Hello net-gurus.

I am in the quest for ultimate pxe-way of booting and installing OS-es. My idea is to find me a software that would act as a pxe server (along with DHCO and TFTP) and give me an option of serving various boot/install images. I've considered Widows server 2000/3/8, but it's RIS/WDS is only useful for limited number of OS-es and, to my knowledge, no custom-made intalls are possible since it is only deployes WIM-format images, and there are no WIM makong tools.. atleast, none that I could find. I kind of gave up on Windows server option, and I'm looking at the linux counterpart for an answer, but all I could dig up are "diskless boots" and "net-installs"... and it seems to me that linux servers deploy linux only.

My wish is to have a choice of ANY kind of OS on a bootable image. LINUX, XP, Freedos, pc-booter.. Anything that is capable of booting the PC, and have it ready on a single machine that will deploy it over LAN. I don't care if it is windows-based, or linux, or whatever.

Is there any kind of server that can do that?

I believe you can use something called WAIK to build custom WIM images for windows vista.

As far as I know, it is a 1 GB download that has only vista boot and install images.

I'm looking for something universal. Not OS-specific.

Edit:
I'll probbably experiment with it.

You need the WAIK to make a) custom vlite cds with sp1 integrated etc.... and b) to make WinPE images for custom OEM deployments.

So i assume it can create custom network install images.

As far as I know, TFTP and DHCP on linux can boot prettymuch anything

You need the WAIK to make a) custom vlite cds with sp1 integrated etc.... and b) to make WinPE images for custom OEM deployments.

So i assume it can create custom network install images.

As far as I know, TFTP and DHCP on linux can boot prettymuch anything

Regarding WAIK, I'll give it a try... but it doesn't look promising to me.

Regarding linux, I know that linux servers can do that, but every refference I came across regarding linux servers, says pretty much the same: "Linux can instal linux". I've never saw any site explaining how can you set a Linux server to deploy windows XP installation CD, for instance. Conflict of interests?

yeah sorry i meant prettymuch anything [apart from windows]

I guess I'll stick to dvd-s for now...