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Boot from EEPROM @ PCI-Card --> Boot from DHCPD/BOOTPD via Linux

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Daniel Schwager, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Hi together,

    we have got some ISA-Card with only one EPROM on it.
    If we plug-in this ISA-Card in a PC, the PC "converted" itself
    to an X-Terminal. This meens, the whole X-Terminal software
    is in this EEPROM - nothing else is important on the ISA-Card.

    So, is there a way, if we store the content of the
    X-Terminal EEPROM to the filesystem of a Linux server, to modify the
    EEPROM-image in this way, that we can execute this on a Client PC
    booting this modified image via a bootable NIC and a serverbased
    DHCP-Daemon / BOOTP-Daemon ?

    If this would be possible, we are able to remove all the
    ISA-X-Terminal Cards an replace them with bootable NIC's
    connected to the Linux-Server.

    From the BIOS/EEPROM integration i know the following:


    00h WORD AA55h - ROM signature
    02h BYTE ??h - Size of ROM image in 512 byte blocks
    03h 3 BYTEs - Initialization procedure; called FAR by
    the BIOS. Use RETF to return


    Could somebody help me or give me same tipps ?


    Daniel Schwager, Jul 2, 2003
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  2. Daniel Schwager

    Matt H Guest

    You probably want the Linux Terminal Server Project at
    Matt H, Jul 2, 2003
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  3. Daniel Schwager

    erik de wild Guest

    I'm not sure that I give you an answer to your question. I have 6 used
    pc for testing. I have tried clusterknoppix, a linux distribution
    based on debian. You can boot it from cd-rom and start a terminal
    server or an openmosix server. With the terminal server started and
    the clientbios set on pxe boot you can boot from the server. It works
    very easy.

    boot server-pc from the cd
    configure and start the terminal server (see submenu of KNOPPIX)
    connect de pc's
    configure bios of client-pc and use pxe as first bootmethod

    and see what happens.

    The openmosix server is realy amazing. There seems to be a little
    error. After configuring the server it does not start so you have to
    start it manualy. When you connect one or more pc's and boot with pxe
    you have a real cluster. processes on one pc will migrate to the
    other. You can monitor this with mosixview.

    Clusterknoppix is an easy and save way to studie the concept of
    terminal servers and thin clients.

    With friendly regards

    Erik de Wild
    erik de wild, Jul 3, 2003
  4. Daniel Schwager

    Tauno Voipio Guest

    Very probably the EPROM just contains the stuff for net-booting the
    X-terminal. A full X server is far too large to be squeezed into an EPROM.

    You can verify the situation by tracing the start-up of the X terminal with
    e.g. Ethereal or tcpdump.

    For more information, see the Diskless-HOWTO.


    Tauno Voipio
    tauno voipio @ iki fi
    Tauno Voipio, Jul 6, 2003
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