[Beowulf] A couple of interesting comments

John Hearns john.hearns at streamline-computing.com
Fri Jun 6 12:43:32 EDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-06-06 at 10:39 -0500, Gerry Creager wrote:

> 1.  We specified "No OS" in the purchase so that we could install CentOS 
> as our base.  We got a set of systems with a stub OS, and an EULA for 
> the diagnostics embedded on the disk.  After clicking thru the EULA, it 
> tells us we have no OS on the disk, but does not fail to PXE.

That sounds normal to me - that's the state we get servers in.

> 2.  BIOS had a couple of interesting defaults, including warn on 
> keyboard error (Keyboard?  Not intentionally.  This is a compute node, 
> and should never require a keyboard.  Ever.)  We also find the BIOS is 
> set to boot from hard disk THEN PXE. But due to item 1, above, we never 
> can fail over to PXE unless we load up a keyboard and monitor, and hit 
> F12 to drop to PXE.
The "warn on keyboard error" is a bit of a shocker - I haven't see that one for ages.
But the rest sound normal, and yes getting the keyboard and monitor out
is normal. We get technicians to set the BIOSes on all compute nodes
prior to delivery.
I just don't see why though that the BIOSes from these major vendors are
ALWAYS hard disk first then PXE. A default setting t'other way around
would make much more sense.

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