a how-to guide to chainload.

You have to place the efi file inside the iso, and boot from dvd on virtualbox, by default virtualbox dosent boot the ipxe.efi, you would have to use "boot from file" option OR depending on the type of machine setup on virtualbox, re-create the folder structure and rename the ipxe.efi to something virtualbox just boot thinking it is a OS install dvd.

For example, on a Virtual machine setup as Windows... the folder structure for direct boot is this:

EFI
-----boot
----------->place all ipxe files here and rename ipxe.efi to bootx64.efi
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Re: Add UEFI PXE boot possbility

Postby Veerasairam » 9. May 2019, 09:18

Hi Shivansps,

Thank you for your valuable suggestion.

Earlier, we have been using Legacy BIOS Boot, and Currently we are planning to switch from BIOS to UEFI with in our Organization for Base Machines (Host). We are looking forward to continue the usage of Oracle VM Box which is highly flexible and user friendly and more fit for the Enterprise Level users.

At Present, We are completely fine with DHCP (No IP Helper in the Environment), PXE Boot for BIOS (For the Host Devices). With Windows 10 (as Host Device) we are installing the most recent version of Oracle VM Box along with the suggestion which is given from your end.

The following is progressed, for the UEFI Based VM Preparation:

1. Downloaded the ipxe.ISO File and Extract the file
2. Downloaded the ipxe.EFI File
3. Placed all the files in the same directory, and converted into ISO - with the Folder structure
4. Injected the ISO file, with the following Outcomes..

Output:

1. We can see the DHCP identifies the MAC Address of the Machine and assigning the IP
2. The next error message is "Could not get time and date : Connection timed out
3. Finally, it is bringing "Press any key to enter failsafe menu

Added to that, it is verified that we have also verified the file explorer which is having the Required folder structure (EFI\Boot\BootX64.EFI)

I feel to get inputs from you, as this is the only forum gives the valuable suggestion, where as from the other site it just mentioned that "Oracle VM Virtual Box Manager" is having the Experimental feature with UEFI Based PXE Boot

May I know, if any wrong/missing steps from my end. Please support and do the needful, Thank You Shivansps
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