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About Us

We, the Etherboot Project, create network booting code that allows computers to load their operating system from a network. Our code can be stored in a number of places, including BIOS Flash, EPROMs, floppy, CD, HD, or other bootable media.

The Etherboot project has been active since about 1995.

Our Code

Our oldest and most well-known software package is Etherboot. It is currently undergoing a major restructuring, and the next version of the package will be called “gPXE”.

gPXE implements PXE, the industry standard network booting specification, and extends it with a number of new protocols and features.

Additionally, we operate the website, which dynamically generates Etherboot (and soon gPXE) images in a variety of formats.

If you prefer, you can download the full Etherboot package from our git repository.

Our Members

Our members come from all over the world, from a variety of backgrounds and specialities. We value all types of participation including coding, debugging, website development, and documentation.

We also welcome new members. A lot of what we do is centered around our mailing list, and we encourage you to join if you are interested in our project. You may also wish to browse our mailing list archives to see what sorts of things we are doing.

If you are interested in coding, please note that our mission to create network boot code means that it is important that you be comfortable with low-level programming – that is, C and possibly some x86 assembler. You should also understand that efficiencies of code size, runtime size, and execution speed are important to us. Low-level, or “bare-metal” programming requires patience and focus, but the sense of control and deep understanding of what is happening, and why, can be very exhilarating. If you need some pointers for low-level programming, have a look at relatedlinks.

We expect anyone who wants to work with us to be comfortable having their code reviewed and commented on by others in our project community. We do endeavor to maintain an environment of open discourse, with a reasonable level of civility and mutual respect. Reading our mailing list archives may be useful for getting a sense of how we work together.