[Beowulf] BIOS

John Hearns john.hearns at streamline-computing.com
Mon Aug 13 01:05:58 PDT 2007

Beat Rubischon wrote:
> It's probably the safest way to organize some students, give them a
> keyboard, a monitor and a memoy stick containing the flash files...
Having been involved in this exercise several times, ie. updating and 
subequently resetting BIOS settings on large clusters, I agree with Beat.
The only reliable way to do it is with several people, monitors and USB 
floppies or memory sticks.

The problem (as you all know) isn't updating the BIOS, which can be done 
easily by PXE booting a DOS floppy image. It is the BIOS settings which 
are left afterwards - and I'm sepaking as someone who has tried 
capturing /dev/nvram settings and pushing them out to the updated nodes, 
which doesn't necessarily work.

I would advise the original poster to read up on /dev/nvram - capture 
the /dev/nvram of a 'good' node in a file. Update a node via PXE, then 
when it is rebooted into Linux use cat goodfile > /dev/nvram
A forlorn hope really.

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