Home > Mac administration, VMware > Booting to a default NetBoot set with VMWare Fusion’s Technology Preview

Booting to a default NetBoot set with VMWare Fusion’s Technology Preview

As a follow-up to the previous post, the NetBoot support built into VMWare Fusion’s June 2012 Technology Preview also supports easily booting to a default NetBoot set.

To boot to a default NetBoot set, hold down the N key on your keyboard when the VM starts up. Just like a physical Mac, the VM should then look for and boot from the default NetBoot set.

An added feature for VMWare Fusion’s NetBoot support is that VMs will automatically try to boot from a default NetBoot set if the VM can’t find a boot OS otherwise. I was able to verify this by setting up a new and completely unconfigured VM, where there was no OS install disk or disk image selected to boot from. (To make sure it was able to see the NetBoot set, I did change the Network Adapter settings to Ethernet Sharing: Ethernet.)

The VM started and found no OS on the VM’s boot disk or elsewhere. It then booted to my network’s default NetBoot set without any intervention on my part.

Screen Shot 2012-06-22 at 6.13.17 AM

Screen Shot 2012-06-22 at 6.13.40 AM

Categories: Mac administration, VMware
  1. Sean-Paul Bobadilla
    January 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve setup a self contained net boot environment. DHCP, Netboot, netboot client, are all VM guests. I was able to get it to work one but it did not survive a reboot and I’m not sure what I did to get to work.
    My setup is DHCP/Netboot server on RedHat. Client is 10.7 64bit OSX VM with no OS.

    Here are some steps I know I did:

    install vmware tools
    set up shared folders

    On DHCP/Netboot server setup eth0 as host only static IP
    On guest server setup eth0 as host only DHCP

    install dhcpd
    copy over dhcpd file

    install tftp server and client
    enable tftp
    change the directory to /tftpboot

    copy over booter and dmg

    chkconfig httpd on
    chkconfig dhcpd on
    chkconfig xinetd on
    chkconfig iptables off

    stop iptables

    verify tftp works

    Here’s my dhcpd.config file
    log-facility local7;
    allow bootp;
    allow booting;

    subnet netmask {
    option routers;
    option broadcast-address;
    option subnet-mask;
    option domain-name-servers;
    option ntp-servers;

    default-lease-time 60;
    max-lease-time 300;

    option vendor-encapsulated-options 01:01:02;
    #option vendor-class-identifier “AAPLBSDPC/i386/VMware7,1”;
    option vendor-class-identifier “AAPLBSDPC”;
    filename “/10.7.4/booter”;
    option root-path “”;
    option dhcp-parameter-request-list 1,3,17,43,60;

    Any suggestions?

  2. October 31, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I’ve started using vm’s in replace of physical machines for testing and package building.
    The above works well but does not not work for already configured VM’s? I am unable to netboot from system prefs selecting NB set or combination of keys at startup… Does it work for you?

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