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Obtaining the MAC address of the boot NIC for a PXE boot

From: Rigoberto Corujo
Subject: Obtaining the MAC address of the boot NIC for a PXE boot
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2013 05:55:32 -0700 (PDT)

Hello everyone,

With pxelinux, you can specify "IPAPPEND 2" in your boot loader configuration file and the MAC address of the boot NIC automatically gets appended to your kernel parameters as "BOOTIF=XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX". 

I am now trying to become familiar with Grub 2, because if its EFI support.   I noticed that with Grub 2, some of the documentation, which may be outdated, says that there is a "net_pxe_mac" variable which, as I understand it, should contain the MAC address of the boot NIC.  However, I've built the latest Grub 2 sources and, when I PXE boot and drop into a grub shell prompt, if type "set", I don't see "net_pxe_mac" listed as one of the variables.  I know there is a "net_ls_addr" command which prints out something like "efinet8 3c:4a:92:b2:6a:e8", but I don't know how to use Grub scripting to parse out the MAC address.  I also don't know if there will ever be a case where "net_ls_addr" will print out multiple entries on a PXE boot, making it difficult to determine which one corresponds to the boot NIC.

Basically, I'm using the "ksdevice=bootif" kernel parameter when PXE booting my Red Hat kernel.  With PXE Linux, "bootif" provides the MAC address of the boot NIC.  I was hoping to do something like "ksdevice=${net_pxe_mac}", but since "net_pxe_mac" does not appear to be getting set, I need to find some other method.

Anyway, I've done quite of bit of searching trying to find out if this issue has already been discussed prior to posting this request for help, but so far I have not found an answer.

If anyone is able to provide some suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.


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