[parisc-linux] Diskless 712/60s

Sandy Harris sandy.harris@sympatico.ca
Fri, 12 Nov 1999 00:04:26 +0000

I've got access to a moderately large pile of HP 712s, mostly 60s with a few faster ones,
dirt cheap. I'm contemplating trying to use an array of a few dozen of them for tasks like factoring, which need lots of MIPS
and RAM but not much communication.

I'd want to use a separate machine as a host and run the 712s diskless and headless. The
host would need dual e'net, one for 712 array and one for the world, so I might use a
Linux PC. I'd also need a machine for development, presumably a PA-RISC Linux box.


Any recommendations for a machine that could be both host (should support dual e'net) and
development box (faster than 712, old enough to be available used)?

For the array, what are the trade-offs between using your native Linux vs. the older
micro-kernel stuff, with or without Linux atop it? These will mostly be pure compute
engines, 100% of CPU into a single process for hours or days at a time. All they really
need to do is boot from the net, load one process, and exchange occasional packets with
the host. Multitasking, the ability to access a file system via NFS, to run PVM, to
report status via SNMP, ... would definitely be nice, but aren't actually essential.

Virtual memory would be a detriment. How hard is it to eliminate?

What is the state of PA-RISC Linux for this application? The only device driver I'd need
is ethernet.

P.S. A friend has a large pile of used HP machines, mostly at reasonable prices. 712s are
the low end of the range. Anyone in the Ottawa area who needs some, send mail.

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"Strelow, Ulrich" wrote:
>      2. The easiest way is to use rbootd. For this test you need a 
>      linux-x86 machine connect to the 712/100 via LAN:

Paul J.Y. Lahaie wrote:
> My 712 (a /60) uses bootp for network booting.  I thought only the
> older 700 classes used rboot for
> network booting.

I have tried rbootd on my 715/33 and it worked fine. I did not know that
712s are special.

Ulrich Strelow
<ulrich.strelow@schering.de or
Berlin, Germany

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