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jpsollie
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:07 pm    Post subject: emulate remote basic IO Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

Here's the thing:
I have a self-built NAS in my basement, running gentoo linux.
This device also has some GPU hardware to perform remote computations.

BUT:
We all know : the more hardware you have, the more hardware that could eventually malfunction.
So, to make it clear:
When anything goes wrong inside the basement - a computation error / overheating component / bad cable / unstable software problem ... I have to move down from my desk to the basement (2th -> -1 floor) to push the power / reset button, or perform CLI commands directly on the device.
I was thinking whether there may be a solution for this, using a off-board raspberri PI or anything like that to gain remote control of the keyboard / mouse / power on button / reset button / VGA port so I can control it from the basement when experimenting at my desk.
I still have a few low-power x86 boards with a limited PCIe slot (video capturing) and RS-232 + USB3.0, is there anything I could do with that? The main device does not have RS-232, so a null modem cable is not an option.

thx
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notageek
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KVM_switch
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richk449
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

notageek wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KVM_switch

Nope. Thought of that. Also considered KVM over ethernet. But the poster needs a solution that will work even with an "overheating component", a "bad cable". If the KVM or ethernet cable goes, those solutions are toast. Or what if the CPU overheats and dies? A lot of good that keyboard will do you.

I'm thinking the solution will have to be a robot, controlled with a wireless signal. The robot can have a duplicate of every component in the computer, including cables. If something dies, the robot can replace it. Also, give the robot access to your amazon prime account, so it can replenish it's supplies (and watch movies when it is bored).

Not sure if it is most practical to just control the robot over a wireless video feed, or teach the robot how computers work, so it can troubleshoot and replace bad components by itself.

Also, the poster is worried about a "computation error" and "unstable software", so it is probably a good idea to teach the robot all possible programming languages, so that it can catch any errors before they run (at least for open source software). For the closed source stuff, it will be more difficult - probably best to just get a robot that can solve the halting problem in fixed time, so it can inspect the assembly and make sure it is correct.
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jpsollie
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

richk449 wrote:
notageek wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KVM_switch

Nope. Thought of that. Also considered KVM over ethernet. But the poster needs a solution that will work even with an "overheating component", a "bad cable". If the KVM or ethernet cable goes, those solutions are toast. Or what if the CPU overheats and dies? A lot of good that keyboard will do you.

I'm thinking the solution will have to be a robot, controlled with a wireless signal. The robot can have a duplicate of every component in the computer, including cables. If something dies, the robot can replace it. Also, give the robot access to your amazon prime account, so it can replenish it's supplies (and watch movies when it is bored).

Not sure if it is most practical to just control the robot over a wireless video feed, or teach the robot how computers work, so it can troubleshoot and replace bad components by itself.

Also, the poster is worried about a "computation error" and "unstable software", so it is probably a good idea to teach the robot all possible programming languages, so that it can catch any errors before they run (at least for open source software). For the closed source stuff, it will be more difficult - probably best to just get a robot that can solve the halting problem in fixed time, so it can inspect the assembly and make sure it is correct.


very funny ^^
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John-Boy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

richk449 wrote:
Also, the poster is worried about a "computation error" and "unstable software", so it is probably a good idea to teach the robot all possible programming languages


Also a good idea to ensure that the robot is thoroughly Asimoved, you don't want it going on a killing spree when stuff fails to compile or anything daft like that.
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notageek
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's why outsourcing to cheaper countries was invented. So that when robots revolt, it's localized.

Asimoved robots add to costs. Nobody wants costs.
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John-Boy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course if it's a Chinese robot, it's perfectly safe for home use and any reports of similar models going postal are lies and a slander against the glorious people's republic.
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flysideways
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are you running that renders the box inaccessible over ssh?

Use a pi zero to remotely complete the motherboard's reset circuit?
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jpsollie
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

flysideways wrote:
What are you running that renders the box inaccessible over ssh?

Use a pi zero to remotely complete the motherboard's reset circuit?


Don't know ... things like eg: vanilla kernels? on specialized hardware they sometimes seem to be unstable.
And yes, something like a pi zero would be perfect. Do you have an idea how I should do that?
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richk449
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://mtlynch.io/tinypilot/

Quote:
TinyPilot is my inexpensive, open-source device for controlling computers remotely. It works even before the operating system boots, so I use TinyPilot to install new OSes and debug boot failures on my bare metal homelab servers.

This post details my experience creating TinyPilot and shows how you can build your own for under $100 using a Raspberry Pi.
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notageek
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nerd.
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figueroa
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: emulate remote basic IO Reply with quote

jpsollie wrote:
I have a self-built NAS in my basement, running gentoo linux.

Why is it in the basement? How often do you have this failure?

The obvious solutions are:
Move the NAS upstairs.
Fix the reliability problem(s).
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flysideways
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

richk449 wrote:
https://mtlynch.io/tinypilot/

Quote:
TinyPilot is my inexpensive, open-source device for controlling computers remotely. It works even before the operating system boots, so I use TinyPilot to install new OSes and debug boot failures on my bare metal homelab servers.

This post details my experience creating TinyPilot and shows how you can build your own for under $100 using a Raspberry Pi.


If the Pi 4 is set up as an OTG device, it will be powered and handle data over its usb-c port, the power port. Pi Zeros run as OTG devices through their power port in the same manner.

I have a Gigabyte GA-Z270N-WIFI that makes enough power on its usb-c port to run an OTG set up Pi 4 strictly from the Pi's usb-c port. That motherboard powers the usb-c port whenever there is power to its power supply. The Pi runs even when the pc is turned off. I have a newer Asus mb with a usb-c port that is only powered while the pc is running or sleeping. There is a bios setting I have not tried that may leave the port powered while the pc is off, but haven't tried it because of no perceived need.

Some motherboards power their regular usb 3.something ports with enough power to run a Pi 4. The first revision of the Pi 4 would not run with a usb-c cable that sensed the device, only cheap usb-c cables. There are subsequent Pi 4 revisions that work with the previously unusable usb-c cables.

For my application it allowed me to run the Pi 4 without a separate power supply. I ran it for a while strictly as an OTG device through the usb-c cable from the pc. Nothing else was plugged into it.

This is a long way of saying that you may not need the additional power supply for the Pi 4, if the pc you are trying to control makes enough usb power.

The Pi has protection when it is powered through the usb-c port that it does not when powering it through the gpio pins.
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richk449
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://zach.bloomqu.ist/blog/2020/08/pilo-raspberry-pi-lights-out-management.html
Quote:
Like many geeks, I have a “home server” made from off-the-shelf, consumer-grade PC parts, from which I run my weekend programming projects, game servers for friends, this website, and so on. Recently, I had a power event at the house that caused the server to reboot. When the power came back on, the server booted, but it was stuck at the boot screen waiting for me to enter the disk decryption passphrase!

Luckily, I was at home and asleep at the time. Once I woke up and realized something was amiss, I was able to plug in a keyboard and enter the passphrase. But this event got me thinking - what if I wasn’t home at the time? What if I was in another country? What if someday, I move this server outside of my house and need to regularly access the physical screen and keyboard?

In the “real server” world, the solution to this is known as “lights-out management” (LOM). Every major server manufacturer has their own flavor of this, such as HP’s iLO (Integrated Lights-Out). There are even industry standards like IPMI that define common interfaces for LOM implementations. Commonly supported functions for LOM systems include:

Controlling keyboard and mouse input
Controlling power button status (so you can restart, shutdown, force off…)
Seeing the raw video output from the motherboard (even pre-boot - even for BIOS)
Mounting ISOs as disks
I decided to make my own Raspberry Pi-based LOM that can do some of these things, to help decrease my stress next time I leave my house for an extended period of time. I’d like to introduce Pilo - “Pi Lights-Out”.
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wah_wah_69
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can an esp8266 board to have a serial tty connection over wifi, you could even dedicate a gpio to the power/reset switch.
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