booting from usb pen drive

Jag agrajag at
Sun Nov 23 02:03:14 EST 2003

On Sat, 2003-11-22 at 13:37, Jim Lux wrote:
> Aiee.. an answer just long enough to really whet our appetites.
> A bit longer answer please?  Which BIOS? Which mobo?

I don't have any specific machine information as to what does and
doesn't support it.

>  How could one tell
> (without having the mobo sitting in front of you)?

Check online specs/user guides/feature lists from your manufacturer. 
Ask your sales rep.  Consult the almighty oracle that resides at   And any other method you'd normally use to find out
information on specific motherboards and other hardware components.

> This could be a very elegant solution for booting diskless nodes, since
> virtually every mobo made today has USB interfaces on it, and would save you
> the hassle of putting CDROM or Floppy drives out there.  

I'm not sure I'd be a fan of it.  On one hand, you could just have one
usb pen drive that you use to boot all the nodes.  Nice in theory, but I
really don't want to have to touch a slave node just to reboot it. 
Other than that, you'd have a nice usb key sticking out of either the
front or rear of all your machines like a sore thumb, and would be quite
easy to accidently brush against and break/pull-out/snap-off in your usb

I have heard of people using usb devices (ipod's) to boot public kiosk
machines so that if a machine were cracked into, the real system files
couldn't be tampered with, and a reboot would wipe any added back doors.
But that's a very different situation.

Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit

More information about the Beowulf mailing list