On Sat, 11 Mar 2000, Rich Payne wrote:
> > > Is this from AlphaBIOS or SRM, I'm assuming because of your earlier
> > > question that this is AlphaBIOS? If you attach a terminal to the 1st
> > > serial port your should see the output of AlphaBIOS. Though I will warn
> > > you that serial support in AlphaBIOS isn't the most useful thing I've ever
> > > come across. If you're going to attempt this then I'd get the latest AB
> > > available (5.70), and if you really want serial support, use SRM.
> > Hm, I think you didn't get me right!
> > I don't _want_ to use is, but I sometimes need to boot the system without a
> > keyboard.
> > BUT this doesn't work! Allways I unplug the keyboard and boot, the system
> > definitly does not boot! Why?
> Do you have AlphaBIOS setup to autoboot? Again this could be a problem
> with AlphaBIOS and serial support. The only way your going to find out
> what's going on is to plug into the serial port.
I've been there and done that, folks. I have small cluster of LX machines
that I originally tried to set up using AlphaBios. I set up the AlphaBios
for autoboot, but discovered, much to my dismay, that the autoboot flag
is ignored when the keyboard is unplugged and the Alphabios starts sending
its output to the serial port. If you plug in a dumb terminal to the
serial port, which I did, you'll find that it gives you some kind of
prompt and waits for you to tell it to go ahead and boot.
Yes, this is a SERIOUS, STUPID BUG in the AlphaBios, at least for someone
trying to set up a beowulf cluster. I made some exasperated calls to DEC
at the time (late 1997), and even offered to the fix the bug for them if
they'd give me a crack at the code, but, of course, that was not in the
The only fix I know of is to switch to SRM, which I did.
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