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problem in defining a proliant boot interface in GRUB

 
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joseph pareti
Frequent Advisor

problem in defining a proliant boot interface in GRUB

On a DL380 G5 equippped with the following network interfaces, identified with the PCI id's:
- 2 x NetXtreme II BCM5708 Gigabit Ethernet (embedded - "bnx0", "bnx1")
- 12 x 82571EB Gigabit Ethernet Controller (add-on - "e1000g0", ..., "e1000g11")

we got the following errors at GRUB:

grub> ifconfig
Probing pci nic...
[UNDI]
...
[UNDI]
No ethernet card found.

Error 12: Invalid device requested

grub>

grub doesn't let me specify which network interface should be used, but we need a workaround because from previous experience the above error should be fixed once a NIC is PXE booted.
5 REPLIES
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: problem in defining a proliant boot interface in GRUB

Shalom,

Pull the add in card and you will probably get better results.

Please specify the mission objective.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: problem in defining a proliant boot interface in GRUB

Some (most?) NIC firmwares present an UNDI interface only while a PXE boot is already happening. The Universal Network Driver Interface (UNDI) is created by the BIOS and/or PXE boot firmware in the NIC.

If you are loading your GRUB from a local disk, the BIOS has already switched the hardware into "boot from local disk" mode and the NICs are all in a disabled state.

If you are loading the GRUB over the network from a TFTP server, the PXE boot sequence is active... but only one card at a time is initialized for network boot: I've never seen a system where you could get multiple NICs using an UNDI interface.

Only the NIC that received the PXE boot parameters (from a DHCP server or a dedicated PXE boot server) and downloaded the bootloader is available for the bootloader. The use of other cards at that point would require a driver that can completely initialize a network card.

Your GRUB apparently does not have hardware-level drivers for your NICs: it has only the UNDI driver which requires the cooperation of the NIC firmware.

You should enable the network boot for the correct interface in the BIOS. In addition, the NICs may have their own BIOS settings menu, accessible using a different keystroke than the standard Proliant BIOS.

If you need to use the PXE mechanism to download the GRUB bootloader using one NIC, then switch over to another NIC for continuing the boot process, you may be out of luck. GRUB has hardware-level support for some NICs, but these tend to be older 10 and 100 Mbps NICs, not Gigabit ones. For all newer NICs, the UNDI support is the only choice available.

MK
MK
joseph pareti
Frequent Advisor

Re: problem in defining a proliant boot interface in GRUB

thanks for the replies; I was told that it may be better to modify the NIC firmware to support UNDI without a proper PXE boot.


My customer needs the ability to network boot the system, to then download an image from a server so that they achieve an automatic installation of a large farm, which can be customized for different layers of the stack.
joseph pareti
Frequent Advisor

Re: problem in defining a proliant boot interface in GRUB

On proliant, it is apparently not possible to specify which NIC should used by GRUB to initialize with "ifconfig" or "dhcp". May be there exists a special option in the BIOS to enable GRUB to address a specific NIC?
On other x86 platforms containing NIC's like "80003ES2LAN Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Intel)" and "82571EB Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Intel)" apparently no such problem (as on the proliant) has occurred.

On the Proliant DL380G5 we have two embedded NC373i Multifunction Gigabit Network Adapters with TCP/IP Offload Engine, including support for Accelerated iSCSI through an optional Licensing Kit.
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: problem in defining a proliant boot interface in GRUB

Shalom,

On proliant the PXE boot will work off the built in NIC cards.

This particular add in card that you are using has caused me some trouble on both proliant and ibm branded servers.

If you remove the add in card, boot the system you should be able to contact a PXE server through the 0 NIC, the one with the lowest number on the back.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com