I'm trying to boot a Pi3 from the network without having to use a SDcard.

Currently, the PI3 will only boot from the network if I insert a sdcard with one single file: bootcode.bin - from that on everything is peachy (DHCP, TFPD, then NFSv3).

But why do I still need the SDcard with bootcode.bin? Without it, the PI will only perform a DHCP query, receive the proper response, and after that no TFP action will be performed:/

$ vcgencmd otp_dump | grep 17:
  • I take it you've followed this tutorial? i.e. you do have bootcode.bin in the server /tftpboot folder Aug 27, 2018 at 23:27
  • Yes of course. Problem is that the Pi doesn't issue a TFTP command after receiving the DHCP reply. Aug 28, 2018 at 8:22
  • I take it you've used some network scanning to determine that? Aug 28, 2018 at 9:00
  • oh, wait, I've just done some testing myself - so the BOOTP/DHCP, does make it to the server, it's after that where things go wrong Aug 28, 2018 at 10:28
  • @jaromandax yes, sniffering with TCPdump Aug 29, 2018 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


You try to use a pi-3 for netbooting but it is known that it has problems with it. Look at Raspberry Pi boot modes:

Special bootcode.bin-only boot mode

For the original Raspberry Pi and the Raspberry Pi 2 (based on the BCM2835 and BCM2836 devices), and in situations where the Pi 3 fails to boot, there is a new method of booting from one of the new boot modes (MSD or ethernet).

Just format an SD card as FAT32 and copy on the latest bootcode.bin.

This will then enable the new bootmodes with some bug fixes for the failing Pi 3 cases.

If you have a problem with a mass storage device still not working even with this bootcode.bin, then please add a new file 'timeout' to the SD card. This should extend the time it waits for the mass storage device to initialise to six seconds.

Seems you are one of the unfortunate having this problem. You really should consider to invest into a Raspberry Pi 3B+. Improving bootmodes incl. netbooting was one of the main reasons they have released the plus version.

How to setup netbooting with a RPi 3B+ you can look in detail at Netbooting multiple “workers” RPi from a “master” RPi.

  • I'm using a Pi 3 Model B v1.2, seems that's the reason why. Aug 29, 2018 at 9:08

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