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Old 2007-01-04, 21:38   #1
jasong
 
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"Jason Goatcher"
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Default Will caseless Linux boxes irradiate my cat?

First, let me say that, while I'm not a moron, I don't know a heck of a lot about Linux. I run it because it means more money for cpus, motherboards, and RAM.

I've been informed that diskless booting would be too much for me, that the learning curve would be too steep. So I'm exploring a different approach.

Caseless powering. I'm hoping someone can help me take a motherboard that has a cpu, RAM, and a USB stick, and make it do one thing. Run a DC project and be able to communicate it's progress to the project's server and to me. I tried a search on "minimal linux" and got this. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I'm hoping to take it, or something similar, and make it boot directly to processing a DC project.

I was hoping to get help, first with two things:

(1) I need help with powering a bare board and getting it to communicate with at least one other computer. The boards are Socket A and Socket 754.

(2) How do you get a Linux distribution to boot directly into running a program?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 2007-01-05, 00:13   #2
paulunderwood
 
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Question 1) Why do you want to run "caseless"? Cases are cheap, hold the components and help protect the components (from things like cats) .... You will also need a way to physically turn on this box: either a cheap switch connected to the appropriate pins on the motherboard; or set the bios to "power on" after "dc loss". Anyway communication to this "box" can be achieved through the use of "ssh".

Question 2) If you system does not already have a script called rc.local or similar where you are instructed to put your own commands you will have to do the following:

a) Put the info into rc.local with an editor or:

cat >> /etc/init.d/rc.local
su jason -c "/home/jason/dcprojectx &"

b) Then make it executable:

chmod +x /etc/init.d/rc.local

c) Then you need to create a "soft" link to this from your system's start up scripts (rc):

ln -s /etc/init.d/rc.local /etc/rc3.d/S99rclocal

(Where S99 means start script after S98*,S97* etc.)

Remember that "man" (manual) is your man!

Feel free to ask more questions

Last fiddled with by paulunderwood on 2007-01-05 at 01:04
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Old 2007-01-05, 13:22   #3
ValerieVonck
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
(1) I need help with powering a bare board and getting it to communicate with at least one other computer. The boards are Socket A and Socket 754.
Take a look @ this site: http://www.mini-itx.com/
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Old 2007-01-05, 14:30   #4
rx7350
 
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I can understand the desire to build case-less systems. I have four case-less systems that I built to run Prime95 exclusively. Even though cases may be cheap, they still cost some $$ that could be used on other components, and take up more space than a case-less system. There are two cats in my household, and so far none of the sytems have been damaged.

I had always considered using Linux distros on these nodes as a way to avoid purchasing a Windows license, and possibly the need for a hard drive, but never really put the time into it to figure it out. So, I'm hoping I can learn something in this thread.

Good luck!
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Old 2007-01-05, 19:00   #5
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The (superflous) "cat" (sic.) method I gave above needs a "^d", or control key depressed then addtionally the "d" key, to end the input stream to rc.local.

If you are to boot from the local media of a USB stick/pen, your motherboard's BIOS must be able to it and be set to do it. I just looked at the BIOS of the computer I am using and it allows me to boot to USB-FDD, USB-ZIP, USB-CDROM and USB-HDD. I wonder whether a USB stick/pen could boot an operating system with one of these options.

The network setup depends on your needs. You could have a computer/router running a DHCP server that assigns IP addresses to computers or, alternatively, specify a static IP address and subnet (and internet gateway address if required and a domain name look-up/forwarding server's (DNS) IP address if you need to use non-dotted-quad URLs.)


Last fiddled with by paulunderwood on 2007-01-05 at 19:14
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Old 2007-01-06, 02:21   #6
jasong
 
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My dad owns all the tools in the house and he has a temper, so I'm not going to mess with them at the moment. He'll be back home in a few days. The day after he gets back, I'm going to ask him to open up one of the cases, so I can make sure the motherboards are powered the way I think they're powered.
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Old 2007-03-04, 15:29   #7
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Quote:
Caseless powering. I'm hoping someone can help me take a motherboard that has a cpu, RAM, and a USB stick, and make it do one thing. Run a DC project and be able to communicate it's progress to the project's server and to me. I tried a search on "minimal linux" and got this. I haven't downloaded it yet, but I'm hoping to take it, or something similar, and make it boot directly to processing a DC project.
Some motherboards have various switches in BIOS after booting with USB stick inserted and detected (and another reboot might be required.) (During installation all hard drives were disconnected from the PSU -- nice and quiet too )

I have successfully installed from "net install" Debian CD (iso) to a 1 Gig USB 2.0 stick. Boot the install CD. At prompt type: expert26

Follow the installation process, putting the installation on to the USB stick (but with no swap) and before "finalize install" option, run the "command line" option:

nano /target/etc/mkinitrd/modules (and add the following:)
sd_mod
ehci-hcd
uhci-hcd
ohci-hcd
usb-storage

nano /target/etc/mkinitrd/mkinitrd.conf (and change:)
DELAY=10

chroot /target

mkinitrd -o /boot/initrd-<version> (where "version" is what is required -- use "magic tab".)

Here mkinitrd complains. Follow instructions to mount proc and the run again:

mkinitrd -o /boot/initrd-<version>

type in "exit" a couple of times to return to the installation menu and do "finalize installation" and hopefully the USB should boot (to the second stage of the install.)

(Info Source)

Last fiddled with by paulunderwood on 2007-03-04 at 15:48
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Old 2007-05-12, 11:56   #8
paulunderwood
 
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AMD64 Debian 4 went straight on to the USB with the (non-expert) default install I did recently.

Regular backups are advisable when relying on USB sticks.
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