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Re: Net boots



A different reply for a different subject:

Rory Gleeson wrote:
> Final non-related question about the K8V board.  I'm trying to do an NFS net
> install on a different drive for Debian but the Marvel Lan doesn't seem to be
> activating.  In bios, Onboard LAN is enabled.  But, Onboard LAN Boot ROM is
> disabled.  Should I enable it or is Onboard LAN Boot ROM something else? 
> Again, the UG (page 4-25) doesn't actually explain what it is. Basically, I
> just want to be able to do Net installs that are available with some distros.

It is possible for a computer to boot not from floppy, CD, or hard disk,
but from a ROM on a network card. The ROM uses some combination of TFTP,
Bootp, or DHCP, to locate, download, and then run an OS image from a
server on the same network.

This can be used for a (hard) disk-less workstation, or to automatically
install an OS (plug it in, wait, it's ready to go). Both setups take
some configuration on the server, but none on the client, so they scale
well.

It's not exactly useful for everyone, so the LAN Boot ROM is often left
off network cards and is very rare on motherboards. It doesn't do
anything once the system has booted, so there's no point in getting just
one, and I don't know whether the K8V even has space for it.

A quick Google shows me that the Marvell chip in question is a 1 Gb/s
card. IIRC, Debian uses a 2.2 kernel on the stable install, and I
very much doubt that it supports the chip. You'd probably best check
with Debian, but I suspect that it's not supposed to work.

If you really want to do a Debian net install, try picking up a
separate card based on a RealTek 8039 (which is "only" 100 Mb/s, but
*very* cheap these days.

HTH,

James.

-- 
E-mail address: james@ | "The man she had was kind and clean
westexe.demon.co.uk    | And well enough for every day,
                       | But oh, dear friends, you should have seen
                       | The one that got away."
                       | (Dorothy Parker, "The Fisherwoman")



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