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Re: diskless cluster

begin  quote  "Jorge L. deLyra" <delyra@latt.if.usp.br> 2002-12-19 18:44:33:

>> I'm trying to build a cluster beowulf debian with a master pc being a
>> server, where the others pcs (slaves) will boot through a floppy that
>> will boot it (with a etherboot disk - etherboot.sourceforge.net)and get
>> ip and a kernel image using a tftp server.
>> Does anybody here have done this before,
>Yes! Many.

We use FAI here, which does more than you appear to want, but
might give some hints.  More details on request.

>> or have some suggestions ?
>A bunch. Let's start with: get rid of the floppy drives, burn a few eprom
>boot chips with Etherboot. If you have the choice, our recommendation for
>a high-performance, reasonably priced network card, which is particularly
>convenient, is the 3COM 3c905c, the model with the flash eeprom boot chip
>soldered to the board. Do not get the model with a socket instead.

The 3C905C is no longer available: if you ask for one, you
get given the 905CX, which has the go-faster bits removed.
Go instead for the 3C980C, which appears to be a direct
reincarnation of the 905C.  The PROM is disabled by default.
To enable it, you'll need to boot from a DOS disc, and run
3C90XCFG.EXE (!) from the supplied CD.

Another useful alternative is the Intel EEPro100.  Anybody care
to benchmark these two .... ?

Dr M J Carter
Physics and Astronomy
University of Nottingham
E-mail: Martin.J.Carter@nottingham.ac.uk

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