Scyld Beowulf and ata/100

Daniel Ridge newt at
Sun Oct 15 18:05:37 PDT 2000


On Sun, 15 Oct 2000, Jon Tegner wrote:

> Tried to install Scyld Beowulf on a system using ata/100 controllers. It
> works when we boot from floppies or cd, but not when booting from the
> hardiest (hangs on LI)
> If we are not using Scyld Beowulf the workaround is as follows (we are
> using RH 6.2 with 2.2.16-3 and recent updates):
> * Boot from floppy with parameters ide2=0x9400,0x9002 (in our case).
> * Install new lilo, the one from RH 7.0 -- 21.4.4-10 works, add
> append="ide2=0x9400,0x9002" to lilo.conf and run lilo -L.
> I guess the ata/66 patch is applied to the kernel distributed from Scyld
> and in order to get it to work for us I GUESS we would have to somehow
> install the new lilo and run the lilo -L command. How can we do that on
> the nodes?

If you have Scyld Beowulf installed on the frontend, you can examine the
strategy we use for running LILO on remote nodes. To install a kernel
on remote hard drives, we use the bundled program 'beoboot-install'.

This program installs a kernel, synthesizes a LILO configuration file,
and runs LILO against the target hard drive.

All you have to do to make this work on your system is:
	* install the new LILO on the frontend. Our software will run 
	  the copy installed on the frontend against the target nodes. 

	* edit /usr/bin/beoboot-install to call
		'bpsh -n $NODE lilo -L -C $MNTPT/lilo.conf'
	  in place of
		'bpsh -n $NODE lilo -C $MNTPT/lilo.conf'

	* run beoboot-install in the usual way. (See --help or

	* Test.

You will not need to modify the lilo configuration file.

You will not need to generate new kernel command-line arguments at this

The kernel we install on the hard drive is what we call a 'phase 1'
kernel. This kernel does not even have support for IDE devices ;
LILO uses real-mode BIOS calls to load the kernel and the initrd.
The sole purpose of the phase 1 kernel is to retreive the 'production'
kernel from the front-end server. It is this new kernel that would
need any necessary kernel command-line parameters.

These parameters can be adjusted in the following way:
	* As root, run 'beosetup'

	* Choose File->Create BeoBoot File

	* Place your kernel command-line parameters in the box
	  labelled 'Kernel boot flags'.
	* Hit the 'OK' button.

See the beowulf documentation for details on doing this without the
GUI configuration tool. 

Per your observation, you will NOT need to supply the IDE parameters to
the default Scyld kernel, as this already contains the IDE patch.

Thanks for the feedback on our preview release! We'll look at updating
LILO in our distribution to address this concern.

	Dan Ridge
	Scyld Computing Corporation

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