7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2015 9:07 AM by MikeForg

    PXE - Template as boot option


      Hi guys,


      I'm new to Landesk and discovering the fonctions...


      My situation :

      We work with LDMS 9.6, and at the moment we are setting up provisioning. We got some templates working that do what we want. Now we want to take it a step further and use PXE.


      I deployed PXE representatives to all of our subsidiaries. I got the PXE boot server going, so my machine comes up with the F8 menu.


      Here I have 2 options :

      Local Boot

      WinPE Provisioning


      It then boots up WinPE and I have to enter my domain, user name and password. Only then I can choose from my templates.


      What I am looking for :

      I would like to have my templates showing up in the F8 menu without the need to enter any credentials to whatever client does a PXE boot


      My thoughts so far :

      I understand that by going through the Bare Metal server you can attribute a certain template to a certain machine or even a list of machines. But this doesn't give me a choice

      Disconnected templates are not an option, as I want to propose a couple of templates, and this without the need of a USB key


      I did qite a bit of searching on this forum, I found many interesting and useful tits and bits, but nothing that could help me any further...


      It would be great if someone could me !

        • 1. Re: PXE - Template as boot option

          I don't think the product can support this currently. Also that boot menu is limited a certain number of choices in the past i think it was 18. Not sure how many options you were wanting to select from but I know we came across some systems that won't boot if PXE boot menu had more than 6 or 7 items. But I think the main obsticle you have is authenticating with LDMS to find out if the user has access to the device in order to start a provisioing task.

          • 2. Re: PXE - Template as boot option

            Thanks for your answer.


            Would there be another option to make at least one template the standard template and only if a different template gets assigned then it takes the other one ?


            I think of importing all network addresses as bare metal server and then assigning the "standard template".


            Would this work ? And if yes, how can I practically do this ?


            Thanks for your help !

            • 3. Re: PXE - Template as boot option

              Sure you can add one or more nodes to the database as "bare metal" use the MAC address as the name. Schedule a provisioning template and then drag the new machine to the task and start it. When this machine boots to your provisioning media it will start to deploy your provisioning template.


              You could take this a step farther and create a query that looks for the new bare metal devices that haven't been provisioned and adds them to the provisioning task every hour. This could get tricky if the machines don't get taken out of the query you could wipe out a good system next boot sequence if not configured properly to boot from HD first. Make it so you have to press an F key to select alternate boot option.

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              • 4. Re: PXE - Template as boot option
                MarXtar ITSMMVPGroup

                No standard way to do it simply because that is how the old model worked and PXE rarely got used outside a single build lab because there was no security and people could accidentally rebuild their own machines.


                You have to make your selection in the console via a pre-targeting job rather than choose from an unsecured list on the client.


                Mark McGinn

                MarXtar Ltd/MarXtar Corporation


                LANDESK One Development Partner


                The One-Stop Shop for LANDESK Enhancements

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: PXE - Template as boot option

                  Hi guys,


                  thanks for your input.


                  I guess I have to re-think the way I planned to do this.


                  After an internal discussion, the best option seems to have one single image that is available for everyone, and then do the rest with templates once the machine is accessible via Landesk.


                  I would create one template Sales, another one Service and a third one Admin and put in these templates the software packages I want to assign to the respective machines.


                  Does this approach sound reasonable ?


                  Best regards,


                  • 6. Re: PXE - Template as boot option

                    Sounds like you are heading in a good direction, the sky is the limit more risk more reward, Like MarXtar said some methods could be dangerous, i've seen people with systems left in provisioning tasks get accidentally rebuilt. And depending on security you might not want sales people to accidentally install an admin system at the sales site?


                    I would need to hear more about your environment to really give you sound advice, some paths will lead you to more admin work to keep it working down the road, some paths are easy to set and forget but less agile. You said you have multiple PXE reps on multiple subnets do they have replication setup or act as preferred servers? Does this need to be fully automated? How many apps are there per build and are the apps already packaged in LANDesk? It all depends on your environment and that is what is so great about the product.


                    If you don't know where the system is going to end up but you have someone able to interact with the build:

                    You could invoke end users action with some custom scripts during provisioning. If someone is building these systems and pressing F12 or what not to PXE boot could they also be prompted to enter / select sales service or admin so you could target a new system with deployment packages it deserves.


                    If you know the MAC of the system and if you know that specific the machine is going to be for Sales you could assign it right to Sales provisioning template.... right?


                    Another option could use query targeted tasks to bring the generic system to a customized state using software deployment task or user based deployment model....

                    • 7. Re: PXE - Template as boot option

                      Thanks for your reply.


                      Our company is operating worldwide, with subsidiaries in the US, Europe and Asia. We have in every subsidiary a local server which is set up as Preferred server and acts also as PXE server. In the subsidiaries, we often don't have a local IT person, so the idea is to have some sort of self-service regarding imaging.


                      So we will have different templates according to the geographical region, and we want to propose the user to migrate his profile.


                      Here is my idea : why not create a base template which then calls the other templates. This base template could be assigned to ALL machines.


                      The templates offer the possibility to interact with the user. So once the template runs, it could give you the choice :


                      a) Profile migration

                      b) New installation


                      1) US

                      2) Europe

                      3) Asia


                      i) Admin

                      ii) Service

                      iii) Sales



                      x) Additional stuff


                      This would then call the respective templates. The choice a-3-ii would migrate your profile, install the Asia-specific software plus the Service software.


                      What do you think about this ?