Promote iPXE to separate boot interface

The iPXE boot should be promoted to a separate boot driver interface. This will simplify the code base and allow to not force global PXE vs iPXE conductor setting.

Problem description

Currently setting PXE or iPXE is enforced per-conductor, and taking into account the possibility of node take-over, this choice is effectively global for the whole Ironic installation.

Due to this the current code of PXEBoot interface is riddled with constructs of:

if CONF.pxe.ixpe_enabled ...

Recently added or proposed changes (like CONF.pxe.ipxe_use_swift option) make the logic there even more complicated.

Proposed change

It is proposed to implement a separate iPXE boot interface, which will use the new way of serving iPXE boot scripts and boot config files directly from Ironic API as outlined in dynamic iPXE configuration spec.

The new interface will get a separate [ipxe] config section, where all [pxe]ipxe_* options should be moved following proper deprecation policy for config options. Current iPXE-related behavior of PXEBoot interface should be deprecated and eventually removed.


Continue mixing PXE and iPXE in single driver interface and setting iPXE vs PXE globally.

Data model impact


State Machine Impact


REST API impact


Client (CLI) impact


“ironic” CLI


“openstack baremetal” CLI


RPC API impact


Driver API impact


Nova driver impact


Ramdisk impact


Security impact


Other end user impact


Scalability impact


Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

  • A new config section [ipxe] will be added, with most of the ipxe_* options copied from current [pxe] section (with ipxe_ removed from option names). By the virtue of oslo_config library, the new options will be backward compatible with old, deprecated ones, using their values when not set explicitly.

  • This change has no immediate effect. Enabling it is a conscious choice of the operator:

    • a driver utilizing this new iPXEBoot boot interface must be composed

    • such driver must be assigned to the node

Developer impact




Primary assignee:

pshchelo (Pavlo Shchelokovskyy)

Work Items

  • create a new iPXEBoot boot interface

    • identify and refactor code that is common for PXEBoot and iPXEBoot interfaces

  • register this driver as entry point for ironic.hardware.interfaces.boot

    • add it to list of boot interfaces enabled by default in ironic config ([DEFAULT]enabled_boot_interfaces config option)

  • add appropriate documentation



No specific coverage seems to be needed apart from enabling a driver that uses this new proposed boot interface at least on one gate job.

Upgrades and Backwards Compatibility

The feature has no immediate effect on existing installation as it must be manually enabled first by enabling the interface and composing an appropriate driver with this boot interface.

Existing drivers do not depend on this feature in any way.

It is also proposed to deprecate and eventually remove iPXE capabilities from the PXEBoot interface.

Chain-loading an iPXE-capable boot-loader will still be supported by iPXEBoot driver to support older/dumber/buggy hardware.

Documentation Impact

Document new driver interface and its usage.