TFTP is a light-weight version of the FTP service, and is typically used only for network booting systems or loading firmware on network devices such as routers.

Most Linux distributions come with a copy of the tftp-hpa server. You can alternatively obtain one at

If your TFTP server is going to run on a Microsoft Windows host, you can use tftpd32 versionĀ 2.11 or later. See Previous versions of tftpd32 were incompatible with PXELINUX and gPXE.

The PXELINUX and gPXE environments allow your target machine to boot the ESX Installer. PXELINUX is part of the SYSLINUX package which can be found at, although many Linux distributions include it. Many versions of PXELINUX also include gPXE. Some distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux versionĀ 5.3, include older versions of PXELINUX that do not include gPXE.

If you do not use gPXE, you might experience issues while booting the ESX installer on a heavily loaded network. This is because TFTP is not a robust protocol and is sometimes unreliable for transferring large amounts of data. If you use gPXE, only the gpxelinux.0 binary and configuration file are transferred via TFTP. gPXE enables you to use a Web server for transferring the kernel and ramdisk required to boot the ESX installer. If you use PXELINUX without gPXE, the pxelinux.0 binary, the configuration file, and the kernel and ramdisk are transferred via TFTP.


VMware tests PXE booting with PXELINUX versionĀ 3.63. This is not a statement of limited support.