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Old 02-27-2003, 03:11 AM   #1
lazlow69
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Question LTSP - Need EEPROM? Can't use BIOS?


I have been researching LTSP and completely diskless workstations, and have a specific question:

Is an EEPROM necessary or can the data be flashed into an open part of the BIOS? If so, how? If not, what is the reason (how large is a BIOS chip anyway)?

Thanks in advance!
 
Old 02-27-2003, 07:45 AM   #2
michaelk
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No, I don't think it is necessary but it will boot faster. From what I have read you can build a boot floppy disk. Check freshmeat.net or linuxapps.com for etherboot.

In theory it should be possible to use unused memory in the BIOS but you would have to rewrite parts of the code on how it passes control and to change the network card to use that memory would require additional hardware. You would need a different patch for each type of network card that is capable of a boot PROM.

Size of the flash memory probably depends on the BIOS manufacture and motherboard. Award BIOS for some SOYO motherboards is 256K.
 
Old 02-27-2003, 11:46 AM   #3
lazlow69
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ltsp boot from USB pen drive?

OK, that answers my questions quite well, so thank you!

The next question would be: can the data be loaded into a sold state USB pen drive, and have the comp. boot from that? I would assume the lilo would need a dd or something like that, perhaps a kernel with usb pen drive support, and a BIOS that can load from a USB device, but shouldn't this work, seeing as how a USB device can hold 32 megs easily and would pass a small sliver of data *very* quickly?

Any thoughts on this avenue of approach?
 
Old 02-27-2003, 01:43 PM   #4
michaelk
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Yes but it will depend on the motherboard's BIOS. I haven't tried it yet but my Soyo KT-133 can boot from USB and I can format my pen drive as a boot device.
 
Old 02-27-2003, 02:53 PM   #5
lazlow69
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How do you format your pen as a boot device? I assume you need to be on a Linux box that's up to speed and /mnt the usb pen and move a boot file and lilo script or something?
 
Old 02-27-2003, 03:52 PM   #6
michaelk
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Well... actually its formated for DOS but don't see why it can't be for linux.
 
  


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