[Beowulf] Problems with Microway Navion/SuperMicro server VGA display

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Mon Sep 27 16:14:24 EDT 2010

Actually, I take that back. Only partially user error.  My Tesla's do
have an DVI output, but I was trying to connect to the VGA output.

At first, I thought I was just being stupid (see the last e-mail), then
I remembered something, that may have partially redeemed me: Due to the
location of the DVI input on the Tesla card, the chassis itself
interferes with the DVI connector, so it's impossible to connect the DVI
 cable to the Tesla's DVI output. Not without customizing the chassis
with a Sawzall or Dremel too, at least.

The fix is simple: configure the BIOS to always default to the onboard
VGA. Unfortunately, it's not obvious what the correct selection is.
Here's the section of the manual on this, in it's entirety:

Primary Video Controller

Use this setting to specify the primary video controller boot order.
Options include PCIE-GPP1-GPP2-GPP3a-PCI, PCIE-GPP2-GPP1-GPP3a-PCI,

that make it pretty clear, doesn't it?


Prentice Bisbal wrote:
> Nevermind. User-error.
> Prentice
> Prentice Bisbal wrote:
>> Beowulfers,
>> Are any of you having problems with the VGA console on your Microway
>> Navion or Supermicro servers?
>> About 2 months ago, I received for new Microway Navion Servers with
>> Fermi GPUs. These servers are just rebranded SuperMicro servers with the
>> H8DGG-QF motherboard.
>> I had this problem when I first started working with these systems, but
>> then it disappeared. Now that I'm trying to reinstall the OS on a couple
>> of systems, I can no longer get a VGA console.
>> Here's the symptoms: When I plug in the monitor on my crash, cart, it
>> recognizes that there's a computer connected. Otherwise it would display
>> the self-test message, indicating that NOTHING is connected. However, a
>> split second after detecting it's connected to a computer, it goes right
>> into power saving mode  - the LED in Dell monitor's powerbutton goes
>> from green to orange.
>> The keyboard works, because the numlock LED goes on and off as expected.
>> The GPU cards are Tesla cards that don't even have a display port on
>> them, so I don't think I need to specify the on-board display in the
>> BIOS, and if this needed to be done, I would assume that Microway would
>> have done this before shipping the system.
>>  Am I making an ass out of myself by assuming this? I was able to get a
>> console on these systems at one point without tinkering with the bios.

Prentice Bisbal
Linux Software Support Specialist/System Administrator
School of Natural Sciences
Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, NJ
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