[Beowulf] any creative ways to crash Linux?: does a shared NIC IMPI always remain responsive?

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Mon Oct 26 11:23:28 PDT 2009

>> the BMCs were Motorola single board computers running Linux.
>> So ssh and http access were already there with whichever Linux distro
>> they
>> ran (you could look around in /proc for instance)
> Wow! I didn't realize that the BMC was again running a full blown Linux distro!

sigh.  the simplest unix distro is a kernel and a single /sbin/init in 
the initrd.  remember, what you see as a conventional desktop/server OS
is layered, mainly by the runlevel/init.d mechanism, then by X-related stuff.
a kiosk running linux, for instance, might well avoid runlevels and have 
exactly one process alive.  it's entirely possible to add ssh and its
dependencies and still wind up with something very small: consider the
firmware stack you find in media players and cable/wireless gateways.
(or, for that matter, managed IB switches.)  still a distros in the technical
sense, but "full blown" as you mean it.  several of the ssh-equipped
firmwares I've interacted with (BMC-like or else storage controllers) have
appeared to have custom command interpreters rather than a conventional shell
(even of the busybox kind).

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