[Beowulf] Re: ECC support on motherboards?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue May 20 20:42:01 PDT 2008

On Tue, 20 May 2008, Perry E. Metzger wrote:

> I generally prefer to just bulk install boxes by PXE booting them
> though -- less handwork. That requires a bit more work, but any SA
> worth his salt knows how to do that sort of thing.

I agree that PXE is a powerful tool/methodology for scalable systems
administration, although that isn't really orthogonal to a suitably
designed flashdisk-bootable system.

> Kickstart and similar tools have taken a lot of the pain out of doing
> mass installs, of course. It doesn't matter much if your boot media
> are hard drives or 4G flash cards -- it is pretty much the same, you
> just need to make sure you're not cramming too much stuff into the
> root file system. Hell, 4G used to be a pretty big hard drive, you
> don't even have to cram things in too badly if you're running some
> sort of Unix-alike...

Exactly.  I have a 4GB Debian VM I run under VMware, and while I have
almost 9GB installed on my primary toplevel F8 system (including vmware,
not including the bootable images) the 4 GB system is actually more than
enough to do all the work I need to do.

Where I really look forward to "built-in" 4,8,16 GB systems is in two

a) "Not-so-thin" desktop clients.  No hard disk to fail.  No need to set
up or manage a server for full diskless, or a terminal server (lin or
win) to run remote applications on.  Even 4 GB is enough for nearly
anything sane, and even a 16 GB flash is what, $100 extra in retail
price at this point and dropping fast?  16 GB is enough for a
kitchen-sink install plus 4 GB of personal home directory workspace, or
for a base system and a couple of fairly full-featured VMs plus

b) Laptops.  I'd REALLY like a flash-driven laptop.  I'd like a bootable
OS on something pretty much completely shock-insensitive, preferrably
with some serious disk recovery tools for the data disk (if any).  I
drop my laptops from table height (so far onto carpeted floor without
any really bad result, fortunately) once every couple of years, and it's
just a matter of time before I lose a disk when I do it.



Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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