[Beowulf] Diskless booting - NIC BIOS

Jeff Johnson jeff.johnson at wsm.com
Sun Jun 17 12:26:33 PDT 2007


    The term you want to look for is PXE (preboot execution
environment). Most Intel and Broadcom PCI nics will support this. There
are other ways, using open-source bios images for some cards that use
firmware images produced by the etherboot project (www.etherboot.org).
They may have some bootable firmware images for older cards you already
own that are not PXE capable.

    Simply put, setup your machines with PXE capable cards or nics using
etherboot, have a dhcp server that will handout address leases and a
tftp server that will offer network boot kernels and ramdisk images and
you should be up and running pretty quick.

    There are some cluster environments that provide this in a nicely
bundled image:
    Warewulf - www.perceus.org/portal/project/warewulf
    OSCAR - oscar.openclustergroup.org
    Rocks - www.rocksclusters.org


Best Regards,

Jeff Johnson
Vice President
Western Scientific, Inc
jeff.johnson at wsm.com

5444 Napa Street - San Diego, CA 92110
Tel 800.443.6699  +001.619.220.6580
Fax +001.619.220.6590

"Braccae tuae aperiuntur"

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