Booting with iDRAC6 VFlash - Linux Live CD or similar

Stroller stroller at stellar.eclipse.co.uk
Mon Mar 8 08:00:14 CST 2010


On 8 Mar 2010, at 13:06, Rainer M. Canavan wrote:
> ...
> I'm not sure about CD ISOs, but hard drive or floppy images work for  
> me ...

Oh, that's great. It's easy to make a hard-drive image, although the  
256meg size restriction could be a pain. But surely a hard-drive image  
would use GRUB or similar. Is this appropriate?

> as long as the DRAC is not broken - mine probably is because I can't
> currently format or attach it and it does not ...

Yes, indeed. My experience has been similar.

We had a problem with the SD card supplied by Dell. It was shown as  
not fitted in the SD card slot - this was slightly intermittent, and  
it reappeared a couple of times, but after replacing it with a 4gig  
SanDisk the card has stayed consistently usable.

This is a bit of a pain, as 512meg size virtual partitions are only  
permitted on Dell's own-branded SD cards. The supplied SD card looks  
quite cheap & nasty (although, to be fair, don't they all?), the  
system shows this problem out of the box and the first thing support  
does is ask us to replace the card. :/

> appear in the boot menu
> or as a USB block device in an OS.

Should is appear as a block device in the o/s?

In this case it should be easy to follow the instructions I posted in  
my last message, creating a bootable USB key image from the System  
Rescue CD.

In searching for "diskboot.img", Red Hat / Fedora is / are the first  
distros which are mentioned. But it seems they consider it obsolete -  
I can find Fedora 8 / 2006 prepared diskboot.img images [1] but  
otherwise it seems to have been replaced by a different method. [2]

I've kinda got hints a couple of times that the iDRAC6's VFlash should  
appear to the system as a USB flash memory drive, but this is by no  
means made clear.

>> Resorting to the manual - something I've never had to do in 4 years
>> with a DRAC4 - I find references to Red Hat diskboot.img files [1]  
>> but
>> I really not clear what that is. ...
>
> It's far from clear and the Dell's support was unable to even tell
> me what VFlash can be used for, even when pointed at the relevant  
> pages
> in the  DRAC6 manual.

Yeah, I have one of their Indian support guys very confused with my  
request for clarification on this matter. . He's clearly never used  
this himself, and may not have even been trained on it. He seems to be  
delayed by attempts to contact his tier 2 mentor, and he suggests  
using the option in the viewer window (Tools Menu -> Virtual CD -> Add  
Image -> Show local ISO from local desktop/laptop and attach). This is  
obviously not the same thing

>> Has anyone got any good solutions to this, please? Is there  
>> anywhere I
>> can find .img files that actually work with the iDRAC6?
>> (Yes, I do have the "Enterprise" model, BTW).
>
> I'd recommend TinyCore Linux.
>
> http://www.tinycorelinux.com/
>
> It's small enough to fit on the 16MB Virtual Flash of the
> DRAC5s with enough space left to install a few extra packages.
> It does not include any of the the MegaRAID drivers. so you'll
> have to reconfigure and recompile the kernel, or you could
> just use my image:
>
> http://canavan.de/TinyCore2.8.xfs.img
>
> If DRAC6s are your only concern, you could use the "small version
> of GRML, which should be around 100MB:
>
> http://grml.org/download/

Many thanks indeed! I will take a look at these this evening.

Stroller.



[1] <http://www.filewatcher.com/m/diskboot.img.12582912.0.0.html>

[2] <http://docs.fedoraproject.org/release-notes/f9preview/en_US/sn-Live.html#sn-USB-Booting 
 >



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