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Old 2003-08-23, 23:48   #1
dans's Avatar
Oct 2002

101012 Posts
Default Diskless client setup?

I have a number of clients that I am running Prime95 on and I would like to move to a headless/diskless/server setup to save on noise (of all things) the power savings will be an additional bonus.

All of my clients are Biostar M7VKQ motherboards wtih PXE on the onboard NIC, in an ideal setup the process would be something like this:
1. DHCP address resolution
2. PXE boot
3. Load OS (Linux or Windows, I'm not picky)
4. Map network share back to server
5. Start the appropriate Mprime client from the server

All of these steps need to take place without any user imput so that recoving from a power outage would be automatic.

I have both Mandrake linux and a Win2k (AS) server running, so I can mix and match tools as needed.

I've been playing around with Thinstation and have it up and running
but it is only a TS client, so the bits run on the Server, which doesn't suite my needs at all.

In the process of getting Thinstation up and running I've learned a bit about Tftpd and Rom-o-matic which gets me to the point of booting a client from the network, but it still requires a FDD as I haven't had time to setup a PXE server.

So, finally, the question: Has recently setup GIMPS as a headless, diskless, client/server setup? I've found the prior work in the "Prime Monster" setup and a variety of artilces related to SETI but it appears that technology has outstriped some of their solutions and I'd like an easier/simpler implementation.

BTW, should this be posed in the "Hardware" or "Software" forum? :)

Many thanks,
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Old 2003-08-24, 02:24   #2
QuintLeo's Avatar
Oct 2002
Lost in the hills of Iowa

26×7 Posts

I think you're looking for something closer to the "Linux Terminal Project" setup as a base.

The question is one of those "it's both a hardware AND a software questions" things, IMO - it takes specific hardware support (boot from LAN capability) to run diskless, but also takes certain OS software configuration setup(s) to work.

I've seen commentary around the Net somewhere that your M7VKQ is a good board to use in a diskless setup.
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Old 2003-08-24, 09:26   #3
Lumly's Avatar
Aug 2002
Quebec, Canada

29 Posts

Check out this thread about hard drive noise and reducing heat...

... as an alternative to going diskless.
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Old 2003-08-26, 22:55   #4
Prime Monster
Prime Monster's Avatar
Aug 2002

1000001002 Posts

I am currently running 24 headless / diskless nodes using this setup.

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Old 2003-09-15, 16:04   #5
IronBits's Avatar
Oct 2002
Glendale, AZ. (USA)

3·7·53 Posts

I have 10 nodes, using pretty much the same thing, with Biostar M7VIQ.
The onboard video/PXE NIC is great. xp2400 processors
I also run two of them off one 400 watt power supply

There is no way to telnet or ssh into the nodes to remotly boot them yet.
But, everything else works great
I did it using Mandrake 9.1 ...

Last fiddled with by IronBits on 2003-09-15 at 16:06
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