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Rack mounted backend ideas

I'm looking at putting a couple rack mounted systems in as a
reorganisation of my computing environment - one an SMP IA32 type system
(we'll see how many CPUs make sense) running as a file and computing
server with Debian GNU/Linux, and the other likely only one CPU at
present to run as an experimentation box - something I can put various
BSD (both Debian and *elsewhere*) the Hurd and even a Debian GNU/Linux
"Sid and even more unstable", and maybe even a development kernel
partition if I get *really adventurous*.

The current desktop box would become a combination firewall and X
terminal, but it all raises one key question: with the second rack
computer being meant to be rebooted regularly as I switch between
various o/s, how reliable is it to control the boot process/selection
from a separate machine? I know that Lilo and Grub do have the "serial"
option for sending the info to another machine (I'm hoping that means
that Minicom would handle it fine.) Any heads-up of use, given that it
is one thing to point clients to the HOWTOs when setting things up, but
I haven't regularly run a system this way - only installed and
troubleshot them?
ML Kahnt New Markets Consulting
Tel: (613) 531-8684 / (613) 539-0935
Email: kahnt@hosehead.dyndns.org

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