Fw: RE: Tyan serial console - how?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Nov 6 04:18:04 PST 2002

On Tue, 5 Nov 2002, David Mathog wrote:

> > I've found the easiest way to get into the bios is to disable quickboot
> > mode (yes it will count every meg of ram) and use ANSI terminal
> > emulation. If you hit F2 it will drop to bios after the ram count. 
> > 
> > At 9600bps the quickboot was too quick to jump into the bios most of the
> > time and I'd have to reboot from grub :)
> "Disable quickboot" is some ancient curse, right?
> I just tried it and found that the serial line
> couldn't cut in during the long (1Gb) memory test.  Sure, I could
> hit F2 in minicom but the serial console ignored it.  It only
> responded to F2 once the count stopped.
> Now it gets really wierd.

<modestly insane account of quickboot shenanigan's deleted>

> Quality thy name is not Tyan!

As I said, the simplest thing to do is just use an auxiliary keyboard
AND your serial console.  You can then hop out of the memory test at
will.  BTW, once you have the system booting quickly again in quickboot
mode, you can remove the keyboard and it will still boot fast in the
next boot.  Usually -- I haven't had the greatest of reproducibility
experiences with the Tyans.

You'll also need the keyboard to enter Ctrl-Alt-B to enter the PXE bios.
There you'll need to set it to boot PXE without prompting and after a
modest (3-5 second) delay, so you can PXE-boot into an install image
when desired but otherwise time out into the installed (local boot)
image, all with no keyboard or console attached.  And to reboot,
although the curse'd systems have a tendency to need hard (power cycle)
boots when installing or they hang waiting for e.g. the GigE card or
something like it to reset.

With all of this said, if one DOES get through all the nonsense, one can
do a PXE install or get the system into a state where the OS is
installed and it will boot into it fairly consistently, even on a power
out or remote reboot.  And the 2466's at least tend to be middlin'
stable when installed, although their high power requirements and heat
production lead to a high hardware failure rate.


> David Mathog
> mathog at caltech.edu
> Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
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Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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