BOOTP is a protocol that allows a computer to discovers its
own network parameters, as well as some other useful
informations. This protocol is defined in
951. See also RARP and
Bootrom (or BootPROM)
A bootrom is a chip installed on the network card, that typically
contains networking software to start a remote-boot client.
It works in tight interaction with the computer BIOS and provides
basic IP/UDP connectivity as needed to accomplish its tasks.
Historically, the word Bootprom (or more precisely
BootPROM) was used to denote the fact that this chip
is a Programmable Read-Only Memory. However, as manufacturers
now tend to use Flash-RAM instead, we prefer the generic
term bootrom, without regard to the hardware used.
The task of a bootstrap program is to launch an operating system.
In the context of remote boot, the bootstrap program is typically
downloaded by the bootrom from a network server.
DHCP is an extension to the BOOTP protocol
that allows a computer to discovers its own network parameters,
as well as some other useful informations. This extension
allows for dynamic (i.e., changing) address assignment.
However, DHCP is often used with fixed addresses.
This protocol is defined in
PXE is the acronym for Preboot eXecution Environment,
the first open standard defining bootrom behaviour.
It is part of Intel Wired for Management specifications.
The standard can be downloaded from
Intel WfM site.
RARP is a protocol that allows a computer to discovers its
own network parameters. This protocol is defined in
903. See also BOOTP and
A remote-boot computer is a computer that does not relies on local
ressources (such as its hard disk) to start, but uses centralized
remote ressources (through the network) instead. See our
introduction to remote-boot for
TFTP is a protocol for transfering a files through the network.
As said in its name (Trivial File Transfer Protocol), it is neither
efficient nor versatile, but has been for a long time the favorite
protocol for remote-boot as its implementation can be small enough
to fit in.