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[bug #61364] (EFI) network problems when netbooting iPXE from netbooted

From: Michael Panzaff
Subject: [bug #61364] (EFI) network problems when netbooting iPXE from netbooted GRUB
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 08:49:48 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:88.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/88.0


                 Summary: (EFI) network problems when netbooting iPXE from
netbooted GRUB
                 Project: GNU GRUB
            Submitted by: boringname
            Submitted on: Thu 21 Oct 2021 12:49:46 PM UTC
                Category: Network
                Severity: Major
                Priority: 5 - Normal
              Item Group: Software Error
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
         Originator Name: 
        Originator Email: 
             Open/Closed: Open
                 Release: Git master
         Discussion Lock: Any
         Reproducibility: Every Time
         Planned Release: None




in my setup I have an EFI GRUB which can be booted from a client machine with
the network card's PXE ROM. This works just fine and from there on I'm trying
to chainload iPXE from this netbooted GRUB.

However, at this point I am getting problems. The chainloaded iPXE instance
for some reason can no longer use the machine's network card (not listed at
all or freezes on initialization) which renders the iPXE instance useless (see
the linked iPXE issue for details). This probem does not occur when I omit
GRUB from the boot chain (when I boot iPXE from the internal PXE ROM

Here are a few examples which DO work:

PXE-ROM (local) -> iPXE (from tftp)
GRUB (local) -> iPXE (local) -> iPXE (from tftp)

Here are a few examples which DO NOT work:

PXE-ROM (local) -> GRUB (from tftp) -> iPXE (from tftp)
GRUB (local) -> iPXE (local) -> GRUB (from tftp) -> iPXE (from tftp)

I've previously asked the iPXE folks if that would be a problem with iPXE and
they suggested that this may be a problem with GRUB because there are no
problems when eliminating the netbooted GRUB from the boot chain. Here is a
link to that discussion:


I don't have much knowledge about the internals of either iPXE or GRUB, but
from what was being mentioned perhaps GRUB leaves the network card in an odd
state when chainloading iPXE which causes the iPXE malfunction.

Here is some more info about the setup:

TFTP Server: in.tftpd
Network Card: 00:1f.6 Ethernet controller [0200]: Intel Corporation Ethernet
Connection (7) I219-V [8086:15bc] (rev 10)
GRUB versions: Problem reproduced with 2.02, 2.04 and the latest Git master
(couple days ago)

How can this problem be resolved and is there any information that I can
provide to make this easier?


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