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(bios upgrade notes)
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In order to link upto 4 borgs together we need to use the special cables. [http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks/pdfs/sg247630.pdf http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks/pdfs/sg247630.pdf] - page 235 shows how this is done to create an SMP style set of nodes.
= Logbook =
= Logbook =

Revision as of 10:48, 19 February 2015

Model IBM 3950 M2
Sub-category Systems
Status Under Construction
Last updated 24 May 2021 22:02:24
Accessories Bits
Training requirement yes
ACnode no
Owner Hackspace
Origin Donation
Location Basement rack
Maintainers Tgreer

Borg is a virtual host server to be used to give members access to virtual machines in the space and ultimately replace many if not all the functions of Babbage.


We are naming this machine after Anita Borg. Also the Borg.

They're currently labeled as BORG1 through BORG6 from bottom to top.


Currently connected to the SPC1601 PDU, we need a better way of adding accounts.


IBM 3950 M2

  • BORG1 - 3 CPUs, 8GB RAM
  • BORG2 - 3 CPUs, 8GB RAM
  • BORG3 - 4 CPUs, 128GB RAM
  • BORG4 - 4 CPUs, 128GB RAM
  • BORG5 - 4 CPUs, 128GB RAM
  • BORG6 - 3 CPUs, 128GB RAM



In order to link upto 4 borgs together we need to use the special cables. http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks/pdfs/sg247630.pdf - page 235 shows how this is done to create an SMP style set of nodes.



Running Debian

  • Needs the non-free bnx2 firmware on a flash drive for the install to work, (could try to add it to the install initrd)
  • Something something IBM Calgary IOMMU something something leads to DMA errors and the LSI MegaRaid raid card dosn't work, booting with "iommu=soft" makes it work but may not be ideal. search https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/x86/x86_64/boot-options.txt for iommu
  • The incantation seems to be: iommu=soft,calgary megaraid_sas.msix_disable=1

Upgrading the bios

Do a diskless boot, the go do Debian and then "Jessie amd64 Diskless for BORGs", log in as root (password 'root', this diskless setup is for testing only!), then:

cd ibm-bios/z/ ./lflash64

This is an upgrade to bios version 1.16

link dump

good megaraid cli guide:



It is reasonable to say the birth of Borg has been long and difficult, concern has generally revolved around the 3 areas:

  1. Usage
  2. Energy Consumption
  3. Location

Each have been discussed on the mailing list but for summary.


Borg will have the following uses:

  • Shell accounts for members
  • Virtualising random machines in the space
  • Processing of cams

Energy Consumption

Borg (being a server) could add substantially to our electricity costs. To help this we can offset some of it by the retiring of other machines in the space. It has also been agreed that if it takes up more than 275W regularly then a decision about Borgs future will have to be made. If it goes over 300W we will have to re-think our strategy. These figures are a maximum and equate to about £27 per month in electricity costs. The power consumption will be regularly measured and anyone is welcome to report power consumption levels.


The Rack in the basement.

Potential uses

Please list any machines/uses you think would benefit from virtualisation.

  • Shell accounts (from Babbage)
  • Cam processing (from Babbage)
  • Cross-compiling environment (from Lovelace)
  • netboot server (replacing netbootyboxxy).

Current VMs

Please keep this list up to date of virtual machines on Borg. If a machine is created but is not in this list it is liable to be switched off without warning.

Name Use Owner
ExampleMachine For displaying an example item in this table. Please be descriptive. Cotten Eye Joe


Showing 2 related properties.