Network Boot with 905C-TX

Thomas R Boehme mail at
Tue Aug 7 06:24:22 PDT 2001


Well, there are different types of 3Com 905C-TXs. There is a -NM version,
which doesn't have network boot and a -M version, which should have it.

If it is the -M version, you should be able to tell your BIOS to boot from
network first. That's all it needs, you don't have to set a master nodes
address. Remote boot works through DHCP. The client will send out a DHCP
request and your DHCP server (if configured correctly) will send out a DHCP
offer along with the name and location of the network boot images.

For more information on how to boot a Linux client over network, check out and look for PXELINUX.

I hope that helps,

-----Original Message-----
From: Albion Baucom [mailto:baucom at darwin.UCSC.EDU] 
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 5:23 PM
To: beowulf at
Subject: Network Boot with 905C-TX

Disclaimer: Newbie Question Follows

I have a 16 Node cluster I am configuring and want to set it up with so I
have diskless clients. I have 2 NICs/node which are both 3Com 905C-TXs. It
is my understanding that I should be able to configure these to boot from
the network. My motherboards are BioStar M7VKB's running 1GHz Athlons. I
have 2 24-port 3Com superstack switches that I want to use to channel-bond
with. Ideally I would like my client nodes to boot kernel images of
Mandrake linux over the network from the master node.

When I boot the computer (with Pheonix BIOS), I never get a prompt for
configuring either network card (though I have seen the prompt on other
systems with the same card, usually ctrl-alt-b or something). I have
downloaded 3Coms configuration program, made a DOS boot floppy and tried
configuring them that way. They are recognized by the configuration
program, and I can enable boot-from-network support for 1 or the other,
but I never manage to get them to either A) prompt me for a network server
or B) give me a BIOS option that I can use to configure the master nodes
address from. I have also tried setting the motherboard BIOS to boot from
LAN but I never get any indication it is even trying to boot from the
network using either card.

Has anyone done this before? How do you specify which card should be
booting from the network?



Albion E. Baucom

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