i815-based MBs, PXE and linux
I need to purchase several diskless workstations for use with linux, and I'm
in process of choosing hardware for them.
The biggest problem is motherboards since this is the only thing (except
NIC) that can cause a lot of linux compatibility troubles. I'm considering to
purchase MBs based on i815 chipset. Did anybody have any problems with them?
I'm also considering these motherboards with NIC on the board (AFAIK only
Intel 82562ET can be found on MBs with i815)? How well do these onboard NICs
behave and how well do they work under linux (and which kernel supports them -
2.2.x, 2.4.x)? How are they compared to realtek8139-based standalone NICs?
Also, since the boxes will be diskless, either standalone NICs should have a
boot prom socket or BIOS have to support PXE. I would like to have PXE-enabled
BIOS (only few cheap 100Mbs NICs have boot prom socket, and boot prom chip
costs as much as floppy disk drive). My research tells that only AMI bios or
phoenix bios supports PXE (the most widely spread Award BIOS doesn't support
PXE). Question is: does these bioses support PXE *with* realtek8139 cards? One
with PXE-enabled BIOS and realtek8139-based NIC can answer this question by
going to BIOS setup and checking whether 'boot sequence' setting has an option
'boot from network' among choises ("A,C", "C,A" etc).
Thank you very much for the answers in advance.