Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to get system-config-netboot working on CentOS 6, RHEL 6 or SL 6

Sadly, Redhat has decided to drop system-config-netboot from it's offerings for RHEL 6. I was very much accustomed to the simplicity of using system-config-netboot for PXE boot client installs. Redhat may have not included the packages to install system-config-netboot, but it is certainly easy to get running on your RHEL 6 or clone. Here is the CentOS 6 i386example (please run commands as root or sudo you guts out):

1. Make sure some pre-requisites are in place:
yum install tftp-server xinetd pygtk2-libglade gnome-python2-canvas

2. Adjust for your arch type: Download the latest CentOS 5.x system-config-netboot* and alchemist* versions:
wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/centos/5/os/i386/CentOS/system-config-netboot- wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/centos/5/os/i386/CentOS/system-config-netboot-cmd- wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/centos/5/os/i386/CentOS/alchemist-1.0.36-2.el5.i386.rpm

3. Force the install of the above packages:
rpm -ihv --force --nodeps system-config-netboot-* alchemist-1.0.36-2.el5.i386.rpm

4. Move part of the installed alchemist package to the correct place... bad administrator! ;)
mv /usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/* /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/

Running "system-config-netboot" through some warning message at me, but it did what I wanted it to do

Yeah, it's a bit hackish. I'm OK with it if you are. You *could* rebuild the source rpm for each of them correcting the the alchemist path etc. I will for my systems, but this is the "easy" version of the "How to get system-config-netboot working on CentOS 6, RHEL 6 or SL 6" after all...


  1. Thanks. Drop of the netboot without replacement is a big disappointment for me as well :-(

  2. I just discovered that netboot is supported.
    When booting for the DVD and the "gui" appears. Press "esc" and you will get to the commandline. There write
    # linux askmethod
    and you will be asked later on which method you want to use (NFS, HTTP etc).


    1. Good suggestion for booting with the DVD, however network booting is not the issue. system-config-netboot is the utility that helps create an automated booting process for PXE+tftp+http/nfs/ftp clients. The setup of that booting process is possible without system-config-netboot, but is kinda a pain. The goal is often *automated* installs.

  3. Hi, I've just found this and would like to get it working as I liked this tool in Centos5. I appear to get "_alchemistmodule.so: undefined symbol: Py_InitModule4". Am I missing something to get this to work?

    1. Are you running x86_64? I see this issue under 64-bit.