Boot interfaces

The boot interface manages booting of both the deploy ramdisk and the user instances on the bare metal node.

The PXE boot interface is generic and works with all hardware that supports booting from network. Alternatively, several vendors provide virtual media implementations of the boot interface. They work by pushing an ISO image to the node’s management controller, and do not require either PXE or iPXE. Check your driver documentation at Drivers, Hardware Types and Hardware Interfaces for details.

PXE boot

The pxe boot interface uses PXE or iPXE to deliver the target kernel/ramdisk pair. PXE uses relatively slow and unreliable TFTP protocol for transfer, while iPXE uses HTTP. The downside of iPXE is that it’s less common, and usually requires bootstrapping using PXE first.

The pxe boot interface works by preparing a PXE/iPXE environment for a node on the file system, then instructing the DHCP provider (for example, the Networking service) to boot the node from it. See ref:direct-deploy-example for a better understanding of the whole deployment process.


Both PXE and iPXE are configured differently, when UEFI boot is used instead of conventional BIOS boot. This is particularly important for CPU architectures that do not have BIOS support at all.

The pxe boot interface is used by default for many hardware types, including ipmi. Some hardware types, notably ilo and irmc have their specific implementations of the PXE boot interface.

Additional configuration is required for this boot interface - see Configuring PXE and iPXE for details.

Common options

Enable persistent boot device for deploy/clean operation

For (i)PXE booting, Ironic uses non-persistent boot order changes for clean/deploy by default. For some drivers, persistent changes are far more costly than non-persisent ones, so this approach can bring a performance benefit.

In order to control this behavior, however, Ironic provides the force_persistent_boot_device flag in the node’s driver_info. It allows the values Default (make all changes but the last one upon deployment non-persistent), Always (make all changes persistent), and Never (make all boot order changes non-persistent). For example in order to have only persistent changes one would need to set something like:

$ openstack baremetal node set --driver-info force_persistent_boot_device='Always' <node>


It is recommended to check if the node’s state has not changed as there is no way of locking the node between these commands.


The values ‘True’/’False’ for the option ‘force_persistent_boot_device’ in the node’s driver info for the (i)PXE drivers are deprecated and support for them may be removed in a future release. The former default value ‘False’ is replaced by the new value ‘Default’, the value ‘True’ is replaced by ‘Always’.