Tip: DHCP Options to network boot (PXE) Thin Clients via OTC

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Recently, we were creating a PXE Boot environment for one of our clients. The goal was to convert standard PCs into thin clients for easier management, maintenance and administration. We used OpenThinClient Server to boot and manage the thin clients.


Due to lack of ease of availability of help and support of OpenThinClient, we were stuck on how to pass the address and details of ThinClient TFTP Server to the thin clients.  Found the solution to be fairly easy:


For Windows DHCP Server: add the following options to your DHCP scope:

  • Option #043, 'Vendor Specific Info', Hex: 01 04 00 00 00 00
  • Option #060, 'Client Identifier', String: PXEClient
  • Option #066, 'Boot Server Host Name', String: <your OTC Server's IP address here>
  • Option #067, 'Bootfile Name', String: pxelinux.0

For *nix DHCP Server: the dhcpd options for Unix/Linux based DHCP servers should be:

  • # 043, 'Vendor Specific Info', HEX: 01 04 00 00 00 00
    option vendor-encapsulated-options 1:4:0:0:0:0
  • # 060, 'Client Identifier', String: PXEClient
    option vendor-class-identifier "PXEClient";
  • # 066, 'Boot Server Host Name', String:
  • # Change the address here to point to your OTC Server
    option next-server <your OTC Server's IP address here>;

Option 043 is just to prevent some PXE stacks to trying to use MTFTP to load the boot file.


This article assumes the following:

  • A DHCP server is already set up for the lan subnet having ThinClients.
  • TFTP Server is OpenThinClient Server
  • OTC Server has a fixed IP Address, either static, or DHCP reservation.

Details of how to create a PXE boot environment, what is OpenThinClient, how to enable Network Boot, and what is a TFTP server is a story for another day. I will try to explain these as and when I get time.


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