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

Gerald Creager gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Mon Oct 26 15:22:02 EDT 2009


Mark Hahn wrote:
>>> 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).

SuperMicro uses Winbond IPMI modules. They're a pretty full-featured 
BusyBox implementation.

gerry
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