Before you can do any sort of bare metal provisioning, you must boot the machine. One way to do that is by using a PXE (preboot execution environment) boot server.  PXE provisioning is an essential component RackN Digital Rebar uses to handle provisioning bare metal. This video focuses on the PXE bare metal boot process. In fact, this is one of our most popular videos of all time. Here’s how to learn the bare metal booting basics in 30 minutes or less

In concept, provisioning should be pretty easy. The biggest thing provisioning does is put an operating system onto a computer. But bare metal provisioning is actually really hard to do. That’s because first you must “bootstrap” the machines, which means literally starting a system up from nothing.

Watch the Give Your PXE Wings! video to understand how to get provisioning under control, and how Digital Rebar takes the drudgery out of the ancient art of PXE booting and provisioning. These are the key moments.

Bare metal booting basics

  • 1:24: What are the challenges of bare metal provisioning?
  • 4:47: Exploring bare metal provisioning approaches
  • 7:47: Overview of entire bootstrapping process
  • 8:06: Step 1: Get on the network
  • 9:13: Step 2: Download a bootloader (stage 1)
  • 9:46: Step 3: Download a better bootloader (stage 2)
  • 10:32: Step 4: Download kernel O/S

Provisioning bare metal workflow

  • 14:28: Bare metal provisioning overview
  • 16:55: Downloading config templates for Kickstart
  • 17:06: Downloading and installing OS packages
  • 18:08: Post-configuration activities

More info

  • 21:03: Digital Rebar IaC templates for boot_envs
  • 24:39: Common PXE questions

Learn more

We hope you’ll watch the complete video. It is really a great PXE boot and bare metal provisioning primer. If you have questions, please drop a comment below or let us know on our LinkedIn page.