Scyld Beowulf CD is both an install disk and node boot media!

Donald Becker becker at
Wed Oct 11 14:04:59 PDT 2000

A question about our new distribution revealed that I missed a feature of
our new distribution CD-ROM:

   The CD-ROM is both an install disk, and a compute node boot disk!

If you using the CD to install the Scyld Beowulf on the front-end machine,
you must type either "graphics" or "text" within 20 seconds(1).

You can use the same CD to boot the compute nodes.  After the 20 second
timeout, it takes five to ten seconds for the node to join the cluster -- no
additional installation is needed.(2)

Although you can use just one CD-ROM, our supported packages ship with a CD
for every node.

If you are ordering the unsupported version from LinuxCentral
you should just order a $2 CD for each node.  You can order up to 20 disks
without the shipping charge increasing, and the shipping for a 100 disks is
still under $10 in the U.S.

The node boot kernel is replaced with the final kernel using Two Kernel
Monte, so the only reason the node boot CDs will become obsolete is if you
buy new hardware (e.g. network adapters) that requires an updated driver
or kernel.

1. It has already been reported that 20 seconds isn't enough time to absorb
all of the info on initial screen.  The next edition will have simplified
instruction, only the common options, and new aliases of "install" and "gui".

2. Booting off of the CD is far faster and more reliable than using a
floppy.  It takes about a minute to read a boot floppy.  And ask people who
have tried to use floppy booted PCs as routers.  Dust accumulates around the
open shutter, and the head dents and slowly erases the disk.

Donald Becker				becker at
Scyld Computing Corporation
410 Severn Ave. Suite 210		Second Generation Beowulf Clusters
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993

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