General LinuxBIOS Questions

Eric W Biederman ebiederman at
Mon Sep 16 20:51:01 CEST 2002

ollie lho <ollie at> writes:

> On Tue, 2002-09-17 at 07:38, Eric W Biederman wrote:
> > 
> > You can do serial from power on.  Over the network is a more
> > interesting problem, and hasn't been fully solved yet.  Currently I
> > connect the serial port to a box with a lot of serial ports, and
> > that box is network accessible.
> > 
> Eric,
> 	Do you know if there is an KVM switch equivalent for serial
> port ?? 

Yes. Usually I believe they are called serial concentrators.  
We have a device here designed to be used with clusters called
the icebox.  It combines the serial concentrator function, and
the power management functionality, into one device.

> How do you monitor multiple LinuxBIOS boxes except using many
> minicom ??

I open multiple telnet connections to the icebox.

> > Maybe some of these things are only really annoying when the don't
> > exist and you have lots of hardware.  For me I like the ability
> > to do a full install including flashing the BIOS on 350 nodes in under
> > 10 minutes. 
> > 
> How do you connect these 350 nodes "physically" to you console ?? Do you
> need many consoles or is there any think like "hub" the LAN ??

A network accessible device that is accept serial cables like a hub on
the LAN.  And it plugs into the LAN.

It is really convinient when you are debugging those BIOS problems
that only affect a small percent of your nodes.  I can sit at my
desk and work on machines that are miles away, or I can write
a script that will cold boot the machine all night long to test booting.


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