CSE 221: Directions for project machine remote console and power access

   Console Access

All of the CSE 221 machines are configured to provide full console access via the serial port. The serial ports are accessed using a dedicated console access server (CAS). The IP address of the CAS is 172.16.17.26. Connecting to a console port requires two pieces of information: the name of the machine you want to connect to and your assigned CAS password. If you are unsure of your machine or password please contact the course instructor. To connect to the console of a machine, type "ssh MACHINE_NAME:MACHINE_NAME@172.16.17.26" FROM AN ON CAMPUS MACHINE. When prompted for a password enter your CAS password. The CAS doesn't work if you are not coming from a campus host. If you are off campus, you must connect through a campus host such as gradlab.ucsd.edu. For example, if you are assigned machine "voelker.ucsd.edu" your connect command would be "voelker:voelker@172.16.17.26".

Notes for users with graphical ssh clients (like putty): The username you use to connect to the CAS server must be MACHINE_NAME:MACHINE_NAME. The server name/ip is 172.16.17.26, you must use ssh, and you must be coming from a campus host (like the campus wireless network).

Notes for CLUI users: Make sure you know the escape sequence for your ssh client. There are two ways to close a connection to a console port. First, you can kill the process from another shell on the same machine. Second, you can type <escape_seq> followed by a period. You can change the escape sequence in your ssh config file, or by using the "-e" option. Please refer to the ssh man page for more information.

   Machine Boot Procedure

Connect to the console port of your machine as described above. After rebooting or power cycling the machine wait approximately 2 minutes for the PXE bootloader prompt. Do not get impatient and power cycle the machine too quickly. It does take up to two minutes for the PXE prompt to appear because the machines wait for the SCSI disks to spin up. You will not get any feedback over the serial console during this process.

The PXE boot prompt provides you with two options:

  1. Kickstart install (type "ks-221")
  2. Boot from local disk (type "linux" or wait for the 30 second timeout)

To do a fresh Red Hat 9.0 install, choose Kickstart install (ks-221). This will restore the machine to its initial state. This has already been done for you, so you will most likely not need to choose this option. But if you manage to wedge the machine beyond repair this option will restore the machine to a working state.

Boot from local disk is the default and will automatically fire in 30 seconds if no input is received (linux).

Kickstart Install Directions

For a fresh install, simply type 'ks-221' at the PXE boot loader prompt as described above. This will begin installing Red Hat 9.0 from the local ftp mirror. You can watch the install progress up until the post install scripts are run. The install process in non-interactive, so you need not sit around watching it(1). After the post install scripts have begun, you will no longer see output to the console. The post install takes approximately 20 minutes to complete(2). Just wait patiently, and your system should boot up again to the PXE bootloader prompt. This time, however, choose 'linux' or wait for the 30 second timeout to boot your freshly installed Red Hat 9.0. Follow the "Local Boot Directions" for further details on booting from the local disk.

(1) Occasionally, the install process has trouble downloading a file from the local mirror and will report an error. Simply choose OK and it will retry the download. Unless there are problems with the local mirror, the install process will continue without problems. If there are problems with the local mirror, usually waiting a few minutes is all it takes to continue with the install.

(2) Depending upon the throughput between the local mirror and your machine, the entire install should take between 35 and 45 minutes.

Local Boot Directions

To boot from the local disk, type 'linux' at the PXE bootloader prompt, or wait 30 seconds and your system will automatically boot from its local disk. You will then be presented with a grub bootloader menu (to which you can add your own custom kernels). Select the kernel you wish to boot (or wait for the timeout), then wait for your system to boot to a login prompt. At this point, you can choose to log in using the console or ssh into the box. For first time booters, authenticate using the default root password (distributed by the course instructor), change the root password, create accounts, and begin hacking.

   Power Cycling the Machine

You have the ability, via the CAS, to power cycle your machine. This process physically unplugs the machine and then plugs it back in again. In most instances this is the only way to recover if your custom kernel crashes the machine. But power cycling the machine runs the risk of hard drive corruption and data loss. So don't power cycle your machine unless is necessary. To power cycle a machine first log in to the console as described above. Then press ^p (control+p at the same time), and you should be presented with a menu that looks like:

-------------------------------------------------------
    Cyclades Corporation - Power Management Utility
-------------------------------------------------------
         1 - Exit      2 - Help      3 - On      
         4 - Off       5 - Cycle     6 - Lock    
         7 - Unlock    8 - Status    9 - Other   

Please choose an option:  
Type "5" and hit return to power cycle your machine. You should see:
IPDU 48 Outlet X:
X: Outlet turned off.
X: Outlet turned on.

-------------------------------------------------------
    Cyclades Corporation - Power Management Utility
-------------------------------------------------------
         1 - Exit      2 - Help      3 - On      
         4 - Off       5 - Cycle     6 - Lock    
         7 - Unlock    8 - Status    9 - Other   

Please choose an option: 
Now choose option 1 ("1" followed by return) to exit. You should see:
Exit from PM session
Now follow the Machine boot procedure above.




voelker@cs.ucsd.edu, savage@cs.ucsd.edu