[Dnsmasq-discuss] Please consider clarifying the man page about the tftp service

Olivier Cailloux olivier.cailloux at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 21:49:21 GMT 2020

Dear list,

I have been happy to use dnsmasq to install debian through network
boot. However, it has taken a lot of trials and errors before I found
the correct command line to use. I’d like to report my experience in
hope that the man page be possibly improved, as the developers see fit.

It was very unclear to me while reading the man page which options
exactly need to be turned on to enable network boot. I tried the
following commands:
sudo /usr/sbin/dnsmasq --port=0 "--dhcp-range=, proxy" "
--dhcp-boot=pxelinux.0,saucisson" --enable-tftp --log-dhcp
sudo /usr/sbin/dnsmasq --port=0 "--dhcp-range=,proxy" "
--dhcp-boot=pxelinux.0" --enable-tftp --log-dhcp --tftp-
sudo /usr/sbin/dnsmasq --port=0 "--dhcp-range=,proxy" "
--dhcp-boot=/pxelinux.0" --enable-tftp --log-dhcp --tftp-
root=/home/olivier/netboot --dhcp-no-override

before I finally found a correct one:
sudo /usr/sbin/dnsmasq --port=0 "--dhcp-range=,proxy" "
--dhcp-boot=pxelinux.0" --enable-tftp --log-dhcp --tftp-
root=/home/olivier/netboot "--pxe-service=x86PC,Install Linux,

(All this took a while because I did not even know the TFTP service was
not activated with my first tries, so I thought the problem lied
somewhere else.)

The man page says: “If dnsmasq is providing a TFTP service (see --
enable-tftp ) then only the filename is required here to enable network
booting.” and also reading about the pxe-service option, I thought that
it was unnecessary and was there just to allow for customizing the
string that would display at start (which I thought I do not need).

Please consider clarifying the man page concerning the relevant options
to state which option is required exactly; and especially, please
consider making dnsmasq tell something in the log file, or (better
IMHO) refuse to start when the options it receives are incoherent. With
the current behavior, it is very hard, when it’s the first time you do
it, to even know that dnsmasq is not configured properly.

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