Advice on Cluster Hardware.

Velocet math at
Wed Feb 6 16:03:02 EST 2002

On Wed, Feb 06, 2002 at 11:44:50AM -0800, Marc Michelsen's all...
> Unfortunately I dont see console redirection in my bios nor
> Continue after post which is keeping me from being able
> to boot up without a video adapter, it just beeps and halts on power on.
> I'm using dual Athlon MP 1600 (1.4GHz) in it.

Some boards will boot even without video cards. I dont know what the details
are (anyone?!) but for eg, 12 of our PcChips M817 LMRs boot fine without. Then
they changed the bios. To get freeBSD to boot (for thats what we run) we
originally needed it to have serial console, then something in 4.3 changed and
we can boot sans serial console (I think that the keyboard being active
requirement change (we set it to off, which allows us to plug in a keyboard
AFTER BOOT) might have changed this as the serial console being on in pre-4.3
allowed boot with no physical keyboard.

But thats a speculation, Im not exactly sure. (And BIOS flashing the boards
does NOT help - later boards wont boot without video, earlier ones are fine.
WHY did the change it?! :)

Anyone else have a list of boards that boot sans video? Its hard to find cheap
bulk PCI cards for $10/pop and AGPs tend to be only 'whats current' and
therefore 8-16 Mb and $30USD per for lowest end. Uneccessary cost IMHO (and
extra power, from what I hear, for the 200-500Mhz (or more) chips on them).

How many watts do most AGPs use on average?


> Are you sure you have a Tiger (S2460) and not the Thunder (S2462)?
> shows they added Console redirect in v2.05 for the Thunder
> but I dont see anything for the Tigers, of course the Tigers came 
> after the Thunder.
> lists V1.00 which is what I have, and a beta bios
> but the description doesnt mention anything about
> adding console redirect. I may give it a try anyway.
> Thanks
> Marc
> > 
> > On Wed, Feb 06, 2002 at 10:40:14AM -0800, Marc Michelsen's all...
> > > 
> > > > 
> > > > The Tyan Tiger has serial console built in. Rox. THe only thing you
> > > > cant do is 3 finger salute (at least I couldnt find it in the manual). You
> > > > can even hit F2 to get into bios setup, and I tweaked my intel PXE boot
> > > > card's bios settings with it as well. Rather nice. Saves you the cost
> > > > of a videocard too.
> > > > 
> > > 
> > > Hi Ken,
> > > 
> > > I have some new Tyan Tiger MPX's and would like to not use video cards
> > > in them. How do you set it to serial console? I couldnt find it
> > > in the manual. Thanks
> > 
> > Hopefully your BIOS has this - right on the 2nd screen over in the
> > bios its under CONSOLE REDIRECTION. If you dont have this then I'd go get
> > the bios upgrade for your board and flash it (let me know how that
> > goes).
> > 
> > I just use minicom to get a serial console, its quite nice! (vt100 terminal
> > set in the BIOS of the board to work with minicom is best). Im going
> > with no flow control cuz I have a bad serial cable. ;)
> > 
> > What kind of CPUs are you using in it? Im trying it out with regular
> > Tbirds (1.33Ghz) and have had no problems so far...
> > 
> > BTW, I set Continue after postin the console section and i left it
> > at 9600 baud, becasue freebsd is a pain to change the default baud
> > rate of serial console mode. So I just live with 9600 whihch isnt
> > bad since I use it so infrequently.
> > 
> > If yer using linux I'd get the serial console stuff going tho it may
> > not be necessary for boot.
> > 
> > Freebsd's serial console actually takes over the console when the
> > kernel boots - with 'Continue after post' set on, freebsd is still
> > able to override it (perhaps the bios detects this and releases the
> > port), but I should try booting without serial console set on and
> > see how it goes (perhaps then I wont have the baud rate switching problems.)
> > 
> > Let me know how it goes.
> > 
> > /kc
> > 
> > > 
> > > Marc
> > 
> > -- 
> > Ken Chase, math at  *  Velocet Communications Inc.  *  Toronto, CANADA 
> > 

Ken Chase, math at  *  Velocet Communications Inc.  *  Toronto, CANADA 
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