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Re: [Freeipmi-devel] Re: How can we get MAC address during node

From: robing
Subject: Re: [Freeipmi-devel] Re: How can we get MAC address during node
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 08:33:45 -0800 (PST)

> ,----[ "Rice, Bryan" <address@hidden> ]
> | >AB, We want to get the MAC address during the system build.  We need
> | >a process the factory workers can use to either log the MAC address
> | >to a text file.  It needs to be a simple process.  I do not have any
> | >good tools to do this. 
> `----
AB replied:
> It is easy to write a simple wrapper around bmc-lan-set tool to
> automate the configuration process. You can then run bmc-lan-set-auto
> across the cluster in one single command.

Obviously once the system is up and running it is trivial to
get the IP address, subnet mask and MAC address from ifconfig
and use it to program the BMC.  But IMO that is not what Bryan is
asking to do.

He said he wants to get the MAC address from the node during SYSTEM
BUILD.  bmc-lan-set runs under linux on a system that has already
been installed.  And you can't install the system (at least not
with a network-based install tool) until you have the MAC address.
It is really a chicken-before-the-egg problem.  

Bryan, we have a number of different tools we use here at LLNL to 
harvest MAC addresses.  These include:
1) we boot a stripped down linux image that simply prints the eth0
MAC address to the console then exits.  We then harvest these
addresses from our console log files.  This requires a way to
kick off the install (network based or CD drive in each node)
and console server (eg Cyclades) infrastructure. 
2) we hook all the nodes to a Cisco switch then harvest them from
the arp table on the Cisco switch.  

I think there are a few other tricks like this.  I can check.  
But none of these I would consider very easy to do on the factory
floor.  It seems to me as a motherboard vendor, Intel could easily
solve this problem by having the MAC address of the on-board NIC
etched on the motherboard (or put on a sticker) during manufacturing 
or modify the BIOS to print the MAC address to the screen during
a very early part of the system POST.


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