From: John Gay (jgay at domain Celestica.com)
Date: Mon 13 Aug 2001 - 21:02:22 IST
After The excellent reply I decided to try a few more things. Even though
the workstation has all the proper devices created in it-s root directory,
which is mounted over nfs and the nbd module and nbd-server seem to be
running fine, the nbd-client still can not connect. This got me thinking,
so I changed to the root terminal on the workstation and tried to mount the
floppy directly. You might have guessed by now. The kernel does NOT have
floppy support built-in : ( running dmesg confirms there are no messages
reguarding floppy devices during boot. I had mistakenly thought that
booting from a BootProm floppy image would require floppy suport, but now I
realise what is actually happening.
The PC boots, BIOS sees the floppy and copies the contents into memory, in
this case the location for the network bootprom. The system then fetches
it's IP info via DHCP and load a kernel image via tftp. This is the kernel
that boots. This kernel has 3C509 support, but not floppy support, so, even
though the device files exist, the device itself does not. This is why the
nbd-server can not mount the floppy.
Question: Is there a floppy module that can be loaded so I can avoid
re-compiling the kernel? I was able to just load the nbd.o module into the
existing kernel. If I can do the same thing with the floppy this will make
things much easier on me. I am assuming that the CD's will be a different
story, as they are regular IDE CD's so they should be O.K., I hope. I think
the IDE bus is detected so the CD's should allready be there. It should be
a simple matter of adding the neccisary device files and pointing the
nbd-server at it. At the end of the day, I want to be able to click the CD
or Floppy icon on the KDE destop and mount the device on the workstation I
am logged in from.
The Linux Terminal Server Project allready provides support for connecting
upto three printers to each workstation, one on the parallel port and one
on each serial port. I won't be going to this extreme yet.
In answer to the question of the suitability of the server:
Yes, the server is quite small. But this is only for a proof-of-concept. I
will set-up the system with the 200Mhz PentiumMMX server and 4 workstations
in the Classroom for a week or two so they can see how it operates in
practice. If they like the idea, I will take one of their existing PIII's,
pack as much memory into it as I can and move the server to it. The 'old'
server with then become another workstation. I'll also see if I can get a
few more workstations to add to this if they are willing to spend the
money. Also, by using Combo cards, I can use Coax to network this together,
thereby saving the cost of a hub. Until their network grows.
If they don't like the idea, I can still set-up one of the PC's with either
E-Smith or SmoothWall to give then a gateway and firewall for their
existing Windows PC's. I think they are trying to get an ISDN line in. This
will be less invasive. Either way, I'll try to put together a review of the
end results for posting.
Thanks for the ideas and recommendation. Sorry I didn't name individuals,
but I only receive the digest at home and I'm writing from work now.
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