PXE / iSCSI boot - 16 blades in one C6100 enclosure


New Member
Sep 18, 2017
Hi all,

long time reader, first time poster here. Currently I have a HP BladeCenter C6100 with 16 blades which are diskless and booting with a small 8GB microSD card. All systems are setup identical with a current Debian distribution and the only thing I've changed is the hostname and the static ip address.

I like to dive in PXE boot and as far as I understand, the ISO image provided by the TFTP server is read-only. I guess, I have also to setup a iSCSI share for each server with say 4GB each to make adjustments.

I couldn't find any posts or how-to's describing the process. Would you help me with the right links to optimize my workflow when changing operating systems in future?



Blinky 42

Active Member
Aug 6, 2015
In short yes - Depending on what you are going to do on each of the blades, you can do iSCSI and/or NFS. iSCSI will only work out if you want dedicated volumes per blade or want to do experimentation with clustered filesystems. NFS is probably going to be easier to get up and running for most use cases.

Some search terms would be nfsroot, diskless linux and pxe boot to pull up various howtos and distros / server side parts to automate it.
Ex: DisklessUbuntuHowto - Community Help Wiki

You can do pure iSCSI boot instead of PXE, I have not personally attempted that in quite a while because I have PXE networks everywhere to bring up VMs and servers and it works so I don't need to fix it ;)
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