[Beowulf] pxe boot an arbitrary distro from a CD drive on the headnode?

Reuti reuti at staff.uni-marburg.de
Wed Nov 3 12:59:46 PST 2004

> But I don't want to boot ClusterKnoppix on the headnode - it's still
> busy running the rest of the cluster.  I only want to boot the
> CDROM contents on the one failed node.  Possible???

When you setup PXELINUX in the correct way, it may be possible to boot the 
CD/DVD by exporting it as a NFS share. But it will no be a working copy, but to 
install over the net - all network entries are missing - you have to mount by 
hand. When you want to have a mostly working Linux running on the node to copy 
and rescue some files back to the headnode I see following chances:

-) prepare a special CD/DVD with your setup
-) install the CD/DVD in a shared directory (with SuSE you can do it) on the 
head node (then use NFS boot)
-) copy one slave node in a directory on the headnode (also NFS boot)

But if you only use PXE to decide to boot the slaves locally or from the head 

Another idea: copy the files from one node to an USB-Memory-Stick (use cpio to 
get the /dev/* in the correct way). Then boot from the memory stick (okay, 
depends on the mainboard whether it's working). - Reuti

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